Millions of Brits have a ‘side hustle’ to boost their incomes and pursue their passions, according to research.
A study of 2,000 adults in full-time employment found that almost one quarter (23 percent) have already turned a hobby into a side business alongside their career, while a further 56 percent aspire to.
Those with a side business top up their income with an average of £6,604.80 per year post-tax, while 15 per cent of side hustlers even make £12,000 annually.
The research was commissioned by Vistaprint – a leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses.
Beauty and wellness was found to be the most popular side business sector, which includes hairdressers, personal trainers and dieticians.
Arts and entertainment such as artists, DJs and designers, and home improvement including self-employed decorators and gardeners are also popular areas.
Generating extra cash was found to be the top reason Brits either have or would like to start a side business (58 percent).
But 36 percent started a side business to pursue a passion and over one third did so to spend more time doing what they enjoy.
A desire and drive to follow one’s true calling is further supported by the finding that over half (56 percent) of Brits can’t find a full-time job related to their interests.
Simon Braier, Customer Strategy and Insights Director from Vistaprint said: “Britain’s side business economy is booming, as employees increasingly look for financial, professional and personal fulfilment that may not be present in their main job.
“While many side hustles are born out of a personal interest or hobby, they don’t have to stay small.
“Side business owners can test their venture’s long-term viability, growth and marketing opportunities in a safer setting, helping them to ease the transition into full-time entrepreneurship and spend more time doing what they love.”
The study also found that almost two thirds of entrepreneurs (65 percent) treat their enterprise as a ‘5-9’ and work on it in the evenings in order to fit around their career.
A further one third (36 percent) also work on their side job at the weekends, while one quarter (24 percent) do so during the morning.
A typical side business takes up 13 hours a week, while 17 percent of those polled spend 20+ hours a week working on it.
It also emerged that one-third (32 percent) of side business owners hope to grow their venture in the future.
But an average of £2,711 a month post-tax would need to be made to consider turning a side project into a full-time job – a figure well above the average side hustle earnings.
When asked for their advice on growing a side business, successful side hustlers recommended focusing on tasks which generate the most revenue, setting long-term goals and ensuring your side business is something you truly enjoy.
Networking with people who run side businesses and building a strong social media presence rounded off their top five tips.
Vistaprint’s UK Market Lead Charlotte Holmes-Darby said: “To grow your side business, you need to think and act like a full-time entrepreneur.
“That also means you should be prepared to seize any opportunities that come your way and enable you to take your side hustle to the next level.”
Two side hustles, two success stories:
Karen Grant, from Wiltshire, used to work full time as a Financial Advisor when she began her side business of being a corsetiere.
As her venture grew Karen began working part time in order to concentrate on her creative business and eventually in 2013 left her finance role altogether.
Karen said: “I wish I’d taken the plunge a lot sooner, I love my job and have met many lovely people.
“I work from a studio in my back garden on my side project that I was able to also turn into a career, I have recently branched out into giving talks to craft groups and at the local Women’s Institute.
“My advice to people starting a side-line career would be to have plenty of support at home, plenty of rest and keep your social life going – it’s a hard slog at first.
“I’m very happy with my decision, it’s worked out very well and I get to do what I love – I’d encourage anyone to do this.”
Another successful side-hustler is Kati Ramsden from Ashford, who spends her days working in HR but also runs a package free grocery shop on the side.
Alongside her 30 hours a week job and being a mum to two young children, Kati spends two days a week running her grocery store.
Kati said: “It’s been an incredible learning curve with a lot of trial and error.
“Every penny I make just goes back into the business, buying new stock – that’s my current focus.
“It’s a balancing act, balancing home and work life – I work Saturday and do feel I miss out on the stuff my husband and kids do.
“If you take on a side project it needs to be something you love to sustain your interest because the reality is you won’t be making a lot of money out of it, in the early days at least.”