In the past few years, there’s been an increase in individuals setting up their own side hustle business to earn some extra income. In fact, an estimated one in five people in Britain have launched their own side hustle business since March 2020.
By starting a business alongside your main job, you can reap the benefits of increased financial certainty whilst still pursuing your passion project. It’s also a great way to test your business idea, which helps to reduce the risk if you do take it full time.
But what would actually be successful as a side hustle? Generally, a great side hustle or business idea meets one of the following criteria:
- Is an interest or hobby that can be monetised
- Utilises existing personal skills
- Has a solution to a social problem
- Accommodates a gap in the market, for instance in your local area
Could your hobby be monetised?
Are you passionate about health and fitness? Love gardening? An avid gamer? The first thing you should consider for a side hustle idea is whether your existing hobby is something you can monetise.
To learn more about monetising your hobby, read our article on turning your hobby into a side hustle.
Don’t have any hobbies that fit the bill? For those of you still looking for some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of side hustles ideas that can help earn you some extra money.
1. User-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is original content created by consumers (rather than brands) to share on online platforms, primarily social media. Also known as consumer-generated content, UGC comes in various forms, such as video, images, audio, testimonials and reviews.
Getting an additional incoming by creating UGC content has been consistently on the rise and is now fully integrated in many brands’ marketing strategies. If you spend a lot of your time on social media, then creating your own UGC content may be a natural side hustle for you.
If your personal expertise has a market to sell to, then you could launch a consulting side hustle.
To start, create a simple website advertising your different services. You can then use LinkedIn and other social media channels to discuss your area of expertise and redirect them to your site.
Live streaming channels such as Twitch and YouTube Live have exploded in recent years, making worldwide stars of some of the most popular streamers. If you’re a keen gamer and are patient enough to build a community, the rewards can be big.
There are also niche streaming audiences for other interests such as writing, dance, music, teaching and more. However, these can be harder to monetise, so it’s important to assess the scale before you start, and if there will be enough of an audience for you to earn subscriptions or advertising.
Whether you have an extensive bank of knowledge to share or you’re naturally charismatic, almost anyone can start their own podcast. All you need to have is a niche topic that you will be able to commit to.
It will take time to learn the ins and outs of podcasting, get set up properly and reach new listeners with your marketing. But once you’ve built up a small community around your podcast, you can monetise it by getting sponsorships and advertisements.
You can also video-record podcast episodes and share them on YouTube, where you can earn money directly from the platform.
5. Start a catering business
Cooking can be one of the most easy-to-access side hustles, as you can start a catering company from your own kitchen, supplying food to local events and businesses.
It’s best to focus on the food that you’re not only passionate about cooking, but also that you can produce at scale consistently. This could be anything from making trays of sandwiches, to traditional home-cooked food or fine dining dishes. Make sure to collect testimonials as you go, which you can then share on your website and social media.
If you want to take things further, there’s the option of doing pop-up dinner events at bars or venues, or getting out to wider audiences with a stall at markets. Food trucks are also an option, but require more investment and commitment, so this could be one to think about once you’ve built up a stable amount of business.
6. Become a digital assistant
If you’re a brilliant organiser, you could start helping someone with their day-to-day admin, but virtually. From managing someone’s calendar to replying to emails, bookkeeping and market research, this can be a varied and flexible role to fit around your other responsibilities.
Handy with a camera? Photography offers multiple ways to earn additional income.
Depending on your specialism, you can make money by selling personal photoshoots, prints, stock images or branded images.
To go down the professional route with your photography, you’ll need to source a quality camera. If you don’t have one already, then you may be able to purchase a secondhand camera on eBay or rent one temporarily until you save up enough funds to buy your own.
Once you’re set up with the right equipment, create an Instagram or Flickr account showcasing your photography skills. If people like your work, then they might reach out to you for a project. Alternatively, you can also reach out to brands for work if you think it will be the right fit.
8. Create a YouTube channel
The process of starting a YouTube channel is pretty similar to launching a podcast series. However, you don’t even need a fancy microphone or camera – a lot of YouTubers simply use their phone to begin with.
To earn money on YouTube, you need to gather at least a thousand subscribers and at least 4,000 watch hours within a year. You can then start getting an income by creating UGC content, becoming a YouTube partner, selling brand placements and sponsorships, and by simply receiving views on your videos.
9. Get involved with coaching
If you’ve got a wealth of experience in a particular industry, your experience and advice will be of great value to those starting out. Becoming a paid mentor or coach can be integral in a person’s early career, whether it’s a one-off session or ongoing meetups to guide clients through exams, key developments and even job applications.
Coaching other founders and sharing the lessons you’ve learned can also be a rewarding experience. As well as letting people know about your services on platforms like LinkedIn, you could contact former workspaces or your university to see if they offer a paid mentoring programme for you to get involved with.
10. Delivery driver
We order online more than ever before, whether it’s clothes, groceries, gifts or our dinner. As such, local and national businesses are always on the lookout for drivers.
