Summer is for long road trips, sunny picnics, camping by the lakeside, and other outdoor activities.
But if you're struggling financially or simply want to make money to prepare for future expenses and emergencies, then you're probably scouring the internet right now and asking "Which business is best in summer?"
If you're wondering what businesses are in high demand right now or you want to know how to come up with a profitable business idea, then you've come to the right place.
In this blog, we listed the top 12 summer business ideas you can start right this instant.
Whether you want to join the 59-million strong gig economy workers in the US by setting up your own freelance writing business or you wish to try something unconventional like driveway sealcoating, we have the best small business ideas for this summer that you can cash in on.
1. Start an Asphalt Driveway Sealcoating Business
Do you like working outdoors? Are you one of those people who doesn't mind the smell of sealer or the heat of the sun while working? Does the sight of asphalt cracks or potholes make you curious about how they can be fixed?
Then asphalt driveway sealcoating is a good business idea you can explore this summer.
The beauty of driveway sealcoating is that it doesn't require tens of thousands of dollars in startup capital or intensive training.
Many residential and commercial properties have asphalt driveways, so rest assured that you will not run out of customers.
To make more money, you can also expand your services to crack repair and pothole patching once you've mastered the art of sealcoating. You can even branch out to line striping and stenciling if you wish.
But is sealcoating a good summer business?
The answer is yes, it is. In fact, you can charge anywhere between $0.25 and $0.45 per square foot of pavement you sealcoat.
Let's say that you're sealcoating a 700 sq ft driveway. That means you can earn anywhere between $175 and $315 depending on the price you set for your service.
The price of crack filling using hot pour rubberized crack filler is set at $1 to $1.50 per linear foot, while patching a pothole costs $25 per square foot.
Line stripers, on the other hand, earn as much as $2 per linear foot of pavement painted.
Note: Price for these services can vary depending on the cost of goods, your labor cost, and your overhead cost.
How do I start a sealcoating business?
Take our Driveway Sealcoating Kickstart Course to learn everything you need about this business and see for yourself if it's for you.
Not convinced yet? Read this blog to learn why it's a great idea to start a driveway sealing business this summer.
2. Start a Garden and Lawn Maintenance Business
If you like working outdoors, can operate a lawn mower, and have a green thumb, then starting a garden and lawn care business is definitely for you.
The question is: is it profitable?
Garden and lawn maintenance, in general, is a stable and profitable business. But you can get recurring business and consistent income if you offer your services in largely suburban areas as your income will mainly come from lawn mowing.
What you need to get started
You probably want to get into this business because you mowed lawns as a teenager. But you need more than that if you want to start a lawn and garden maintenance venture.
If you're employed in this sector now, then you already have a head start.
But if not, then apply as an apprentice or employee to an established lawn care provider to learn everything you can about lawn maintenance, gardening, weed control, aeration, and more before you take the plunge.
You can also take short courses online, but then again nothing beats hands-on experience.
Another option you can explore is to enroll in a landscape and garden maintenance program offered by community college and vocational schools.
If you're planning to set up a lawn maintenance gig this summer, then start with simple services, such as lawn mowing, yard cleanup, leaf removal, and gutter cleaning.
Once you have substantial experience, you can expand your services to gardening, advanced landscaping, etc.
Do you have a hobby, interest, or information that you want to share? Do you have a passion for the written word, and can you write in an informative and entertaining way?
Do you have basic knowledge of content management systems, domain names, website builders, plugins, and HTML?
This might look like a job posting at first, but these are prerequisites to starting a blog.
If you're not yet familiar with these concepts, then it's time to learn. There are free resources online where you can learn about blogging, including WPBeginner, The Blog Starter, and First Site Guide.
Is blogging a lucrative venture this summer?
The short answer is yes, but choose your niche carefully. Your thoughts, feelings, and obscure interests may seem important enough to share on a blog, but finding a large audience and monetizing your blog is going to be a challenge.
