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The holiday season is such a busy time that you might not think of taking a stampede gig. This is the perfect time to do it because you’re not the only one whose time is stretched to the limit. Everyone goes in ten directions at once; now is your chance to step in, lend a hand and make some money. Maybe you’d like to save some cash for that weekend getaway during the cold winter months or pay off those scorching credit cards after your busy shopping season. Let’s look at some great seasonal hustles that also let you enjoy the fun of the holidays.
Related: The holiday season means more people are getting into side hustle — the difference this year? They don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
1. Put your e-business live at a trade show or festival
The holiday season is bustling with craft fairs and shopping festivals. Here’s your chance to combine a side hustle with valuable business research. My company, Hollywood Sensation Jewelry, has been an online business since the beginning. This year, my ingenious husband Anthony Hood invited us to participate in Sunset Market, a huge open-air market in Oceanside.
Economically enough, we rented a booth, set up a tent, and spent four hours selling Hollywood Sensation products in public. I admit I had my doubts about whether it would work for us, and I was even nervous about the interaction with the audience. But, if you pardon the pun, the results were sensational! We sold more than enough to offset our expenses. More than that, however, we received live feedback from real customers who we got to talk to one-on-one.
If you have a product that you have never released from the online store, check your community calendar for upcoming festivals, conventions and fairs to benefit from a new source of income and free market research. The cost of renting a booth will vary depending on popularity and attendance at the event. I recommend starting small and increasing if all goes well. Be sure to select an event that matches your brand. We might not want to take Hollywood Sensation Jewelry to a plumbing show, but this sunset beach vibe was perfect for a little glam.
Related: Unlike Many Things That Take a Lot of Work, Trade Shows Are Worth It
2. Bring your skills to the masses
Do you have a gift for holiday decorating? Want a gift wrap? Event planning? Delicious pastries? Well, not everyone does, and that’s why they need your services, especially at this time of year. Maybe you have a holiday cake or cookie recipe that’s getting rave reviews everywhere you go. Let people in the office and at church know that you are available to prepare one for them as well.
Use social media to get your name out there as someone who can put up a beautiful Christmas tree (indoors or outdoors) and decorate hallways. And don’t forget – while a lot of people love decorating for Christmas, hardly anyone likes to put it all back down. Are you ready to untangle, repackage and box all that holly and mistletoe? Maybe you have a van and can transport trees for responsible disposal.
Sites like TaskRabbit.com let you create an account to help with an unlimited variety of tasks and get customer reviews to build your reputation and generate even more business. For example, TaskRabbit offers the following average costs for these services: “Party Clean Up” for $49-$80, “Toy Assembly” for $40-$99, and “Christmas Decorating” for $48-$86. You can even get paid to queue for someone else. I am not joking!
Related: 44 Profitable Ideas to Earn Extra Cash on the Side
3. Enjoy the benefits of seasonal employment
Stores and delivery companies are still looking for reliable help for the season. Presenting yourself as an excellent seasonal employee means that you can almost certainly be hired the following year. And don’t forget that many stores offer their regular discounts to seasonal workers. If you have your eye on an expensive purchase, you could get 10% or more off the cost. My friend worked for five weeks at a furniture store and saved his family a bundle on new flooring and a refrigerator.
Here’s another option: Party businesses are under pressure this time of year and they need people to prep, decorate, serve, check in guests, take coats, valets, organize table games and clean up afterwards . I have a friend who does blackjack over the holidays and loves it. She attends several fancy parties every year, hears the bands, meets fun people who are all having a good time, and gets paid to do it.
Salaries for seasonal jobs depend on your location, but here are some examples. On average, delivery companies pay around $16.00 per hour, warehouses around $13.80, and in-store gift wrapping companies earn around $12.00 per hour. When applying to retail stores with an eye on shopping, ask if their employee discount extends to seasonal aid.
Related: Start an Amazon Side Hustle and Earn Extra Cash
4. Be a babysitter
What do holidays bring besides a good mood? Travelers! People have places to go and things to do, whether it’s for a night out, a day of shopping away from the kids, or two weeks out of town. Relieve their travel stress by being the person holding the fort. Reliable and friendly child care, elder care, house sitting and pet care services provide relief to everyone.
It’s a relief to know that someone is there to keep an eye on the house or watch over older relationships to make sure everything is safe. Again, several gig websites allow you to register as a caretaker (check out Rover.com or Care.com, for example). Or, set up shop in a neighborhood as a terrific home – or pet sitter, and you’ll get more offers. Word travels quickly on owners’ websites, and having multiple gigs in the same neighborhood adds to your convenience.
enjoy your holidays
A bustle during the holidays is more than just a way to supplement your income. Immersing yourself in the holiday atmosphere is a great way to soak up the spirit of the season, ease the stress of others, and create wonderful memories. Sure, giving is better than receiving, but if you can do both simultaneously with a holiday hustle, that’s a great reason to celebrate.