summer small business ideas

Summer small business – maximise sales and develop ideas

small business for summerThe summer of 2021 is edging ever closer by the day and it promises to be as close a return to normality as any of us have seen for a long time.

With this in mind, it is time for the small businesses around the country to rise up and take advantage of this occasion; make this summer a big one for your company.

The vast majority of businesses are back open and fully functioning again, but there are certain things independent retailers can do to boost sales this summer. We want to let you know what your business may potentially be able to do in order to make the most of this summer and fill it with record-breaking profits.

On the other hand, if you do not yet own your own business venture, fear not. We are going to be making suggestions to you of ideas that could work as a seasonal business model throughout the summer each year. These suggestions could turn into something more if you choose to pursue them, but they will at the very least give you a taste of what it’s like to own your own venture.

The Summer Slowdown

Traditionally, the summer months are known to be slow for businesses. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Summer Holidays – Summer is typically when families leave town for a fun summer holiday. Whether it’s a camping trip, a staycation or simply leaving the house in search of adventure. That means there are fewer people around to visit your business (unless your location is in a tourist destination).
  • Regular schedules are disrupted – With the summer school holidays in effect, parents’ routines often change. That means no more morning coffee rush at your corner café after the school run. Businesses in university towns can see declines during the summer months as well. Ultimately, if your business relies on regulars, the summer season can be tricky.
  • It’s hot out – During those sweltering summer days, we can dream of this in the UK, leaving the house can feel like a Herculean task. The average customer might opt to stay home rather than brave the heat to attend your summer sale.
  • Less people in the office – There are less people in the office due to events like the Euro’s, more people are working from home, so not everyone is in front of a computer, again reducing businesses visibility online.

All of these factors add up to what’s referred to as the “summer slowdown,” which can sometimes leave small businesses scrambling to make ends meet.  However, there seems to be a buzz going around that this year could be different.

Consider a pop-up business venture this summer

When the sun is out and the high streets are filled with people searching for things to entertain them after the social distancing period of COVID-19, you have the opportunity to capture the hearts of the public. This point is particularly apparent if you own either a bar or restaurant.

You can use a pop-up stall to take your summer business ideas to a new location for a brief period of time, which will help you in a number of ways. One, you’ll get your name out there and reach a new audience, which is great for growth. Secondly, if you have mainly acted as an online-only venture up to now, you can utilise a pop-up stand to test out whether it’d be worth it for you to have a physical store or not.

We will discuss a pop-up business model in the summer small business ideas section of this article a little later on, so please keep reading for more information on that.

Update your website 

Momentarily changing the theme of your website to look more ‘summer-ready’ is an ideal way to boost the amount of online engagement you’ll be getting over this period. This is a simple touch that will likely get your audience engaged, particularly people that visit your business regularly, who will notice any updates and appreciate them more than others may.

Digital marketing should be of the utmost importance to you when looking out for new ways to create extra attention around your own business ideas. If you are running a venture that has gone a little stale over recent months, in terms and both sales and the offerings you present to customers and clients alike, it is probably time for something to change.

Don’t be afraid of taking things into a new direction and dramatically diverting from your original business plan in certain areas. Updates to your website can just be the start of changes that will make your business better and improve its chances of connecting with an audience over the long-term. Look for inspiration from other companies that are similar to that of your own and plot your route for success from there onwards.

Change up your product packaging

It is clear just how important custom packaging is for small business brands in today’s society. It is often the very thing that identifies them to their audience members and allows them to stand out within a crowded marketplace.

Packaging is the only thing that reaches 100% of your customers and is the first step in creating a memorable purchasing experience, which is essential around this time of yearUnique Summer packaging for your products over this time can be highly effective. Furthermore, when you begin to couple this with interesting and unique products, it can help create a sense of ‘exclusivity’ around your product.

Shoppers often want what they can’t find in other areas, so showing off your business’ unique elements is very important when trying to push your sales forward. Packaging of items simply cannot be overlooked within this area. How you present the very things you sell and make money from is highly important to your customer base, so try not to allow it to be an afterthought; it should be considered just as intensely as the new product ideas you come up with month after month.

Social media accounts in the summer

The social media pages attached to your business should be wisely utilised around the main seasons, including summer itself. By developing content that links to Summer, you’re likely to see more engagement from new users. This is because people relate the summer period with fun times, being outside and warm weather.

