Diversifying your income with a side gig is a smart idea, particularly with the cost of living crisis hanging over us all. Plus, it could even lead to bigger and brighter things with you becoming your own boss.
If you’re ready and raring to kickstart your side hustle, consider this your ultimate guide. We discuss exactly what it means to have a side hustle, as well as the signs you could be ready to turn yours into a full-time gig.
We’ll also share our best side-hustle ideas for generating cash, so you’re armed with plenty of inspiration.
What Is a Side Hustle?
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While ‘regular’ side jobs pay the bills, side hustles help feed the soul. It should be something you really care about and believe in.
It’s estimated that around 70% of young Brits have a side hustle outside of their day jobs. With the rise of TikTok and Instagram selling, easy-access ecommerce and flexible working hours, starting up a little something on the side has never been easier.
Signs Your Side Hustle Can Be Turned Into a Full-Time Job
While there are no hard and fast rules on when to make the switch from part- to full-time entrepreneur, there are some telltale signs to be aware of.
It differs from industry to industry, from tech offerings like developing your own app to laboring roles such as being a landscape gardener, electrician or plumber which you can find on job boards such as Salarship.
Here, we’ll review some signs that you might be ready to venture out on your own.
It fully covers your expenses
The moment you turn from generating a few hundred pounds here and there, to a steadily-growing income is the moment to take note.
Keep track of your monthly outgoings to give you a rough figure of what your side hustle would need to bring in. If you can cover those living expenses it’s well worth considering to give up your day job.
You have a significant number of loyal customers
If you have plenty of loyal customers and happy testimonials to your hustle’s name, then that’s a sign you’re on the right track. In fact, this is one of the best ways to tell if you have a scalable business.
Ultimately, returning customers and their reviews are indisputable proof of how your product or service helps people in their everyday lives.
It’s your passion
If your side hustle is something you live, breathe and can’t stop thinking about then it’s easy to be persistent and put in the hours needed to make it a success. Never underestimate the power of passion, as this can make you an unstoppable force in the face of setbacks, competition and challenges.
You’re gradually evolving
If your business is growing and that momentum is keeping pace, there’s obviously a gap in the market for you. Keep communicating with your customers and looking at the sales data. This insight will help you refine your offering and push the business forward in the right direction.
Side Hustle Ideas To Keep In Mind
Keen to get going on the entrepreneurship journey but having a little trouble deciding on what to do?
Just look at what you may have passion for outside of your day-job, or look at options that are open to everyone. You don’t have to have a natural ability to do something, you may just need to be able to combine hard work with the ability to see what’s available around you.
Here are a few ideas to get you going.
Refurbish and sell used furniture
If you have a creative streak, why not think about buying plain, good-quality furniture and refurbishing it to sell on Facebook Marketplace and second-hand websites? Refurbishing can take a bit of time and research, ensuring you have the right materials and are hitting the latest interior trends for example, but once you get going it can turn a healthy profit.
Online presences like Furniture Medic UK are good examples of how it can be done in a friendly way with a community feel that suits the social media marketplace.
Create an Airbnb Experience
People don’t want to spend money on ‘stuff’ anymore, they want to try new things and create memories. Which makes sense when you learn that around 84% of Brits prefer engaging with experiences when travelling to new places.
The rise in Airbnb Experiences is an example of this, showing you could make money by creating a unique tour for your local area or hosting a cooking class, for example. For inspiration, take a leaf out of Luca and Lorenzo, co-hosts of “Our Family Pasta Recipe,” Cooking in Tuscany, which hosts a range of their unique family experiences.
Reach out to your community and look for what people want to experience, beyond just getting away, when they journey to your local area.
Become an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketing means to promote other people’s products and services on your digital platforms (like Instagram pages or YouTube channels), and getting a commission from each sale thanks to your referral. This is most likely to be from a unique link or code.
You can partner with other local businesses to get started (many of whom might not even know such an opportunity exists for them), or check out affiliate marketplaces like ClickBank, Leadpages, ConvertKit, Shopify Affiliate Program, and ShareASale.
Become a Shopify owner
If you make clothes, collectables, merchandise or anything handmade, opening a Shopify shop is a smart move. The Shopify platform gives you access to people and businesses who are readily looking for your type of products. More than that, it’s an easy-to-use site which helps save time – a precious commodity when side hustling!
Check out how Blizzard Gear Store have used the platform to reach out to game enthusiasts around the world. What’s your niche? Shopify gives you the opportunity to hit a wide audience with a simple online platform.
Teach your hobby on Skillshare
If you have a passion and deep knowledge of a particular area or subject, create a profile on Skillshare and start teaching. And don’t limit yourself, the potential market for people looking to learn is far more expansive than you might think. From dancing to cooking, writing to doodling (check out Mel Rye’s Self-Doodling classes as a great example), there will be plenty of people out there looking to learn – and pay for – your expert skills. Not sure if you’ve got something to share? Browse Skillshare to see what’s out there.
Create YouTube tutorials
When done right, YouTube can become a full-time job and phenomenal source of side-hustle success. Whether it’s home renovations or hairstyles, if you can create an engaging, informative tutorial and grow your viewers and subscribers, you can monetise your content through ads and sponsorships.
A good example of this is Sarah Tepes, a digital artist and well-known YouTuber who has built up her following to over 400,000 subscribers by simply sharing what she loves to do every day.
Earn passive income from vending machines
An upfront payment of around £5,000 for the machine itself can yield a very healthy (and almost) passive income. You’ll need to find somewhere to operate from, such as a leisure centre or pub, and select your suppliers before you start selling.
Lorraine Chruch started out with a vending machine in her local neighborhood and quickly built that up to owning ten vending machines in her local area. And why not make your vending machine niche with a particular product, like health foods or practical goods, to really stand out?
Test websites for cash
A quick and easy way to earn extra cash on the side is by testing apps and websites. To avoid user frustrations, companies often want to test their new apps and website pages before launching. So, they’ll search for people to help test their digital products.
The roll-out of a website can cost companies six and seven figure sums, and user-testing is a critical step in the process, so they are willing to pay the rates to make sure test-data from everyday consumers is attained. Check out sites like UserTesting, UTest, Enroll, and UserCrowd to get going.
Rent out your parking space
If you have a parking space that you don’t use, it could be a really easy way to earn extra income. You might not think that your space is anything special, but even in suburban neighborhoods both individuals and companies are looking for spaces close to their premises.
To get an idea of your market, search for local businesses in your area that have staff of over ten people and then simply approach them with the offer. Using online parking rental sites like JustPark, ParkLet, and Your Parking Space, allows you to rent your spare space daily, weekly or monthly.
Take up programming projects
If you know how to code, you can take on freelance programming projects and make a healthy extra income. If you don’t know how to code but are keen to learn, check out the online courses from Treehouse.
Then when you’re ready to go, use freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr to find jobs and also take matters into your own hands and email companies directly to let them know you’re there. Since COVID-19 there has been a big shift in organizations being more open to a flexible, remote workforce.
Participate in paid online surveys
While it may not be the most lucrative side hustle, taking part in paid online surveys is a quick and easy way to earn a bit of extra cash. You don’t need any infrastructure other than a computer, phone or tablet so chances are there’ll be no need for investment other that what you have at your disposal.
Websites like Branded Surveys and Swagbucks feature companies and market researchers who are all keen to learn about what people think of their products and services. Signing up is simple and you can get going immediately.
Become a UGC creator
User Generated Content (UGC) is content created for social media and the digital space that talks about a brand’s products or services. This could be blog posts, videos, audio recordings and brands will pay differing amounts to have their products talked about by their customers (you) because it has more traction with an audience. If you build up a following and review the latest hair dryer, make-up, fishing rods, DIY tools or anything else that you know something about you could be on your way to being a UGC creator.
Transcribe videos, phone calls, and other recordings
If you’re a quick typer with an ear and eye for detail, transcribing could be a great way to build a little extra income. Clients can send you anything from audio files and phone calls to videos, and all you need to do is type them up accurately.
There’s software out there to do a lot of the hard work for you, here’s a list of them, often just leaving you to pick up some customers and manage the process. Check out Freelancer or UK Transcription for opportunities.
Become a rideshare driver
Uber and Lyft have fast become a part of our everyday lives, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to earn cash driving for them. Uber alone has over 93 million customers and a growing number of drivers, currently sitting at about 3.5 million. These are two numbers that are only going to grow as consumer confidence grows. So, as well as being able to set your own schedule and work around your regular job, you can make tips on top of your ride fare helping to boost that side-hustle cash.
Deliver food or groceries
Like with rideshare driving, food and grocery delivery services are part and parcel of life nowadays. Food delivery apps like Deliveroo and JustEat, or grocery services like Getir, are fast, flexible ways to earn extra cash.
More and more food retail outlets – both shops and restaurants – are offering this service to stay relevant with the on-demand expectations of today’s marketplace. And if you’re thinking about what’s good for your bank account and for your health, there’s also the added bonus of keeping fit with all the cycling you get in.
Use your knowledge of a subject to help others and make money at the same time. There are numerous websites, such as Learn To Be, Preply, TutorOcean and Cambly, that allow you to set out your stall and have potential customers seek you out. You don’t necessarily have to have qualifications, all you need to do is market your level of ability honestly. There are people looking for extra tutoring across all areas and stages of education from primary school through to university and beyond.
Walk dogs and pet sit
If you’re an animal lover, walking dogs and pet sitting could be the ideal way to increase your income. Set up a profile on Rover and Trusted Housesitters so you can apply for flexible opportunities posted by pet owners. They could be anything from taking a pup for a walk while the owners are at work, to looking after them for a week while they’re on holiday. And this is another option that puts money in your pocket while being great for your health 9and you can bring your own four-legged friends to work with you!
