The holidays are always a great time to bank a little side cash through short-term enterprises. Some of those one-time businesses can even blossom into full-time operations that can provide you with a healthy living. Most people focus on Christmas or the Fourth of July when looking to a make a quick buck. They’re neglecting the fact that Thanksgiving can be just as lucrative. Here are a few Thanksgiving business ideas worth pondering.
Organize Dinners for Those Away from Home
Thanksgiving is fundamentally a family holiday that’s all about togetherness. The truth is that many people can’t go home for various reasons. You can capitalize on this reality by putting together dinners for folks in your area that are stuck in their adopted hometowns. Renting a commercial cooking space is obviously an option. However, it’s better if you can rent a home or use your own to stage the event.
Offer Cleaning & Organization Services
Thanksgiving is a hectic time for any family or household. With relatives and friends in town, it’s tough to keep everything straight and still pull off a successful day. Therein lies the opportunity. You can build a Thanksgiving-centric cleaning or organization business by buying very little gear like cloths, sprays and a high-end vacuum. Use word-of-mouth advertising as well as pin-up flyers distributed around your town on community bulletin boards.
Produce Greeting Cards & Invitations
If you want to cater to the party-hosting crowd, creating greeting cards and invitations is always a good idea. You could use a service like Overnight Prints or Greetings Island to do the heavy lifting. You could also find a local printer to crank out the goods. For a DIY approach, you could buy something like an Epson SureColor P400 Wireless Color Photo Printer that can deal with card stock and print them in house.
Raise or Sell Turkey Packages
Everyone needs a bird for the big Thanksgiving dinner. If you’ve got plenty of space at your property, you can pen a few in and raise your own. You could even buy wild turkeys from hunters at bargain prices and middleman them to consumers. If you’re a great cook, you could prepare them your own special way (fried, roasted or baked) and deliver them to buyers pre-cooked a day in advance.
Cater Full Thanksgiving Dinners
Some families are so expansive that feeding them is a job fit for the Army Corps of Engineers. If you don’t mind doing the work or can hire the right people to make the gig profitable, catering Thanksgiving meals is always lucrative. All you need to do is buy some steam trays, crock pots and cutlery to start. After that, it’s just a matter of building a reputation and marketing yourself on Facebook and Google+.
Bake Pies and Thanksgiving Deserts
If you’re not into catering an entire meal, you can use your culinary expertise to handle a part of it. Everyone expects a great pumpkin or sweet potato pie after a solid Thanksgiving Day meal. The great thing about a pie or desert business is that you can crank out a lot of product in a short amount of time from your own home. Use local cooking stores to advertise your wares a month or so in advance of the big day.
Create Gift Baskets & Centerpieces
Many hosts want to make their Thanksgiving Day celebrations truly special with ornate table decorations. Others feel the need to hand out goodies to their loved ones. As far as centerpieces go, you can slap th,mp-em together with a few flowers or herbs and wicker. Gift baskets are even easier. Find some products that are specific to your area like wine or cheese, bundle them and sell them at a major markup.
Organize a Thanksgiving Tour
Even if you don’t live in a quaint New England village, the time around Thanksgiving always has a feel to it that’s conducive to tours. Whether you’re driving a pedicab, a horse-drawn carriage or a standard bus, Thanksgiving tours make sense if you find the best autumn attractions around that are unique. Put together an itinerary, arrange the transportation, throw in some complimentary mulled cider or whatever’s popular in your area and you’re golden.
Take Advantage of Black Friday
Not every Thanksgiving Day business idea has to yield fruit in November. You could use the annual Black Friday events to score some sweet merchandise and sit on it for a few weeks so that you can sell it at an extreme profit. Find a few big ticket items that you can purchase at bargain prices the day after Thanksgiving and get them. Sell them 20 days later on eBay as Christmas presents.
Use Arbitrage to Profit from Food
It goes without saying that cranberry sauce or a sack of cranberries straight from a grower will cost less in Massachusetts than it will in California. Maple syrup for turkey or ham will cost less in Vermont than it will in South Carolina. Use this to your advantage by stocking up on the goods beforehand and offering an overnight Thanksgiving Day meal ingredient shipping service for people far from the source.
Organize a Thanksgiving Event
Most people prefer to gorge themselves on food and pass out in front of a TV on Thanksgiving. However, there’s a minority of the populace that wants to do something constructive or energetic on that sweet holiday. You can make plenty of money by organizing a cool event like a kickball game or a 5K fun run on Thanksgiving. You can ramp up participation by donating some of the proceeds to charity and selling commemorative t-shirts.
The Devil Is Always in the Details
If you’re willing to think outside the box, Thanksgiving can be just as lucrative as any other holiday. The key to making your Thanksgiving Day side business pay is preparation and market research. Before you put your last $1,000 into a venture, make sure that your odds of success are 99% or better. At the worst, you want to break even. Even failures in the form of break-even scenarios can be used to build successful businesses in the future.