The festive season brings a sense of jubilation and, sometimes recklessness, along with a generous loosening of the purse strings. Perhaps the most widely celebrated holiday is New Year’s, along with Christmas, in some areas of the world. In Zimbabwe, the festive jubilation peaks around Christmas and New Year’s Day; with some organisations closing for almost two weeks, giving people free time to celebrate with family and friends. In addition, some employers award bonuses to their workers; a practice which has been affectionately dubbed a thirteenth cheque by those fortunate enough to have received it before.  Unsurprisingly some businesses experience a boom in sales during this time. Here are 5 businesses which thrive during the festive season (perhaps you could start a seasonal business);

1.      Butcheries and abattoirs

Zimbabwe is a meat loving country; with the popularity of braais proving the reverence with which Zimbabweans approach meat consumption. It’s no surprise that meat sales spike during this time, with urban Zimbabweans coming together as kin, to have what can only be deemed as food fests. Both butchery stores and online meat stores experience a high demand. This is because a great deal of meat, and food is consumed in the space of a week; from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. With a butchery/abattoir that provides quality meat at reasonable prices, in an accessible location, you are almost guaranteed of high sales during this festive season.

2.      Alcohol distributors/producers, vendors, beerhalls and bars

Alcohol is another highly consumed commodity in Zimbabwe, including (or perhaps especially) in rural Zimbabwe. Fans of alcohol in Zimbabwe always seem to have money for alcohol, no matter how much the economic situation in the country deteriorates. Alcohol consumption seems to reach an all-time high during the festive season, with people loosening their purse strings and celebrating the end of the year and beginning of a new one. Great fortune or misfortune is reason enough to keep the alcohol flowing. The occurrence of parties and meet-ups provide social drinkers the perfect chance to indulge, as they don’t usually drink alone. This results in an increase of customers for licensed alcohol vendors. In rural Zimbabwe, in addition to store bought alcohol, locals brew their own beer, and sell it to immediate and distant neighbours.

3.      Social events and meets

Social meeting places, that sell both alcohol and meat, providing music, and eating areas have become popular in Zimbabwe over the years. These places provide a place for families and friends to meet and just socialize. Most places provide entertainment in the form of music, and serve sadza, salads, fried potato chips, barbecued meat or raw meat (and braai stands); along with selling alcohol and soft drinks, or allowing guests to bring their own. How the business operates and makes profit differs slightly with each venture, but the common thread is the creation of a physical platform and space for people to socialize and have a good time. This kind of business intertwines intricately with the two mentioned above, feeding and supporting each other. This is also a good example of a seasonal business that especially thrives during the festive season.

4.      Events planning and/or catering

Another business which tends to flourish during the festive season is events planning or catering. Events planning almost always includes catering in the package but catering is usually just catering. Towards the end of the year companies tend to host corporate parties or cocktails for their major clients and their employees. This is sometimes a way to thank both clients and employees for the activities of the year ended. It also counts as a way to manage their brand and keep themselves at the forefront of their clients’ minds. Wealthier and more profitable businesses host these parties/cocktails, and can afford a big budget, making for really good business for the event planners. A great deal of awards ceremonies are held as well towards the end of the year, and often hire event planners to manage the burden of organising.

5.      Retail clothing stores

Buying clothes for Christmas has long been a tradition in Zimbabwe, with sales in clothing stores booming. New clothes are a luxury in Zimbabwe, that locals enjoying indulging in around Christmas time, often buying clothes to wear specifically on Christmas day. Offering Christmas specials and discounts encourages consumers to buy even more; egged on by the excitement of a good bargain.

The festive season can be a lucrative time for a lot of businesses, and business owners can take advantage of the generous mood that consumers will be in. Moreover, starting a seasonal business can prove to be both sustainable and profit when the strategy is executed effectively. A prudent person should always keep their eyes open for opportunities that are rampant in the market, especially during the festive season. Happy holidays.