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HomeBusinessBusiness OpportunitiesWays To Make Money From: Christmas

Ways To Make Money From: Christmas

Christmas

AS WELL AS a time for giving and considering those less fortune than ourselves. Christmas is a season of great opportunity. It’s the time of the year retailers enjoy most, with many scooping over half their annual profits as consumers hurry to the shops for their December spending bonanza.

You too can grab slice of the Christmas cake. Here are 20 clever and unique ideas to help you cash in on the festive period. They range from modest home-based craft business perfect for part-time profiteers, to mega-money full-scale retail enterprises that could rake in enough cash for you to retire for the rest of next year:

  1. Personal shipping service

Strange as it may sound, not everyone enjoys trudging through crowded shopping centres in the wind / rain / snow in search of suitable gifts for family and friends, or dragging a trolley loaded to the brim with food through a packed supermarket.

If you’re someone who actually enjoys Christmas shopping why not make some money by doing other people’s? Potential customers include fairly well-off senior citizens who want to hand over the responsibility of getting their festive goodies, and busy the professionals who just don’t have time to go to the shops.

Visit local neighborhoods and drop leaflets through doors to find customers. Better still, introduce yourself in person – make sure you’re polite and dressed smartly.

Once you have and interested customer, draw up a detailed shopping list. Charge either by the hour ($10-$15 is reasonable), or a commission (say, ten per cent) on the total value of the goods, plus travel and parking expenses.

  1. Christmas shopping shuttle service

The local corner shop is no good when it comes to buying presents for the family. People want to go to the nearest shopping centre, or better still, a big undercover mall with all the major high street establishments together in one place.

Trouble is, for many people it’s not easy to get there. In rural areas especially there may be no regular public transport service, while others may be put off by the thought of city centre driving and parking. Which is why there is demand for a shuttle service picking shoppers up and taking them to the big regional shopping centre of choice, before dropping them back home again.

This is the perfect enterprise for someone with a van / passenger vehicle. Put up posters and distribute leaflets to promote this service. Another tip is to contact social clubs, OAP and community groups in order to secure block bookings.

  1. Printing personalized Christmas cards

If you have a computer with graphics capabilities and a printer this could be the opportunity for you. These days many PCs with word processing / DTP programmers have ‘clip art’ installed featuring a range of images and fancy borders (or else you can buy them on disk from a computer peripherals supplier). Using these, it’s easy to put together template cards with suitably festive images and wording.

Ideally you’ll be able to print the card out in full color, fold it, and have it ready for sale. For this reason it’s useful add-on for a print business. However, people working at home with just a basic black and white printer can get in on the act by purchasing special colored paper designed for computer printers (sold by the better quality stationers) decorated with an attractive background pattern.

One way of working is to print a range of cards for all the family (ie. ‘Merry Christmas Mum / Dad / Brother / Sister / Grandma’ etc.), package them together and get them stocked in gift shops. Even better, take orders for personalized cards.

One option is to market the service to local businesses. Alternatively, set up your computer / printer at jumble and car boot sales and print out personalized cards on the spot. The personal touch means that customers will love them – especially if they can choose the images and wording themselves.

  1. Creating Christmas stockings

Anyone skilled with a sewing machine could make and sell beautiful Christmas stockings out of felt or velvet. Create a selection of standard stockings and get them stocked in gift shops, or sell them yourself. Boost profits by adding people’s names to them for a fee.

  1. Making festive garlands

Another craft-oriented earn way is creating Yuletide garlands and selling them to local businesses and residents.

Use ivy, twigs, sprigs of holly and mistletoe as the basis of each wreath, with a wire support / hanger. These material can be purchased from flower and craft shops. Alternatively, make artificial garlands. Going door-to-door with samples is the most effective way to sell your creations, and you could also get them stocked in shops.

  1. Make Christmas tree decorations and ornaments

If you’re artistically inclined, a kitchen table business making Christmas tree decorations and ornaments is the obvious opportunity.

They can be constructed out of practically any materials – old, new, natural or artificial – using whatever you can lay your hands on. Library craft books will give you directions on what to make and how to make it. Display and sell your goods at flea markets, get them stocked by retailers, and  / or sell them door-to-door.

It’s worth attempting to build up publicity and create a name for yourself. As well as advertising in the local paper send out samples and press releases. Established artists invariably command colossal prices for their products.

  1. Christmas crèche

As anyone who’s ever tried it will tell you, Christmas shopping with children in tow is not a pleasurable experience. So setting up a crèche is likely to be popular with parents who can drop their kids off while they do the shopping.

A disused retail unit or a roped-off and covered corner of a shopping centre makes the ideal site. Charge a couple of pounds per child per hour, and provide plenty of activities, games, toys and drawing materials to keep the kids amused.

This is an opportunity for someone with experience, good references and a few helpers, but it’s and excellent earner. You’ll need to enlist the approval and / or assistance of the shopping centre management and local council before you set up.

  1. Festive food stall

Why not keep shoppers warm, happy and well fed with a food stall? As well as hot drinks you could sell hot chestnuts (‘roasting on an open fire’), baked potatoes, mince pies, mulled wine (wine with spices and fruit juice added, and heated up) and other festive fare. You may need to apply to the local council and / or market manager for a pitch.

Classified ads are a good place to find bargain secondhand mobile catering units cooking apparatus, or you could try contacting the Mobile and Outside Caterers Association (on 0121 693 7000) regarding franchises.

  1. Holiday hamper delivery

Feeding a family over the holiday period requires buying in a pretty hefty amount of food. Save people to bother by putting together and delivering.

Christmas hampers containing all your customer’s food-related requirements – turkey, vegetables, sauces, cheeses, Christmas cake and pudding, wine, beer and spirits, chocolates and other assorted treats.

By sourcing cheap wholesalers and farm shops you can get cheap deals on the produce you buy. Savings could be passed on to customers – which will be an excellent selling point – or used to increase your profit margin.

When setting prices, look to make a profit margin of at least 50 to 100 per cent per hamper. So a hamper that cost you $50 to supply is sold for $75-$100, or perhaps more if you’re supplying ‘gourmet’ goods.

On the subject of food, not everyone has enough space in their freezer to store their Christmas goodies, so you could make some cash on the side by renting out space in your freezer.

Market this service by distributing leaflets door-to-door, by placing postcards / posters in shop windows,

advertising in the local paper, or even by paying to have leaflets inserted into delivered newspapers.

  1. Christmas catering service

As all Mums know, preparing the Christmas dinner is a time consuming and tiring process. So there’s substantial demand for service delivering meals ready cooked straight to the customer’s door.

By taking orders beforehand you can organize a cooking and delivery schedule so that you still get time to sit down and enjoy your own Christmas dinner. You could go one step further and offer a full catering service in the customer’s home, saving them the task not only of preparing and cooking the meal, but also of laying the table, clearing it up afterwards and doing the washing up.

Consider how much it might cost for a family to have Christmas dinner in a decent restaurant and set your charges at a comparable rate. Even after you’ve bought the ingredients and covered other expenses you could walk away with a couple of hundred pounds profit from just a few hours work.

This business is best promoted with the use of leaflets, postcards and local newspaper ads. While the full catering service is suited mainly to affluent customers, the ‘cooking and delivery only’ service will be a success in any area.

  1. Drinks delivery service

Many people use Christmas as an excuse to stock up their drinks cupboards, before emptying them again very quickly. So there’s good profits in providing a drinks delivery service.

Stock could be bought from the local cash and carry, or you could even pop over the Channel and visit a Calais ‘booze supermarket’ (of course, you can only bring enough stock back for ‘your own personal use’).

Use leaflets to promote your service – put your telephone number on so that customers can phone in their orders.

  1. Yuletide recipe booklets

Here’s a delightful little earner: collect up homemade festive recipes – turkey dinner, stuffing, Christmas pudding, brandy butter and all the classics, as well as more obscure local recipes – and turn them into a spiral bound booklet. They’ll be inexpensive to produce, requiring only basic printing and binding, and will surely sell well.

Get them stocked by stationery, gift and book stores, and / or sell them at bazaars and boot sales, This might make a good charity fundraiser.