Hours can be flexible to suit your schedule. You’ll just need access to a vehicle, a clean driving record and, in some cases, special licences for larger vehicles.
If you don’t want to drive some of the longer distances expected of HGV drivers or some national courier firms, you could deliver directly from local restaurants and shops. They’ll often advertise in their own business, so keep your eyes peeled!
11. User testing
As businesses grow and develop new products, or update their apps and websites, they need feedback from the general public. That’s where you come in!
There are a variety of websites where you can sign up to do online user testing for websites, completing simple tasks on your phone, tablet or computer. There’s also the option of going along to in-person focus groups, where you’re asked your opinion on particular products or brands.
If your friends and family are constantly complimenting your culinary skills, then you should consider starting a baking side hustle.
To get started, create a website or join a social media platform where you can share your work. There are also online marketplaces where you can sell your home-cooked goods, such as previous Pitch finalists All About the Cooks and Hey! Food is Ready.
Learn how Ryan Panchoo grew his vegan and gluten-free doughnut business from a side hustle to full-time business:
Put your native language skills to good use by providing translation services. This could be anything from translating books and guides to updating website and social media copy, or even being a standby interpreter for local companies and public sector organisations.
For more casual translation services, you’ll often be asked to complete a practice task to assess your fluency in the languages needed. But for some more specialist or corporate translation jobs, you’ll often need formal qualifications such as a degree in translation and/or the industry, such as law or medicine.
Most online translation can be done from home or remotely – the more languages you know fluently, the more possibilities you have to earn.
14. Sell your handmade arts and crafts online
If you have a natural gift for arts and crafts, and often make handmade gifts for your friends and family, you should consider selling your goods online to earn some extra income.
Some of the places you can sell your crafts online include Etsy, Crafter’s Market and Folksy. You can also create your own website and sell your goods directly from there.
15. Personal trainer
Is fitness your thing? You could motivate others as a personal trainer, taking people through different workout routines and best practice to get in shape.
To start, you’ll need a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma, or Level 2 in Gym Instruction. The courses required can take only a few weeks to complete, although prices do vary.
Once you have the necessary qualifications, you can decide to rent a room for your PT sessions, work from a local gym, run sessions in the park or even hold sessions online. The benefit of working from a gym is that you’ll have direct client referrals, whereas if you go it alone you’ll have to rely more on advertising in local social media groups, notice boards and word of mouth in the early stages.
Offering free taster sessions to a select few in exchange for reviews or social media posts is a good way to get some extra experience and get the word out.
16. Event planning
While larger corporate events demand much more of your time than you may be able to fit around your other commitments, being an event planner for weddings, parties, gigs and smaller-scale business events is a much more manageable side gig.
If you’ve already got experience of running events and campaigns in other jobs, you could approach local venues and event spaces to see if they need someone to assist part-time with their event programme. Otherwise, you could start by helping friends and family with their personal and work events, and gradually build up a client base through word of mouth and testimonials.
17. Produce written content
Content writing can work well as a side hustle from home, as you can be really flexible in the amount of time you put in and the hours you work. If you’re a natural wordsmith and have a penchant for spelling and grammar, this could be for you.
Find a topic that you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, and start creating content for your own blog. This will act as a portfolio, which you can use to share with potential agencies or publications in your chosen topic area.
18. Teach music lessons
Your musical skills can be a useful money earner, especially if you can play an instrument (or several) to a good standard. You can offer individual or group tuition, in person or online, and also set the amount of hours you’re happy to work in a given week. There’s also the option to run singing lessons or teach people how to use music production software.
When approached by potential clients, you’ll usually be asked about your experience, what level you can play to, or if you have any formal qualifications. It’s best to have as much information about your skills and qualifications on your website or advertisements.
If you’re teaching in person, it’s worth thinking about if your equipment is up to standard, if you need extra instruments or kit for students, and whether there are any paper or online resources you need to source.
For online tuition, you’ll need a good microphone and video setup, plus a strong internet connection to make sure that lessons aren’t interrupted. If you need to purchase any additional equipment or software, this is worth taking into account when pricing your lessons.
19. Create social media content
With the range of social media platforms that companies are expected to be on, plus the pace that they need to create new and engaging content, being a freelance social media creator is in demand across multiple industries. If you have experience across multiple platforms, and can turn your hand to video and image editing as well as writing copy, this is a real bonus.
Scheduling tools such as Later.com and Buffer have made it easier to work across several accounts and fit posting in around other jobs. You’ll need to discuss if you’ll be posting directly from the company accounts, or via one of their scheduling tools. If you’ll need to set up your own subscription to a scheduling or image/video editing tool, this will need to be figured into your costs when you set your rate with clients.
Community and customer management is a whole other beast, responding to direct messages and comments, dealing with complaints and even bookings or product orders. Make sure you price your time accordingly, depending on how many tasks you have to do for each account, how much time it will take, and the amount of specialism involved.
