Donald Gayhardt

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What You Need to Know about Passive Seasonal Side Businesses

What You Need to Know about Passive Seasonal Side Businesses

The term “passive income” is misleading. Although there are many ways to make money on the side, every passive income side business requires you to put in work in order to see a profit. The benefit of passive income is that while your business idea will require work up front, once the business is established, it will continue to bring in money over the long term with minimum additional effort.

Why are the side gigs below lumped in with passive income strategies? Partly because plenty of them are genuinely enjoyable. If you have fun developing a source of income, to an extent, you could argue that the work required of you doesn’t feel like work at all.

This is particularly true in the case of seasonal businesses. Although you might not have enough free time to devote all your attention to building a passive income stream, there may be certain periods during the course of the year when your schedule is a little more flexible. The idea of using these periods to make extra money might appeal to you.

If it does, consider starting one of the following seasonal side businesses. If you work hard, you could even potentially automate some aspect of them, turning your side gig into a form of passive income that delivers revenue all year long.

Outdoor Guide

Do you enjoy spending spring and summer days hiking, biking, or kayaking? Consider turning that passion into profit. Although you should investigate your local laws to determine if you need to obtain any licenses first, starting a seasonal business as an outdoor guide is a smart way to earn extra money doing what you love.

People who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but lack your experience, will gladly pay money to someone willing to guide them through hiking trails, biking trail, kayak excursions, and much more. To turn this interest into a true passive income stream, consider starting a website and publishing guides about your local trails or other venues and making those guides available for a fee.

hiking outdoor business

Tour Guide

This idea is similar to the one above. However, it’s much less physically demanding, and is thus an alternative worth considering if you think guiding customers through various outdoor adventures several days a week would be too strenuous.

Instead, if you have a passion for local history, you could lead seasonal walking tours. These companies tend to succeed when their tours focus on niche subjects. This makes it easier for you to start a business that actually corresponds to your interests. Maybe you’re particularly drawn to local ghost stories. Perhaps you have an interest in local military history. Maybe you live in a city often featured in film and TV, and want to teach tourists about various shooting locations.

These are all valid subjects to base a tour around. Just keep in mind, you will have to demonstrate your expertise to attract customers. People want to know their tour guide is providing accurate information. Consider publishing an e-book about the topics you know well to make your knowledge available to a wider audience.

House Sitter

Some of the side businesses on this list are more passive than others. This is an example of a gig that requires very little effort on your part, but could still be relatively lucrative. Summer is obviously a popular time of year for people who enjoy taking long vacations. However, some may need house-sitters to look after their homes while they’re away. This might be an interesting side business for you.

Your responsibilities will vary depending on the requests of those who hire you. Usually, this type of job simply involves practicing basic home maintenance and making sure the house remains safe while its owners are on vacation. Keep an eye on Craigslist and other “gig-posting” platforms during the warmer months of the year. You might find someone who needs this kind of help.

While house-sitting, you could even work on other freelance gigs, earning additional money if you like. For example, you could create an e-course to help other aspiring house-sitters start their businesses and learn best practices for finding and keeping clients. Eventually, you might earn more from the e-course than you do from the house-sitting itself!


If you’re particularly knowledgeable about a certain subject, you could make a decent amount of money as a tutor. This is the type of seasonal side business you can start during, well, any season. Obviously, during the academic year, students will be in need of extra help with their assignments, test prep, and more.

However, many students have summer classes or assignments. They might also be interested in building their skills to prepare for the next academic year. Thus, there is always demand for tutors. This gives you the freedom to start a side business when doing so is most convenient for you.

Tutoring presents two types of passive income opportunities. First, you can create subject matter guides and assignments for your students or potential students. These can be made available for purchase to supplement your individual instruction as well as to serve students who work well independently. Alternatively, you can create a how-to guide for other tutors interested in starting their own businesses.

tutor learning

Lawn Care

Some people hate the idea of tending to a lawn on warm spring or summer days. Others find the experience to be relaxing and rewarding. You may be among them. If that’s the case, you won’t struggle to find people willing to pay you for lawn care services.

Similar to the other types of side businesses mentioned here, you can also create a website with additional resources available for purchase regarding lawn care. Some people are interested in learning how to maintain their own lawns. Others may be interested in starting their own lawncare businesses and find your experience valuable—literally!

Again, while any side business requires upfront effort, they can be turned into sources of passive income in the long term. Keep the businesses above in mind the next time you’re looking for a way to make some extra money throughout the year.

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