How to Start a Holiday Decorating Home Business

Pros, Cons and Steps to Starting a Holiday Decorating Business

Holiday Decorating Business
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Overview of a Holiday Decorating Business

If you enjoy decorating for the holidays, and are creative and handy with tools, a holiday decorating home business can be a profitable business for you. Holiday decorating businesses make the inside and/or outside of homes and businesses festive. Because of its seasonal nature, this could be a second home business that you could piggyback onto another that is busy the rest of the year, such as an interior design or a home staging business. Or, it can be a seasonal side-hustle to make extra money.

Types of Holiday Decorating

Many people think of Christmas when they hear "holiday decorating," but there are actually many different types of holiday decorating including:

  • New Year's
  • Fourth of July
  • Fall/Autumn
  • Halloween
  • Christmas

Along with various holidays and seasons, a decorating business can work with a different types of clients for a variety of purposes including:

  • Residential home decorating
  • Businesses decorating
  • Special events (i.e. weddings, family gatherings, etc)

Pros of a Holiday Decorating Business

There are many perks to starting a holiday decorating business, including:

  • Minimal startup investment. Most of your clients will have or pay for the decorations, so your only expense would be in tools needed to decorate and marketing.
  • Seasonal business which allows you time off other times of the year. This is ideal for students, teachers, or retired people who want to make money occasionally.
  • No occupational or specialized training required. Although being creative and experienced in decorating can help, there's no official training or certification required.
  • You can grow a home decorating business at your own pace through referrals from satisfied clients and word-of-mouth advertising.

    Cons of a Holiday Decorating Business

    Just like any other business, there are a few drawbacks to a holiday decorating business.

    • The work is seasonal. So while you might be overwhelmed with clients in October and December, the rest of the year will be lean, requiring you to do something else to make money. 
    • It can take time to build up your client base. 
    • Potential dangers. If you offer exterior decorating for the Christmas holiday, you may be climbing roofs or trees in inclement weather.
    • Work may vary depending on the economy. Holiday decorating is one of those expenses that families and businesses will drop when the money is tight.

      What You Need to Get Started in Holiday Decorating Business:

      To sell your decorating services, you'll need to set up your business, have a few tools, and a marketing plan. Here's a list to get you started:

      • A creative eye and ability to develop unique, eye-catching, holiday decorations.
      • Business license. Contact your local city or county business office for information. 
      • A business plan that includes what you'll do and who your clients are. For example, will you do just residential decorating, or will you do offices or events, as well?
      • Basic decorating tools such as a ladder, hand tools, and transportation to the locations you'll be decorating.
      • A menu of services and pricing. You might want to have a variety of packages such as a basic package of putting up lights, versus a more robust package of complete outdoor decorating. Make sure you price your services appropriately to cover your expenses but also, so that customers feel like they're getting their moneys-worth.
      • An organized means of building your portfolio. Use a scrapbook to show off photos of the home you've decorated along with any written testimonials from your customers. Make sure you put them online, as well. Today many people will prefer to view your business online before making an appointment to see you and your portfolio.
      • Helpers on standby. Depending on the number of clients or the difficulty of the decorating needs, you might need to have help. Many people need extra money during the holidays giving you an additional source of assistance if needed.
      • Customers. Start by decorating your own home or business, as well as your friends' and family's homes to get experience and referrals.Consider advertising or posting bulletins in your church or other organization, or at local stores.Take pictures and build a portfolio. Use a blog or a site like Pinterest to show off your work.

      Holiday Decorating Business - Real Life Example:

      Jeff Double was working as a floral designer where he had an opportunity to show his creative flair to customers when he helped decorate the downtown Butler shop at Christmas. "Basically, people started asking me for advice for decorating and they wanted me to make wreaths or swags. It grew from there," he said.

      Now, he decorates three commercial businesses and 11 homes for Christmas throughout Butler County. The sizes of the jobs have ranged from $45 for putting up and trimming a tree for a frail senior citizen to $10,000 worth of decorations bought for a mansion. He's expanded beyond the holidays, to include decorating for birthdays, weddings and parties.

      Most of the Doubles' clients are working families who don't have time to decorate and retired couples who lack the ambition to decorate the way they really want to.

      Mr. Double's holiday decorating business, which he operates with his wife, was featured in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online, titled Decorating elves find fun in the details.