  1. Christmas tree delivery service

Over six million Christmas trees will be sold this year in the UK alone. SO cash in by offering the public the convenience of having their tree delivered to their door – you can even charge to remove it after the holiday for an additional fee. Farms and nurseries are the best places to get trees from.

Advertise this with newspaper ads, leaflets, roadside signs and any other methods you can think of. When customers place orders don’t forget to find out the size and variety of tree they want.

  1. Sell Christmas decorations

One product line guaranteed to be selling well in late November through December is Christmas decorations – baubles, tinsel, plastic trees, lights, garlands and so on.

So earn some invaluable extra cash by getting hold of cheap stock and selling it door-to-door. Teatime and early evening is the best time to get out there.

  1. Set up a market stall

A tried and tested way of cleaning up at Christmas is simply to buy as much of the current ‘in product’ as you can. Set up a market stall and offload your stock fast. In recent years retailers made a mint from Teletubbies and Tamagotchi toys, so try to assess what the big sellers will be this year and get hold of as much stock as possible.

Consider other lines too – decorations, cards, wrapping paper, crackers, calendars and stocking fillers all sell well and carry healthy profit margins.

For suppliers, try your local cash and carry, or contact wholesalers such as Gem Discounts (01244 546920). Lanway Trading (0161 203 5666), World Stock Corporation (0121 552 5522) or Romford Cash and Carry (01708 754798).

  1. Open a Christmas clearance store

To carry the idea even further, you can generate immense profits by leasing a discussed shop for few weeks as setting up a Christmas clearance store.

Again, stock the current ‘in’ products, as well as anything and everything that relates to Christmas. Aim to clear everything by Christmas Eve (thought you can always sell off stocks cheaply in the post-Christmas sales). Low overheads and fast profits are the name of the game here.

  1. Make and sell Christmas gift packs

Gift packs are an ingenious and potentially lucrative product that will be a big seller in the run-in to Christmas.

The concept is simple. Put together a range of inexpensive goods that will suit Mums (make-up, perfume, apron, skin cream, hairbrush etc.), Dads (handkerchief, comb, driving / gardening gloves etc.), and kids (games and stocking filler toys), under the banner ‘Mum’s Gift Pack’, Dad’s Gift Pack’ and so on.

You could do the same for Grandmas, Granddads, Uncles and Aunties too.

Package the items together (a basic cellophane covered cardboard box or basket will do, plus a sticker to identify it) and get them stocked in shops.

A pack retailing at $4.99 might contain goods that cost $1, purchased in bulk from a wholesaler, so the potential profitability is enormous. The concept is a winner because it removes the difficulty of selecting presents for someone.

  1. Personalized gift wrapping service

This is an enterprise that’ll inundated with customers in any shopping centre. Set up a stall offering to wrap up people’s purchases so they can take their presents home ready-wrapped.

It’s a fantastic labor saver for worn-out shoppers. Charge a set rate per present (say $1), which will more than cover the cost of materials, ask retailers if you can use a small area of their shop for a minimal fee. Don’t forget to put up signs to attract attention. This could be another effective fundraiser for charities.

  1. Set up a Santa’s Grotto

There’s nothing kids like more at Christmas than visiting Santa’s Grotto. So construct one, creating a magical enclosed space for Santa to sit in.

This will be popular at any shopping centre, car boot / jumble sale, Christmas fayre and so on. Charge each child $1 to $2 to enter, for which they get to meet Santa Claus and take a present from the lucky dip barrel.

Your costs will be minimal. Stocking filler toys don’t cost much, and even allowing for Santa’s wages you can pull in a few hundred pounds profit for one day’s  ‘work’.

An important task is finding your Father Christmas. Ideal candidates will be male, fairly old and plump, with a big fluffy beard, twinkling eyes and a cheery laugh.

  1. Holiday ‘odd job’ service

You could set yourself up as the first port of call for a number of the services mentioned in this section. Put together a flyer listing the services you provide and head it with something like ‘Let us take care of all your Christmas needs’. If you’re too busy to take care of a customer’s requirements yourself then offer the job to a friend or a local shop / supplier – not forgetting to charge them a fee or commission for supplying the ‘sales lead’.

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