Small Business Ideas for Making Quick Money in the Fall

Friends unpacking boxes in attic
One fall small business idea: helping students move. Image (c) Tom Merton / Getty Images

When we think of seasonal businesses, we tend to think of summer and winter. But fall is a season too and like any other provides plenty of small business opportunities. Here are six small business ideas for profiting from the changes that fall brings to people's lives. Some of these are short-lived opportunities, profitable only for a few months while others could be worked into year-round small businesses.

But all of them are businesses that can be started quickly and inexpensively so you can start making profits fast.

1) Moving students into their new residences

Late summer / fall is the season when students are on the move, moving from their parents' homes into dorms, moving from summer accommodations into other living quarters, returning from summer jobs and looking for places to live. In almost all cases, they have stuff that has to be moved too. If you live in a college town or near a university and have a truck, van, or trailer, moving students and their stuff could be a profitable short-term business. And, of course, it wouldn't be hard to turn this small business idea into a year-round business if you broadened the niche.

2) "Closing down the cottage"

In a similar vein, if you live in cottage country or anywhere where there is a lot of recreational property, late summer/fall is moving time and the time when you could be profiting from people's changes in residence.

Before people head back to their winter quarters, their summer places have to be officially cleaned and "winterized" — services you could provide. You might also be able to get some caretaking business on an ongoing basis if you’re interested.

3) Back to school shopper

This is definitely a short-term strike-while-the-iron-is-hot business, but that doesn't mean it's not worth doing.

The idea is simple; the client gives you a list of school supplies and you do the shopping to fill it and deliver the goods — a real time saver for busy Moms and Dads who would love to have someone take the chore off their hands.

(And of course almost any business you start can get a piece of the back to school market; see these Back to School Marketing Ideas to get started.)

4) Pet sitting

People still travel through the late summer and fall which means many people are still hunting for someone to care for their pets while they're traveling. If your own home is not suitable for offering in-home animal care, you can still offer to care for people's pets in their own homes. Dogs and cats are popular pets but don’t forget about the little ones such as guinea pigs, rabbits and rats. They need care, too.

For more business ideas related to caring for animals, see 18 Pet Business Ideas.

5) Professional organizer

The change of season brings many the urge to organize. You can capitalize on their urges by helping them organize their closets, their garages and their kitchens.

While this is a business idea that is best carried out as a year-round enterprise, it's easy to give it a seasonal twist by focusing on projects such as putting away summer gear and organizing children's rooms for study as well as play.

6) Yard cleanup

You can't get through fall without falling leaves in most places — and most people hate to rake them up themselves. Start a small business focusing on fall yard cleanup, giving hedges their last trims, getting those leaves off lawns and putting gardens to bed for the season. You'll need to invest in some equipment, but depending on the scope of the services you offer, your investment could be minimal.

Don't Wait to Get Started

If you're a person who would like to start a business and make some money but don’t want to make a long-term commitment right now, one of these seasonal small business ideas could be just the thing for you.

The only thing is that like ripe tomatoes, these ideas won't keep. So pick your business idea, make a business plan, and get started! The sooner you do, the sooner you can be harvesting some extra green.

For ideas on how to market your fall business see 10 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Business10 Ways to Get Positive Word of Mouth for Your Business, and How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan.

Other Ideas for Businesses

If you are looking to start a business, here are other, proven business ideas that can generate full or part-time income:

15 Inexpensive Business Ideas

Top 10 Home Business Opportunities

12 Unique Business Ideas

The Best Business Ideas for Working for or With Seniors

Best Business Opportunities for Retirees

16 Part-Time Businesses You Can Start Today

Best Business Ideas for Students