5. Summer nanny / babysitter
For working parents of school-age kids, summer presents a real challenge. Summer camp may take care of a few weeks, a family trip another week or two, but then what about the rest of the summer? Find two or three families, or one with several kids, and take care of the kids during the day.
What you'll need: Clean, reliable transportation, some classified ads, a love of kids.
Estimated startup cost: Under $50 for classified ads.
How much you can make:$8-$12 an hour, depending on the number of kids. It's less money than some of the other options, but it's generally easier work.
How to grow: Take in more kids and turn into a home day care. Or, charge more for added services, like pet care or light house cleaning.
Things to watch out for: Caring for multiple children not in the same family will generally require licensing and will require the facilities to meet certain requirements. There's a big step from watching 2-3 kids from 1-2 families in one of their homes to watching 4-5 kids in your own home. Some states have licensing requirements for nannies, as well.
Best web resource: International Nanny Association A non-profit association dedicated to promoting quality in-home child care. Lots of free articles, plus information about government regulations for all U.S. states.
6. Tutoring and teaching
Opportunities abound for the entrepreneurially-minded person with knowledge to share. Some kids need help catching up on one or two subjects, homeschoolers usually school year 'round, and many parents put their kids in summer classes on a fun topic like science, drama, or creative writing. You can tutor individual kids, or put together a group workshop or week-long class.
What you'll need: Some advertising and a facility, if you want to do group classes.
Estimated startup cost: Under $100 for flyers and advertising. For a facility, check local community centers, YMCA, etc., where you can usually rent a room for $10-$30 for 60-90 minutes, or $30-$50 for a half day.
How much you can make: $10-$20 an hour for one-on-one tutoring, depending on your qualifications. Classes vary widely in price, but with even a small turn-out, you should be able to make $50-$100 per teaching hour, but that doesn't count marketing and preparation time.
How to grow: It takes the same amount of time to teach 20 kids as 10. Marketing & advertising is what will drive your growth.
Things to watch out for: Generally, teaching short classes that are not for credit doesn't require any kind of special licensing, but check your local regulations to make sure that you don't end up falling under the day care regulations if you have multiple kids.
Best web resource: Tutor Nation There's a listing fee, but they also offer lots of free resources and linke to other sites with information on tutoring. With a one-year membership, you also get a book on tutoring.
All of the above business ideas can be started on a minimal budget and bootstrapped by reinvesting some of your profits. While they have a seasonal element to them, they also all offer the potential of growing into a full-time, year-round business if you choose, but they're all also things you can walk away from in the fall.
More Summer Business Ideas: