’Tis the Season to Make Money…
Some Business Opportunities this Christmas
Instead of just worrying about the unavoidable Yuletide expenses, you should start doing something about it. Instead of the usual belt tightening and hiding from your godchildren, it is more proactive to just try to increase your income.
Christmas season is the best time for entrepreneurs to start a venture. With the 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses filling pockets, the demand for goods and services is at its peak.
Although the tremendous increase in buyers is seasonal during Christmas time, you can make a generous sum of money quickly. The cash will come in handy to tide you over the holiday season’s expenses or serve as a seed capital for a future business.
Besides this, the experience you gain will serve as a priceless education for establishing an ongoing business. You will have discovered how to find low-priced suppliers and gain proficiency in balancing and financing your inventory. This is more relevant to you than just reading a book on how giant corporations manage their supply chain.
With actual practice, you will have known how to cater to your market and learned a lot regarding their opinion of your product or service. This is far better for a small entrepreneur than any academic course on marketing research.
When starting a business during the Christmas season, it is strongly advised that you refrain from buying unnecessary fixed assets. The level of sales will certainly dive after December and you will find it difficult to guess how low that can get. An acquaintance of mine bought a small van for her catering business but after the peak season it was hardly used. Until now, they are still paying for the installment on the vehicle.
There are countless businesses that are ideal for the Yuletide season. The following list is just to give you some ideas to jumpstart your search:
• Sell homemade food items. If you enjoy baking or cooking then this may be the most suitable for you. This is a product that is easy to sell and requires very low capital. You can upgrade your skills later on with short courses if you want to expand your offerings.
• Sell toys and gifts. Children demand gifts during Christmas and all of us either have kids or have godchildren, spouses, and other relatives to be gifted. If you can offer low priced toys and gift items then you will spare a lot of people from braving the crowds at Divisoria or buying more expensive items in the malls.
• Participate in tiangges or bazaars. If your personal network is not sufficient for your products, you can try looking for short term retail locations. There are many establishments that conduct tiangges during Christmas season. I would advise you though not to compete in places like well-known malls unless you have plenty of capital and experience. Not only is the rental exorbitant but the competition is cutthroat. The stall owners there are frequently manufacturers and direct importers!
• Go into catering . With so many parties going on, this business is easy to market. What you need here besides cooking skills is the ability to be organized while under stress since so many unexpected things may happen, like the arrival of unanticipated guests.
• Put up a party needs business. This business is in demand during the holiday season. This covers a wide array of products and services, from balloons, tables and chairs, and karaoke and sound systems. You may start with the less expensive items first and gradually build up your services.
• Have a garage sale. Strictly speaking, you may not classify this as a business. However, there are some who seem to be conducting garage sales rather frequently! Anyway, at the very least, you can generate cash while freeing up space in your house.
• Sell homemade crafts. One of the most profitable things to sell are your homemade crafts because they are often more interesting than the mass produced products. One of the most popular crafts that sell is bead works. Besides your personal network, there are many retailers you may sell your crafts to.
• Sell items from your province. If you frequently travel to the provinces you may be able to maximize your trips by bringing along items you can sell. I had a friend who regularly goes to Baguio. She decided to open a store in a nearby public market selling brooms and similar products native to Baguio. Her profit margins were excellent because she had no transportation expenses. Although her business closed shortly after the Christmas season due to low sales, she was able to earn several times her investment of a few hundred thousand pesos before the season ended.
It is easiest to make a profit during Christmas. Plan to recover your investment plus your desired earnings within the season. As already mentioned, there will normally be a drastic drop in sales after December and you may not even earn enough to break even in these types of ventures. Nevertheless, the lessons you will learn along with the cash you will earn will serve as a strong foundation to launch your entrepreneurial career on a more permanent basis.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.
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