The pandemic and lockdown caused many small businesses to close their doors temporarily. It left employers and employees with extra time on their hands and in need of additional income. This encouraged a boom in side hustles, with one in five adults in the UK starting their own side hustle between March and June 2020. The ONS also reported that new business registrations were up 8% the year after the start of the pandemic than the same period in 2018-2019.
While the entrepreneurial spirit is still definitely alive, the current economic climate might also be the reason why many are trying to find ways to supplement income. Given the cost of living crisis that we’re all being affected by currently, the idea of a side hustle probably sounds appealing. Whether it’s to help pay the energy bills or to save up for a holiday, extra cash wouldn’t go amiss.
But how do you pick a successful side hustle and what exactly is it? There are lots of side hustle ideas out there, so we’ve gathered some of the best of them together in this post to give you some inspiration.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is some form of work that you undertake alongside your main job. It could be freelance work or a start-up idea that you’re trying to develop until you can make it work as a full-time thing. Or it could even just be a hobby that you’re able to monetise by creating and selling things for extra cash.
Easy Side Hustle Business Ideas
So, where do you start if you want to create a side hustle? Often, the best side hustle ideas are the simplest.
Rather than choosing a side hustle that requires you to shell out lots of money upfront, aim to capitalise on a skill that doesn’t require huge overheads. Once you get up and running, you may be surprised to realise that your side hustle profits are larger than your day job. Lots of pandemic side hustles were even successful enough to turn into full-fledged businesses, for example, a teacher who set up a grocery delivery service from an old milk float.
Unsurprisingly not everyone can get their hands on a 1970s milk float. So here’s some examples of slightly more accessible side hustles:
Renting Out A Parking Space
If you have a driveway or parking space that you don’t use or don’t need during working hours, you could potentially rent it out using websites like Daft, YourParkingSpace or ParkPNP to start earning money without doing anything at all. This can be especially lucrative if you live near a train or tube station, large office buildings or a city centre, where parking can be expensive and hard to come by.
Share Your Knowledge
If you’re a great guitar player or pianist, you could get part-time work around your main job by offering music lessons. You could also cash in on what you learned at University by tutoring others that could benefit from your knowledge. There are other opportunities out there for people with specialist knowledge to make money by teaching others, including things like yoga, mindfulness or meditation. For this type of side hustle it’s always worth checking if you need to be qualified to be able to teach formally, for example teaching yoga in a yoga studio.
Use Your Skills
Side hustle business ideas don’t have to be grand new ideas to grow into something life-changing. If you are good at certain practical skills, you can find your niche helping people who need an expert to help them, whether it’s building IKEA flatpack furniture for them, helping with the gardening or carrying out sewing alterations. Other odd jobs such as; washing and valeting cars are also a feasible side hustle with relatively low overheads. You can use platforms like TaskRabbit or Fiverr to both see if your skills are in demand in your area and list them as a service.
Use Your Availability
Even though a side hustle is done around a full-time job, you might have a role that makes you available at times others wouldn’t be and you can use this time to help them out by taking dogs for a walk, pet sitting or even babysitting. You could also sign up to be a mystery shopper for businesses, helping them to get an idea of what their customer service is like. Search ‘become a mystery shopper [location]’ in Google to find out what’s available in your local area.
Side Hustle Ideas Online
The internet has made it much easier to set up an alternative income stream, which was especially helpful during the pandemic when so much was closed and our ability to meet people was restricted. But even now it is a great place to look for opportunities, inspiration or to find a market for your goods or services.
If you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss, one of the most obvious side hustle ideas online is to use the internet to build up your freelance career. Whether you’re a writer, a coder, a strategist, an accountant or HR expert, you can use freelance listing sites to advertise your skills and find companies who are looking for someone with your expertise. You can then work around your day job and get a taste of if you want to turn this side hustle into a new career.
Be an Influencer
If you have a particular interest or niche or just have something you want to share with the world, the internet gives you the chance to start a blog or social media channel where you can potentially find an audience. It can take a long time to make this into an incentivised side hustle but it is a hobby with the potential to be lucrative if you’re successful. If writing is your forte, channel this into creating engaging blog posts. If you are more technically minded, a YouTube channel could be a good fit for you. You can earn anywhere from hundreds of pounds per month to thousands in extra income.
Make and Sell Online
Lots of side hustle business ideas in the UK that budding entrepreneurs try out involve selling on Etsy or somewhere similar. If you’re good at sewing, knitting or crafting, you could make and sell your goods online. You can sell everything from hand-knitted baby clothes to custom jewellery and accessories. Are you financially savvy? You could make a lucrative side hustle out of selling digital products including budgeting templates helping others save their hard-earned cash.
Clear Out and Cash Out
Even if you’re not crafty you can still make money online by selling second-hand clothes, designer or otherwise, that you don’t wear anymore. Websites like eBay, Depop, Vinted and Facebook Marketplace all allow users to upload items for sale at the touch of a button. Once you have sold all of the unwanted clothes and accessories in your home, you can even search thrift stores to resell for profit on these very same websites. Turn your unwanted items into cash.
All you need to try out this side hustle is spare time and a phone or a computer. This one is more of a slow burner but the more surveys you complete the more the earnings add up. Many people make hundreds of pounds per month simply by giving their opinions via market research surveys. Try googling ‘paid surveys uk’ to see what’s on offer. Remember, always do your research on the site to make sure it’s legitimate and have a read of the reviews from other survey takers if you can, so you know what to expect.
Write an Ebook
Another slow burner but, if you’ve always wanted to be a published author, writing Ebooks can be a lucrative side hustle. It is now easier than ever to publish a book thanks to sites like Amazon and their Kindle Direct Publishing initiative.
Side Hustle Laws and Regulations
Of course, turning your hobbies into successful side hustle ideas in the UK means that you will be earning money, so you also have a responsibility to follow the rules and regulations about this. This means declaring your earnings to the Government via HMRC’s Self-Assessment tool if they are above £1,000 a year. Anything below that and you don’t need to declare it.
You also need to consider if and how you register your side hustle business, whether you are a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company. If it’s just you, the simplest option is to be a sole trader, though registering as a limited company is a way of protecting your personal assets from being liable in the case of business debts.
There’s also the question of your employer and this needs considering before you get too far with your side hustle plans. Common law (under the implied duty of fidelity) dictates that you can’t set yourself up as competition for the company that pays your wages and doing that would be a risky move anyway. You also need to check your contract to make sure setting up a side hustle isn’t forbidden.
Thanks to our comprehensive guide to starting a side hustle, you have lots of side hustle ideas to spark your imagination, so why not make this year your most profitable year to date?