You see, Summer-based marketing campaigns shouldn’t only take place in stores or websites, but rather through the entirety of a business’ core when they’re trying to maximise sales and levels of audience engagement. Marketing ideas can come in all shapes and sizes, but if you want to truly muster up that summertime feeling within your company, don’t forget to put the word out there. Utilising your many different social media channels is the perfect way to do that.

Social media is one of the best ways to capture potential customers of the future, so just as long as you’re posting about things that will engage with their personal interests, including Summer and things that happen in that time, you’re doing the right thing for your venture.

Around this time of the year you should focus your efforts on Instagram posts, or other social media websites that can create interactions between the business and its consumers. You could have polls and other kinds of voting activities on Twitter, interactive stories on Instagram and heavily utilised comments sections under Facebook posts.

Social media accounts are free so if you own a small business, make sure it has them and get them posting actively in order to connect further with your audience.

Look for user generated content

Holding a social media competition and asking for user generated content is a great way to gather excitement during a traditionally slow sales period. Not only is a social media contest great for engaging customers and increasing page views, but it also creates goodwill for your business.

For best results, incorporate the time of year into your contest while personalising it to reflect the type of business you operate. For instance, an online clothing retailer could ask followers to send in photos of outfits they’re wearing when going to a beer garden this summer.

Social media is always popular, regardless of the time of year, so looking for ways to boost your sales on those platforms is always a wise decision. You don’t necessarily need to be a master of a particular social media platform to connect with people on it in a meaningful way. Just incorporating your audience into your thought process and searching for new ways to get them involved in the overall conversation surrounding your business venture is a great place to start.

The longer you go on gaining user generated content for the use of your business online, the better you will become at interacting with your own unique audience. Practice does tend to make perfect in most business scenarios, so if you fail at first, try and try again.

Summer small business ideas

Perhaps you don’t yet own a business of your own, but the sound of starting one is an appealing prospect to you. In this case, there are loads of short-term solutions you can find in order to test out your strengths as a future business owner and take risks without having the chance of being financially punished for it. These business ideas run from tiny ventures to seasonal ones that could make a return year after year, though only you yourself will understand what the right fit for you is.

The great thing about starting a new business is that you can choose the perfect time to do so. The summer is a season where lots of ventures thrive, due to the good weather, the outdoor opportunities it presents us with, and the togetherness it inspires people to feel.

With this in mind, we’d like to run you through a list of small business ideas that would be ideal for the summer season.

Pool maintenance

Many residents of the UK may find this to be irrelevant, as it is rarely pool weather around here, nor is it the norm to own a swimming pool of your own. However, you may live in a wealthier city-based area where pools are a little more common. Setting up a seasonal businesses that focuses on pool cleaning business may be a great idea for a student looking to gain some experience and make a small fortune while the sun is shining.

Run a summer camp

By putting on some sort of camp during the summer, you’ll give parents an opportunity to keep their kids busy and entertained. During the school holidays each year, many people look for places to go with their children in order to keep them both happy and occupied.

Your summer camp can consist of many things such as sports, outdoor activities, or even electronics and computers if you prefer. For this to become a successful summer venture you will need the help of others and a well thought out daily activity list, so be prepared to do some planning before the event gets going.

If you have little or no experience in running a summer camp, look into what is required to do so before you take the plunge. The good news here is that if your business idea is successful, you will be able to run it on a yearly basis.

Run an Airbnb

If you have the free space to do so, you could turn your home into an Airbnb over the summer holidays and attract tourists to stay. This will be much more achievable if you live in a location where large numbers of people like to visit every year, though things are slightly different at the moment.

Due to the current social distancing rules in the United Kingdom, you may find that your audience is largely people who are already living in the country. These people are desperate for some sort of break or getaway after so long, so they will be more than ready to pay a hefty fee to go to the seaside for a week or experience a city break.

The Coronavirus pandemic has robbed people of summer vacations, and now things are slowly starting to get back to normal, the demand for them will be extremely high from this point onwards.

Summer job coordinator

Lots of people look for work during the summertime. Students that are saving for the next year of university, folks that want some extra cash before they go away on holiday for a few weeks, and even more. Do you know people that are currently looking for work? Well, if you do, this is where you can step in and make some cash of your own.