What are the most lucrative blogging niches? Here are some examples.
- How to make money
- Food and recipes
- Digital marketing
- Beauty and fashion
How do you make money blogging?
Ads are the primary source of income for many bloggers. You can also make money with affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and memberships.
4. Get Into Online Course Creation
This is a bit similar to blogging in the sense that you are sharing what you know and what you're interested in.
But an online course has a more specific topic to tackle and is created for a specific audience. It can be about music, copywriting, SEO, coding, or photography – the list is virtually endless.
Let's talk about profits. Some creators generate free courses to gain a solid base of audience and cultivate trust. But if you're confident in your skills, knowledge, and the value that you offer, then don't hesitate to put a price tag on it and charge up front!
Is course creation a lucrative venture?
Yes, but make sure that you're not creating a course in a very competitive niche.
If you're in a competitive niche, ensure that you are the best person to tackle that particular subject and that your course is more in-depth than most.
Invest in marketing and be aggressive in promoting your course on different social media channels.
Whether you're planning to create music lessons or aerial photography using drones, the question is how do you get started as a course creator?
First, choose a topic you've mastered or are skillful in.
Of course, you can create a course on any topic that you're passionate about. But your goal is to make money this summer so make sure that there is a high demand for it.
Create an outline of your course and determine how long it should be. Next, break down your course content into modules.
Purchase a good camera and mic that fits your budget and start recording your videos. If you have a limited budget, you can always use your phone to record videos provided that it has good photo and audio quality.
Edit your content, and you're ready to launch your content on your preferred course provider's website.
5. Residential and Commercial Property Cleaning
Cleaning services (basic residential cleaning, office cleaning, spring cleaning, etc.) is another money-making idea you can try this summer.
On average, cleaners earn $14 per hour but you can earn more depending on the area that you service and the type of services that you offer.
Can you start a cleaning business this summer without solid experience to back you up? Ideally, you should have experience in this industry before you take the plunge.
But if you're a complete newbie, then you have three options. First is enrolling in basic residential and commercial cleaning course online.
You can also enroll in a cleaning course offered by your community college or enroll in a course offered by a vocational training institution.
What do you need to get started?
Start by buying cleaning supplies, of course! You'll need to invest in rags, multipurpose cleaners, toilet cleaners, scouring pads, etc.
You'll also need a vacuum cleaner, duster, broom, disinfectant, and more. Take a look at this checklist for a list of complete cleaning supplies for your business.
6. Become a Swim Instructor
If you're a strong swimmer and you're a people person, then this summer is the best time to give swimming lessons.
You can apply to become a swim instructor in your local aquatic center or public pool, or you can also provide private swimming instruction in people's homes.
How does one become a swim instructor?
The first step is to acquire any of the two Swim Instructor Certifications from the American Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross.
The first certification is the Basic Swim Instructor (BSI) certification, while the second is the Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification. Refer to this web page to learn more about these two certifications.
It is also prudent to take lifesaving, CPR, and first aid courses from the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross. And that's it. You're ready to hand out flyers and advertise your swimming lessons on social media.
7. Pet Grooming
They say that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. So if you love cats and dogs, then, this is definitely the best summer business idea for you.
Is pet grooming profitable?
Let's take a look at the numbers to see if this venture is lucrative enough for you.
Pet groomers employed by pet shops have an average base salary of $19 per hour or $41,000 per year. Self-employed dog groomers, on the other hand, can expect to earn anywhere between $30,000 and $103,000 per year.
What it takes to become a pet groomer
What we love about pet grooming is that the barriers to entry are relatively low, but there are still things you need to consider before becoming a pet groomer.
First, you need to consider the area you are living in and whether you have a sustainable market for dog and cat grooming.
You also have to have a genuine positive regard for all animals, and not just your pet.
Keep in mind that animals have different personalities. Some are calm and docile even with strangers, while others are skittish and shy.
