Fall is just around the corner, and as an entrepreneurial person, you want to capitalize on it. September, October and November are filled with traditions and activities specific to this time of year — think, the annual pumpkin spice latte craze — so you’d like to start a business that allows you to cash in on the season.
Maybe you want a side gig to earn cash for the holidays or perhaps you’re working toward another big financial goal, such as buying a house. Whatever your motive, you’re hoping to spend the fall months running a successful business.
This might mean finding a way to profit from the popularity of fall flavors, traditions and holidays — consumers were expected to spend $3.17 billion on Halloween decorations in 2021, according to the National Retail Foundation. Or, you might want to focus on helping people prepare for the upcoming winter weather and busy holiday season.
Start a Baked Goods Business
Fall is the season of apples and pumpkin spice, so Maria Shriver, co-founder and CEO of MOSH, a mission-driven company that looks to educate consumers on how what they eat and drink impacts their mental and physical health, recommended starting a home-based bakery to leverage seasonal ingredients and help consumers celebrate traditions.
“Home bakeries fall under the cottage food industry, which has regulations varying from state to state,” she said. “Though these are often limited to shelf-stable products, meaning they don’t require refrigeration, they also have rules regarding who you can sell to and sales limits.”
To make your items stand out, Shriver suggested checking out GoogleTrends or following baking-related hashtags on Instagram to find out what’s hot when it comes to bakery products.
“While most cottage bakeries make cookies, cakes, muffins or bread, you can get creative with ingredient mash-ups, using traditional flavors in unexpected ways,” she said. “Making your baked goods unique will have customers lined up for more.”
Prepare Vacation Homes for Winter
If you live in a region where summer vacation homes — i.e., river cabins, boats and campers — need to be winterized, Carlos Garcia, group managing director of Total Clean, a U.K.-based cleaning company, suggested turning this into a business opportunity.
“In the fall and spring, offer seasonal services for holiday homes,” he said. “This business concept includes a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, closing all the windows, taking care of the yard and reporting any leaks, damaged things or repairs that are needed.”
Make Christmas Ornaments
For many people, fall is essentially the start of the holiday season, as they feel it’s never too early to start preparing. Gail Oliver, a small-business marketing consultant and blogger at Attention-Getting.com, said some of her clients have turned selling Christmas ornaments into a seriously lucrative business.
“I have many clients who only sell in October through December and they make enough money that they do not have to work the rest of the year,” she said. “On Etsy — and I am sure on Amazon — many ornament sellers can make up to $80,000 in one month — I’ve seen it.”
Open a Fall Pop-Up
Seasonal shops and events are popular because they allow people to immerse themselves in traditions specific to fall. Oliver said she knows of a business that’s only open from mid-September through the end of November.
“They own a large barn out in the country and they fill it with exotic items that they have purchased from all over the world during the last 10 months,” she said. “The key is they make it an annual fall event by also including pumpkin picking, ethnic food trucks and a corn maze.”
Unlike traditional stores, this one feels special, as it’s only around for a limited time.
“People love these types of fall events, and they do a lot of their holiday shopping here every year, getting a jump on all of the stores,” she said.