Think of this as something akin to a recruitment agency. You would be the one finding jobs for your friends and you’ll work with employers who require seasonal workers. If you are looking to raise some cash and you want to avoid working for someone else for the time being, perhaps this is a great next step for you to take.

Drive-in cinema

The common complaint about going to the cinema is how it always costs a fortune. Well, this year you can be the one taking in the money by hosting your own drive-in movie theatre. You will need to either rent out a field or carpark and get a large screen that can be seen from far away. Though, by going to the trouble of purchasing the essentials needed here, you will be offering people a retro experience that can take place even if Covid-19 restrictions return to the UK at some point in the future.

In the right areas there are sure to be crowds for this type of business model, so perform the market research required and see if this is something worth giving the green light to. Capitalise on the nostalgia effect many people experience from retro styled products and services. That is one of the reasons behind boosted sales in a huge number of sectors within modern western society.

Food truck or pop-up restaurant

Are food trucks worth it? In the right environment they most certainly can be. If you want to attend a music festival, or other large outdoor event this summer, utilising a pop-up stall that sells food and beverages could be the way to go.

Not only will you be operating in a location filled with thousands of people that will all need to eat on-site at some point of the day, but also the demand for drinks will be very high, especially if the weather is on your side.

When you’ve chosen a festival where you can bear the cost of the forthright expense of the pitch, it’s an ideal opportunity to get the number cruncher out and gauge the amount you’d be set to make at the occasion. When you know this, you can remove your expenses, and afterward you’ll know whether the net revenue will be sufficient to make going to the event worthwhile.

Local car washing service

If you want to make some cash over the summer while keeping things close to home, why not set up a local car wash? Sure, you may have to get creative with your marketing methods in order to attract people to your venture, but the overhead costs will be at an all-time low.

All you will have to buy is a few buckets, some soap, a couple of pairs of gloves, and you’ll be on your way in no time. Oh, and don’t forget to cross your fingers for the sunshine. Without that you may struggle to keep this business model going for very long.

Something like this is a great first step into the world of business and a useful way to make some quick money over the summer. If you are saving up for the start of an upcoming business degree or college course, this may prove to be one of the great student business ideas.


If you are good around children, you could try your hand at being a nanny over the summer and making some money while you do it. The great advantage of this line of work is that you’ll never be expected to work overly long hours and you can charge a reasonable rate for your time.

You will need to be a trustworthy member of your local community for this idea to come together, as you will be relying on other parents to put their faith in you as you babysit their kids. If one of your talents is people skills, then you may turn out to be a brilliant fit for childcare services. 

Ice cream van or stand

There isn’t really anything quite like a nice cold ice cream when you are relaxing in the baking hot sun. As soon as we hear the music start to play, the temptation is often too strong to resist, and we all end up buying one. Therefore, running an ice cream business could be ideal for you this summer.

If you have a van to work from, you’ll be mobile, which is always something that increases the number of customers you can serve. If you can venture around, town rather than staying in just one spot, you’ll make more cash from selling ice creams.

However, the thing to consider here is that this sort of business format isn’t always rewarding for short-term owners. Buying a truck and modifying it in a way that works for your business can become costly and fast. Be careful before jumping into this without first doing some serious research.

Jet Ski rental service

This one is exactly what it says on the tin, but if you live in a coastal town, this may just be the perfect business for you to begin. Again, this particular idea is ideal for those new entrepreneurs that want to dip their toe in the water of the business world. If starting a venture of your own sounds better than getting a summer job, then perhaps this is the best option for you to take.

Any rental service starts with the business owner purchasing the necessary equipment, so check your financial status before attempting to start up this summer small business idea.

Organise a music festival

This may sound like an idea that is way out of your depth if you are lacking in experience, though it may be more feasible than you first think. If you organise a smaller-sized music festival that consists of mainly local performers and takes place in a small venue, then there is nothing stopping you from doing this successfully.

You’ll need to plan an event like this in plenty of time, but with the right attitude and the correct timescale, you can definitely make a good go of things. If you create a new festival in your local town or city, then it could grow year on year, and you could be part of music history. If organising events is your skill, then this is an ideal way to kickstart a career within that sector.

Dog walking

Your skills as a dog walker could benefit both you and your clients. This line of work will get you outside and away from things like computer screens, so you’ll be able to soak in the summer and get some vitamin D, which is highly important when trying to reduce stress levels. Your clients will benefit because you’ll be receiving them of one of their daily duties.