If you have spare time and a vehicle, then Amazon Flex is a great way to earn some extra money. And it’s correctly called Flex for a reason, which is exactly what you want from a side-hustle. When you sign up you determine how often you’re willing to work, in what area or region and how many deliveries you want to make by signing up to a block of time. With a trusted international brand like Amazon, this is a simple way to put yourself in the driver’s seat on your side hustle journey.
Sell your photography
Almost everyone carries a really good camera on them at all times these days via their phone. There are a lot of stock imagery websites that make uploading your photography to them very easy.
The leaders are Shutterstock and Getty but they’re not the only ones who always need more photographic content. If you’re a bit more confident, or experienced, then sell your skills as a wedding or events photographer. Or create products with your images, such as t-shirts or mugs, and see your side hustle take on a life of its own.
Start a podcast
Much like YouTube Tutorials or Hobby Skillshares, a great way to monetise your passion is by teaching people about it. With a simple USB microphone and laptop, you can get up and running with little costs. Recording platforms like Audacity are free and easy to use, and you can publish your podcast to popular apps using Simplecast. The appetite for podcasts is growing year on year and if you don’t have a specific niche then make your own by talking about topics from your point of view.
Design and sell your own T-shirts
If you love letting your inner artist run wild, printing your own T-shirts is a great way to bring in extra cash. Shopify apps like Printful, Printify, and Gelato let you upload custom designs onto T-shirts. They also reduce any initial financial outlay, or the old problem of having to find ways and means to buy and store stock, by offering a sale-for-sale service. They’ll print and ship only when a customer purchases a T-shirt, meaning you don’t have to put down a bulk of cash on upfront printing costs.
This one’s an oldie but a goodie as there’ll always be a demand in car washing. Many people simply just don’t have time to do it themselves. Keep costs low through bulk buying cleaning supplies and set yourself up on job sites like TaskRabbit and Steady.
You can either set up on public land to create a single place return customers can come to, or if you have transportation you can offer a mobile service. This may be a win-win: more convenient for your customers you keep costs down by using your their water supply.
Build income through social media sponsorships
Whether you want to be the face of your social media page, in true “Influencer” form, or you want to stay behind the curtain and create a page that highlights your interests, gaining a social media following can lead to financial opportunities. Companies will pay you to endorse their products or businesses if your audience is their target market. And the beauty of this is that these companies will approach you as they monitor which accounts have what size followings.
Give tours of your neighbourhood
With more people staying in people’s houses or using Airbnb in suburban areas, there’s a growing need for people to quickly understand the place they’re staying in. Get out there and offer people insights into your local neighbourhood or put a slant on your tour to give you a marketing hook. Food tours, historical tours, ghost tours and celebrity-based tours are just a few examples. They all allow you to do some research and then bring your own personality to the tour to bring it to life.
Sell your own handmade products
With sites like etsy.com becoming easy for anyone to use as a shop-front, its getting easier to turn your hobby into a revenue stream and market your handmade products. The platforms are easy to use and there is an audience out there crying out for individual, local and ethical items that have the kind of charm you can’t get from mainstream retailers.
Check out the success Maeven Vintage has had since they launched in 2012. Etsy, gives you the chance to scale up or down at your own pace making it perfect for fitting into a busy life.
What To Consider When Switching Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job
If you’ve been working hard on your hustle and seeing growth, it may be worth thinking about turning it into a full-time job.
Keep your cash flow positive!
We've put together a list of eight actionable ways you can manage your cash flow and make more profitable decisions for your business.
Before you make the jump, be sure to plan well and do your research. A robust cash-flow forecast should be the foundation of any major decision making. This is where you plan out how much money you expect to receive and pay out over a specific period of time. It’ll show you if you can realistically go full time, as well as give you an idea of goals and targets for your business.
You should also ask yourself a few logistical questions like:
- Where will you work – will you need to rent a dedicated office space or studio?
- Who will be working with you – should you employ staff or hire freelancers to help scale your business?
- Will you need more equipment or stock – will you need larger production runs to keep up with demand, and what are the timescales?
- How will you boost sales and grow further – what’s your marketing plan looking like?
- How will you fund the next step – will you look to banks for a loan or perhaps delve into equity crowdfunding sites?
Side Hustles Need the Right Side Kick
If you’re ready to take the first step, make sure you have the right tools and partners in place. To learn more about how we help businesses start up, grow, and stay compliant, get in touch.
What is a good side hustle?
Any side hustle that you’re passionate about and that you have the time and means to build in your personal time. You cost-outlay should be as small as possible and you should have an idea of who your target audience is. Not sure what side hustle might be a fit for you? Check out our careers test.
What is the highest paying side hustle?
The highest paying side hustles are ones that have a good profit margin (simply put, your in-cost to out-cost ratio) and are scalable so that you can accommodate growth in your customer base, therefore making more money.
What is the easiest side hustle?
The easiest side hustles are ones that you can do with what you have at your finger tips. So this is going to vary from person to person, but anything you can do on computer or phone will usually be a winner such as creating ad revenue from YouTube videos, selling photography and T-shirt designs or being an online tutor.