Others are outright reactive or aggressive and will not mind biting or scratching if they feel uncomfortable or threatened.
On that note, how comfortable and patient are you in dealing with reactive pets?
Do you have a plan in case a dog bites you? Are you cool, calm, and collected when emergencies strikes? In addition, how do you deal with demanding or neglectful pet owners?
You'll be lifting heavy dogs from the ground to the tub to the grooming table so consider your overall health.
And lastly, you're going to deal with a lot of smelly and gross stuff. So it's best evaluate yourself if you have high tolerance for these stuff?
These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourself before you take the plunge.
How do you get started as a pet groomer?
It's important for a prospective pet groomer to have real world experience with animals (other than their pets) so they know how to deal with different personalities.
Volunteer and spend your time helping at a local kennel and animal shelter to be comfortable with all types of dogs and cats.
Refine your skills by borrowing books from the library or watching videos on pet grooming.
You can also enroll in a pet grooming course online or go to a private pet grooming school.
PetSmart, for example, offers free paid training to people interested in pet grooming. But keep in mind that PetSmart will want you to stay on, so that might throw a monkey wrench in your plans as a self-employed or independent pet groomer.
Lastly, you can work and be mentored by a professional groomer for a year or so before you build your own pet grooming business.
Although you don't need to be certified as a pet groomer to start working as one, it's important to do things properly and legally at the onset so you don't lose customers.
8. Build and Sell Themes Online
If writing and maintaining a blog is not your cup of tea but you're great at writing code, then try building and selling themes online this summer.
How much do the most successful theme developers make?
The most successful theme developers make up to $500,000 a year, and you, too, can get a piece of the pie.
How do you get started as a theme developer?
You should also have experience in WordPress and other content management systems. Experience in website staging environments will also be helpful when you're building themes.
9. Set Up an Ice Cream Shop
Another summer business idea to try is opening an ice cream shop. And why not? The heat is sweltering outside, and everyone wants nothing more than a cold dessert to keep them refreshed.
There's no denying that Americans and Canadians love ice cream. The average American consumes around 4 gallons of this dessert yearly, while the average Canadian consumes 1.4 gallons of ice cream every year.
Is an ice cream business a profitable summer venture?
The answer is yes. But there are different factors that will determine your profitability, including your business's location and whether you're operating an ice cream stand, truck, or a brick-and-mortar shop.
And while there are people who eat ice cream all year round, keep in mind that this is largely a spring and summer gig, and you need to consider your contingency plan come winter.
How do you start an ice cream shop?
Learn everything you can about commercial ice cream making before you commit to this business.
You can enroll in an online course or learn ice cream making in-person from a culinary school or specialty ice cream school.
You can also read books about ice cream making or work in an ice cream shop to get some hands-on experience.
Next, consider if you want to set up an ice cream truck, a brick-and-mortar shop, or a stand.
If you live near tourist areas, then ice cream trucks and stands are a good choice. These options allow you to travel to tourist areas easily and make a lot of money during summer.
But if ice cream is truly your passion and you want to make money all year round, then choose a brick-and-mortar store instead.
Don't just stick to standard chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Offer a wider variety of flavors to boost your shop's profitability. It also doesn't hurt if you know how to make and serve gelato and soft-serve ice cream.
Here's a more in-depth guide on starting your own ice cream store.
10. Become a House and Pet Sitter
Need a business opportunity that has a very low barrier to entry? Then try house and pet sitting! This is a good business idea to start this summer as many homeowners go on vacation and can't take their pets with them.
There are many benefits to being a house sitter. You get free accommodation and you get paid to take care of someone else's home.
You get to save money on utilities, and if you're traveling abroad, you get to live like a local. Plus, you get to take care of and befriend the owners' cute pets.
House sitting can be full-time or part-time. But whether you want to go full-time or part-time, you can still explore other opportunities to make more money.
Can you make a living off of house and pet sitting?
