Summer is a time for fun in the sun. But for high school and college students or people who just want to work in the summer months, starting your own business might be just the answer for how to spend your summer vacation.
As with any startup, you should check with your local government to find out if any special licenses or bonds are needed for the specific service you offer. If you plan to go into food service, see if you need any inspections or special training from your local health department.
You will also need to determine what kind of a business structure you want to establish – sole proprietor, limited liability company, general partnership – and you also will likely need to establish a trade name, also known as the “doing business as” name, and register it with your county clerk.
If your summer business requires special equipment, such as lawn care or pool care machinery, a food truck or house-painting equipment, you will want to have that in place before your first gig.
In most business scenarios, you will need a separate bank account for your venture. That could include obtaining a business credit card (cash-back cards are highly recommended) and exploring the financing opportunities banks and other lending institutions have to get you going.
These are some of the best seasonal business ideas for warm weather from Fundera to set your seasonal business up the right way.
Lawn care: This is an easy startup that doesn’t require much equipment that you might not already have. Fundera recommends establishing a landscape business as a limited liability company to protect your personal assets against any legal action a customer might take if there is an accidental weed-killer spill on his or her new sod.
Fireworks retailer: Michigan lifted restrictions on personal use of commercial fireworks in 2012, and since that time summer fireworks outlets have boomed. Be sure to check changes to the law for 2019, as municipalities have more of a say in the times and number of days when fireworks can be launched. Fundera recommends a short-term loan to cover expenses during the window of time that fireworks can be sold. Such a loan provides fast cash, but also requires a faster repayment. This type of loan tends to one of the more expensive borrowing options out there, and Fundera recommends you be absolutely sure that your business has the financial bandwidth to repay your short-term loan before seeking one out.
Swimming pool maintenance: The home swimming pool season in Michigan is pretty short, and pool owners who don’t want to bother themselves with cleaning and maintaining the pool reach out to others to do the dirty work. After checking with state and local governments about licensing requirements, you’ll need a van and equipment. Fundera recommends looking into obtaining an equipment loan. Banks collateralize the equipment you’ve purchased, rather than requiring you to put up your own money or property to secure the loan. A business credit card would also help with the chemicals and other pool-cleaning items that might have to be restocked often.
Pet-sitting service: Summer is vacation time, and not every family takes Fido to Disney World with them. Enter pet-sitters. Fundera says entrepreneurs in this field should operate as a sole proprietor, have liability insurance and a bit of operating capital for dog treats and other necessities. Since expenses are fairly low, most pet-sitters can get by with just a business credit card.
Food truck: The popularity of food trucks is going through the roof. If you haven’t already begun to look into the permits and licenses and official government sign-offs by now, you might miss the early part of food-truck season. And if you haven’t leased or purchased and equipped a food truck yet, plan on trying to make a buck at winter festivals. You also need to fully stock the truck with the food items and other necessities. Fundera says a business line of credit can help food truck owners as they can borrow money as it is needed.