There are a few different reasons why people would need dog walkers in the summer months. Firstly, many people go away on holiday during the summertime and become unable to walk their pets for a while. Secondly, work amongst other responsibilities may just build up and get in the way during busier periods. This all means that your services will always be in high demand.

If you are a dog owner or lover of dogs yourself, you will most likely love this line of work and become an avid dog walker, all while making a tidy profit for your time and effort. Remember that performing exercise is a massive health benefit to you and this small business idea can work as a great way of keeping on top of that.

Consider starting a blog

If you want to dip your toe into the world of business without being concerned with the financial side of things this summer, why not start a blog and see how it grows. You should have enough time to do this alongside your job, as more of a hobby, as long as you keep your content short and concise.

If the business idea generates into something bigger over time, that will be a bonus and a great success. Although, if that isn’t what happens you will still have enjoyed the journey along the way and created something from scratch all by yourself.

To make your blog a success it will take a lot of hard work and determination, but it is most certainly something that you can achieve over time if you have the right mentality and attitude.

Online clothing retailers 

Selling your own custom clothes online, using social media stores, which are offered on the likes of Instagram and Facebook, is a great way of establishing a brand and making cash over the summer. Once again, this type of idea is ideal for people that haven’t yet gained much experience in the world of business and are looking for a way in.

You can easily design custom clothing items, such as t shirts and hoodies online today. If you have a keen eye for design and know what the current trends are within the clothing industry, you may just be on your way to having a creative summer that turns a small business idea into a living for you.

Try looking into what is currently working in the market, as well as figuring out which design tools and productions services you could use without busting the bank. Your clothes will need to be of a relatively high quality if you expect people to start paying for them.

Find your focus this summer

Summer is a time of traveling, good weather, and celebrations, meaning it can be the perfect time to start developing a new business venture. If you are looking for something to call your own, rather than just another summer job, then you should carefully consider starting your own company. We say ‘carefully’ because you can’t jump in without first doing your research. Weigh up things such as your financial situation, skillset, unique talents, and understand that free time will largely become a thing of the past for you.

Research really will be one of the keys to success here, so find your target market and develop an understanding of what the competition is doing. Once you have reached this point, you’ll be well equipped to create a business plan. Don’t get your hopes up too much, as you likely won’t be a millionaire any time soon, but that’s more than okay.

Start things off small, learn the ropes and develop further as you continue to grow your venture. You don’t need to worry about being a huge success in the early stages, as almost no business owner on earth has that kind of luck. Just focus on what you can improve as time passes by and you’ll be able to build up your very own business venture into something greater and more unique in no time.

This summer may just be the one that you create a brand-new lucrative business idea, but you’ll have to give it the chance to grow first of all before witnessing its full potential.

To summarise proceedings 

Maximising your sales is extremely important all year round; there is simply no questioning this. However, the different seasons of the year all present increased sales opportunities to small businesses around the globe. If you fail to take advantage of these periods of time, you are ultimately letting yourself down and losing out on cash you could easily require.

Furthermore, if you are beginning a new venture over the summer period, you should be on the lookout for the right opportunities when they present themselves. Focus more on gaining valuable business experience that you can translate to later in your career, rather than purely on the financial aspect of things; it will almost certainly prove to be worth it in the end.

  • Think about how you can change your business over the summer. A pop-up in a city centre type of environment may couple you together with a new audience and boost your sales even further.
  • Change your website’s theme to fit with the summertime. This will help to inform your audience that you are at one with the time of year and doing what you can to keep up the interests of your audience.
  • Turn your packaging into something that represents your business in a unique way, while also engaging with the time of year and exciting people in the process.
  • Ask your audience to submit user generated content on your social media channels and connect with your business’ followers on a higher level. This will get them more invested in your company and prompt them to spend more of their cash.
  • Remember the importance of social media, which is popular all year-round. These platforms should always be on your side, so continue to use them regularly and keep them consistently updated throughout the summer.
  • If you are looking to begin a new seasonal business venture over the summer, give yourself enough time to carefully consider the costs of set-up and overheads before rushing into anything.
  • Try to only pursue an idea that will be beneficial to you in terms of experience, as the money you make from this short business stint may have to take the backseat on this short journey.