Getting Your Side Hustle Off The Ground
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At the moment, you might be noticing a lot of talk about money, especially with the current cost of living crisis. And lots of people are turning to their passions to see if they can make some extra pennies. Doing something that you love and making some cash because of it? Pretty good deal, huh! So, how can you get your side hustle off the ground and turn it into something that thrives?
Well, first things first, you need to decide what it is you’ve got to offer. Is it something creative (like making clothes or baking)? Is it something you can teach other people (like a language or playing an instrument)? Is it something personal to share (like writing a book or creating paintings)? Is it something technical (like knowing how to build websites or take brilliant photographs)?
Once you’ve got an idea of what you could do, it’s important to take a look at your competition. If the market is already saturated with people doing the same thing as you, you’ll need to think about what makes you stand out from them. What is your unique selling point? What makes you better than everyone else? That will be your hook.
So what about some ideas?
For the creatives…
If you’re someone who enjoys making things, whether it’s crafts, clothes, paintings, drawings, and everything else in between, it might be a good idea to set up your own online shop. There are lots of different places to sell out there, but Redbubble and Etsy are two of the most popular.
Selling on Redbubble is pretty easy, as they handle all printing and dispatching to customers for you. So if you’re someone who digitally paints, draws, does calligraphy, or anything involving designing, all you need to do is upload your artwork and decide what to let it be printed on. This could be items of clothing, tote bags, bottles, posters, and even phone cases. You also don’t have to pay any upfront fees with Redbubble, they just take a little slice of what you make when people buy from you.
Etsy is one of the most popular sites for makers all over the world. Unlike Redbubble, this isn’t just an ‘on-demand print shop’, but something open for any kind of makers, You’ll find clothing, houseware, gifts for pets, vintage items, furniture, and so much more. So whatever creative field you specialise in, there’s a corner of Etsy available to you. You’ll get to upload photos and descriptions of your products, and choose your own price for everything. And while it doesn’t cost anything to set up an Etsy storefront, there are a lot of fees that you have to pay to keep it running - listing fees, sales and tax fees, and transaction fees, which means that Etsy could end up getting at least a third of your revenue. Fine if your store takes off and you’re getting lots of sales, but definitely something to keep in mind.
Have a love for using Canva? Canva is a great way to create products easily and turn them into an income. But remember, you can’t sell their pre-made templates. Check out their T&Cs here.
For the opinionated…
If you’re someone who likes to give their opinion, and has lots of different takes on different things, there’s good news…companies actually pay for that! One simple side hustle you can do is sign up to take part in market research, and get paid for your time and thoughts.
By signing up to things like takepartinresearch.co.uk, you can influence future developments in product design, customer service, local authority policies, business modelling, motoring and medicine, and earn cash by doing it! You might be asked to fill out a survey online, take part in a group discussion or focus group, have a face to face interview, or even test products or play video games in your home…for anything up to £800!
For the skilled…
If you’re someone who looks at their camera roll and wishes you could make a living off of taking pics, this one’s for you. Did you know you can sell your photos to digital photo libraries? Websites like Shutterstock and iStock allow you to upload your photos for others to buy and use, if you’re 18 or over.
You can of course upload any kind of photo you want (they even allow videos, vectors, illustrations and music!), but it’s a good idea to take into account trends happening in the world at the time. For example, right now, with the cost of living crisis, you might make more money by uploading photos of boilers and gas flames, as people and organisations will be buying them to use in communications. Then, it’s a bit of a waiting game, but each time a customer downloads your work, they purchase a licence to use it. As a contributing artist, you earn a percentage of the price they pay for that licence. So, if your creations are popular, you could be seeing quite a build up of money! You can find out more about how it works here.
For the thrifty…
Some side hustles just come naturally. And in this case, it could come as naturally as looking around your bedroom and deciding you want a change. Take stock of things you don’t love anymore - whether that be clothing, shoes, accessories, books, or decor - and sell it on. There are plenty of websites like Depop, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace, that let you sell your old things to new people. But don’t underestimate the power of in person selling too! Have a look around where you live and see if there are any car boot sales you can get involved in, or, set up a garage/garden sale from your own house!
If you’re especially good at finding interesting or unique pieces when you go to charity shops, it might also be a good idea to think about flipping as a side hustle. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains, whether it’s in shops, online, or even things your parents might want to get rid of, and see if you can sell them on for a profit. This is especially good if you’re skilled at things like reupholstery - seen a bit of a worn out chair in a charity shop that needs a new covering? Make it happen and sell it on! Got two old pieces of clothing that somehow could work together? Rip them up, sew them back together and create something brand new and one-of-a-kind!
For the sporty…
If you love the beautiful game, and being in charge, you can put all that together and get paid to referee matches! Becoming a referee for the FA is open to anyone aged 14 and above. You have to take part in a refereeing course first, where you’ll learn everything from signals and communications to managing restarts and throw-ins, and how to handle any disputes that might occur. You’ll do some virtual learning, some face to face, and most importantly, you’ll get on the pitch too. After attending the training, you’ll have to ref five matches before officially qualifying, and then you’ll get your certificate and FA Referee badge. It does cost money to take part in the course, but once you’re done with that you’ll be getting paid to be in charge of the matches!
These are just a handful of ways to get started with a side business, but there are also loads of different organisations out there with super handy hints and tips. Enterprise Nation helps people create great businesses through inspirational content, events, community and campaigning, and has a great Insta account where they regularly post steps on how to create a business, whether that be in TikTok, on Pinterest, or even how to start something with zero budget. So, don’t be afraid of your side hustle, but lean on into it and see where it takes you!