One in four workers across the UK are believed to be operating their own “side-hustle”, reportedly generating around £72billion a year.
The side-hustle refers to those leading double lives professionally; monetising their passion by operating a self-run business outside of their main form of employment. Whilst this second source of income isn’t a new phenomenon, trends are emerging around the type of ‘hustle’ being pursued.
Social trends are a common prompt for the uptake of new side-hustles, alongside celebrity movements, TV shows, and the public’s latest online obsessions, to name a few. Examples may include a baking course business influenced by the rise of popular TV show, The Great British Bake Off, or a craft training business prompted by the popular Macramé trend, which uses knotting and hitching techniques to create hanging textiles.
The prospect of creating a business from scratch, especially whilst upholding a job elsewhere, can be daunting. However, the rewards of working and getting paid for their passion can keep people on track.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to develop a side-hustle business into a successful, sustainable and profitable venture. No matter where you are on your side-hustle journey, there are simple ways to ensure your passion remains at the centre of your venture, stay motivated and keep your side-hustle moving forwards.
Getting started and assessing your skills
There is lots to consider when getting your side-hustle off the ground – especially if you’re juggling it around your usual working hours. According to a report from the Federation of Small Business, a lack of appropriate business skills is the second largest barrier to achieving growth aspirations – a sobering fact considering 60 per cent of new businesses go-under within three years. It’s therefore important to acquire the necessary business acumen as quickly as possible, especially when selling time-based services.
Luckily, there is a plethora of business management platforms available that can tackle many of the behind the scenes jobs for you, meaning you don’t need to spend time and money attending complex training programmes. You can instead focus your time and energy on the bits of your side-hustle that you really love.
Once you’re underway…
For many side-hustlers, once your business is underway, you may be tempted to spend some time on the mundane jobs that are essential to running a business – admin tasks such as managing payments, organising bookings, liaising with clients, etc. However, in order for your business to really flourish you need to find ways to manage your time and admin processes efficiently, so your passion keeps burning strong and you maintain your love for what you’re doing.
Fortunately, there is some user-friendly tech out there that can help you tackle your admin and streamline business processes, so you can focus on the good stuff.
The right tools can significantly reduce the hours spent on admin helping you to maximise productivity, whilst keeping your passion at the centre of your business. Booking management platforms, such as fibodo, can be a huge help, as the technology automates a client’s booking journey in a streamlined and timely way.
Running your side-hustle
A number of challenges may arise whilst getting your side-hustle up and running, but even those with the most basic technical or business skills can upscale their business ventures using simple tools. These tools can help budding entrepreneurs to:
Once your side-hustle is up and running and the bookings are coming in, hopefully thick and fast, it’s worth spending a little time analysing the behaviour of your clients. Do they make bookings at certain times of the day? Are they more likely to place orders at weekends?
To maximise your income, plan to be actively providing your services during peak times to meet the demand of your customers. For example, if your side-hustle involves teaching – aim to host group classes during busy times so you can help more people and move your one-on-one sessions to quieter times.
There may be times when a client books your services but has to cancel at the last-minute. If you’ve incurred expenses in preparation for fulfilling the client booking, make sure you’re not left out of pocket – manage your cashflow. For instance, if you’ve had to order supplies in preparation for a booking, consider taking payments upfront to cover yourself in the event of cancellations or try introducing a cancellation fee to cover your expenses.
These days, social media has the ability to make or break a business. Putting a little time and effort into regularly updating your social media with business updates and images of your latest activities can work wonders for enhancing brand awareness, which in turn can significantly improve bookings and sales over time. Be sure to use good quality photography, a tone of voice appropriate to your target audience, and utilise those all-important hashtags to boost visibility. Social media platforms can also be used effectively as a call to action, such as sharing last-minute availability to fill empty spaces for classes or shouting about time sensitive discounts.
Take your side hustle to the next level
Launching a side-hustle from your passion is about more than just making money: it’s a way of doing what you love whilst sharing your skills with the world. The skills gap of would-be entrepreneurs has been a limiting factor to the success of side-hustles in times gone by. However, with so much innovative technology at hand today that reduces the stress of starting and operating a business on the side, there’s no time like the present to launch your side-hustle and take your passion to the next level.