Yes, as long as your rates are sustainable and you don't sell yourself short. Compensation for house sitting can range anywhere between $25 and $50 per day, but you can charge more if pet sitting is included in the contract.
How to start a house sitting business?
There are two options you can explore to work as a house sitter. First, you can sign up on a house sitting website and advertise your services there. Check out sites like Trusted House Sitters, House Sitters America, Nomador, HouseCarers, and more.
Second, you can be an independent house sitter and set up your own house-sitting business. Both options have their pros and cons, so do your research and choose the one that is more financially viable for you.
11. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is a type of order fulfillment process that does not require a business owner to have the merchandise they are selling in their inventory.
For dropshipping to work, you need to set up your store, find a reliable third-party supplier of the goods to sell, and you're good to go.
So who's in charge of shipping the goods to your buyers? The third-party supplier, of course! All you have to do is find the right products to sell, add them to your shop, and promote them.
Is dropshipping a profitable summer business venture?
Yes, dropshipping can be profitable if you choose the right products. With dropshipping, it's important to maintain sustainable profit margins and choose the most reliable supplier that offers high-quality products.
How to get started with dropshipping?
First, find products you're interested in selling. Check out Google Trends and other online tools to find trending and best-selling products.
Create an eCommerce store on the platform of your choice. Shopify is the most popular eCommerce platform right now, but you can also set up your store in BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Squarespace, and more.
Choose the business structure that is right for you, and set up your business bank accounts. Once everything is in place, you can now promote your products.
12. Set Up a Freelance Writing Business
If you have the flair and passion for writing, then it's a good idea to start a freelance writing business this summer.
This is a good business venture if you are the type of person who can convey their thoughts clearly and are able to convince their audience.
Being good at research, understanding what your audience wants, and persistence are prerequisites to being a good writer.
Is freelance writing a profitable business?
It can be profitable if you know your strengths and you're writing the right content type.
There are many content types you can explore when it comes to freelance writing. You can focus on long-form blogging, copywriting, or email writing.
Or you can create ebooks or write white papers. Choose the one that fits your strengths as a writer.
So how do you get started as a freelance writer?
If you want to start a content or copywriting business, the first thing to do is find a client. And where do you find clients? Try freelancing sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, Simply Hired, etc. You can also find writing clients by word-of-mouth or through LinkedIn.
What about writing ebooks for platforms such as Amazon Kindle Publishing (now known as Kindle Publishing Direct), Smashwords, and Apple Books?
First, decide on whether you want to write nonfiction or fiction ebooks.
If you wish to write nonfiction, choose a topic that interests you. It can be anything and everything under the sun, including how-to guides, essays, self-help, etc.
You can also publish fiction ebooks on these platforms. In fact, this is the more lucrative route as fiction books sell more copies compared to nonfiction ones.
Some popular genres you can write include romance, fantasy, science fiction, thriller, and mystery.
Tip: Start your ebook writing career on the right path by reading the platform's rules on what you can write and what is not allowed.
BONUS: 22 Additional Summer Business Ideas
- Set up a daycare center
- Offer pool cleaning services
- Dog Walking
- Tutoring (abroad or local; remote or in-person)
- Start a YouTube channel
- Sell handicrafts on Etsy
- Sell secondhand clothes online
- Become a surfing instructor
- Become a yoga or Pilates instructor
- Rent out inflatables
- Sell smoothies and fruit juices
- Give in-person music lessons
- Transcribe audio files
- Offer web design services
- Offer web development services
- Start a food truck business
- Digital marketing
- Offer graphic design
- Handyman services
- Become a personal trainer
- Try part-time photography
- Offer event planning and promotion
- Illustrate book covers
We hope that by now you have chosen the best summer business idea that matches your skills, talent, and experience. We wish you good luck whether you choose to venture into driveway sealcoating, house sitting, or something else.
But if you do decide to venture into asphalt maintenance, don't hesitate to reach out to us, and we'll help you build the foundation of your own asphalt kingdom.