For example, knowing how to capitalise on TikTok trends or set up Facebook advertising are premium skills and should be priced accordingly.
20. Pet sitting
If you’re an animal lover and are comfortable with staying in strangers’ houses or having other people’s pets staying in your house, you should consider being a house and pet sitter. As the name suggests, this involves looking after someone’s house and/or pets whilst they’re away.
Websites that you can sign up to be a pet sitter include:
21. Do some shifts as a taxi driver
Top up your income with a few hours of taxi driving, which can easily fit around your schedule. Companies such as Bolt and Uber have no minimum amount of hours that you have to work in a given week, although they do take commission on every fare. Local taxi companies can offer better rates on what you’ll earn from a fare, but there may be less flexibility or frequency of jobs. There’s also the option of joining a rideshare app such as Turo or Hiyacar to make money from sharing your car on trips you were already planning to make, such as your commute to work.
22. Affiliate marketing
If you have a website, blog or social media accounts which either reach a large and broad audience, or a smaller but very niche one, affiliate marketing is a great way to make some money from your targeted content.
Find companies with products which will appeal directly to your followers and readers, and then approach them for affiliate links which you can include in posts or on-site advertising. These affiliate links can track purchases, giving you a percentage of any sales (these vary from 5% to 20%).
This gives you an extra motivation to grow your audience and create more content to engage with them, which then can provide more opportunities for you to include affiliate links and partnerships.
A big fan of sports? Then you could consider becoming a part-time referee or umpire to earn some extra pocket money.
Before you start, you’ll need to check what qualifications are needed for your chosen sport, such as the FA Referee Course for football. Not all sports will require a qualification, but having professional training can be a helpful boost to kickstart your new refereeing side hustle.
Once you’ve completed any necessary courses, the next step is to get on the pitch. For some courses, like the FA Referee Course, you’ll need to referee a number of matches before you receive your certificate and badge.
There are also platforms out there to help referees find local games that are suitable for them. The Pitch 2021 People’s Choice winner YesRef created an online platform to help connect leagues, clubs and businesses to referees, so downloading their app is a must if you want to get into a refereeing side hustle.
24. Online surveys
Market research is a big business, and there’s no shortage of websites and apps like YouGov which will pay you to complete surveys on anything from online shopping to your opinion on politics. You just need to sign up and answer a few questions about yourself to screen for particular surveys, and then you’ll be sent the ones you qualify for.
The earnings aren’t huge, and many of the websites will pay you in gift cards rather than cash, but enough to give you some extra spending money each month.
If you’ve got good listening skills and can type at speed, you can look into transcribing meetings, events or audio notes. There’s even the option of adding captions to film and TV shows.
You can find transcription jobs via online job boards and recruitment agencies, with some roles paying per audio minute, and some a set hourly rate. Experience isn’t a prerequisite, and transcribers can earn between £10-£15 per hour (or more if the topic or industry is particularly specialised).
It may seem like a simple side hustle idea, but cleaning houses and offices can soon turn into a fully-fledged business in its own right if you get a name for good quality and value for money.
Start out by taking on some smaller local jobs to test out your costs and timings per job – you can then move on to advertising more broadly on local notice boards, in community groups and approaching local office managers and receptionists.
There’s also the option to offer laundry and ironing services to those who are strapped for time, which you can do from home in between other tasks.
27. Resell your unwanted clothing online
Over the past two years, the fashion resale market has tripled, now representing between 3-5% of the apparel, clothing and accessories sector. This trend is expected to continue as well, with a report from ThredUp predicting that the secondhand clothing market will double by 2026.
So now’s the time to get involved and sell your clothes online for a bit of extra cash – online marketplace platforms to sell secondhand clothing include Vinted, Depop and Vestiaire Collective.
If you don’t have a lot of spare clothing to sell, you can always ask friends and family if you would be able to sell theirs, with you taking a percentage commission from what you sell.
28. Do someone else’s DIY
Many of us have a list of jobs around the house that will take us years to get to, but there’s now Taskrabbit and local message boards where you can find someone else to do it. If you’ve got a skill or interest in painting and decorating, assembling furniture or fixing things, it’s worth making yourself visible on these platforms for some steady and varied jobs.
Taskrabbit gets you to create a profile and allows people to rate and review your work, but can be a bit more hit and miss for local jobs. Alternatively, message boards and Facebook groups are great for getting the word out locally, but the lack of visibility around reviews and experience can mean that your pricing is lower.
29. Self publish your work
Are you a budding author, or have some handy advice to share? Self-publishing books and guides is a good way to establish yourself and have a real-world example to show potential agents and publishers, while you make some income on the way.
Options such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allow you to self-publish ebooks or print books and guides for free (although that’s just the distribution side, you’ll have to pay out for proofreading, editing and designing your book). You can then decide what to charge your readers to purchase your book.
There’s no barrier to entry, unlike other self-publishing platforms which will reject some works if they feel that there isn’t enough of an audience, or the standard isn’t high enough.
30. Start your own online community platform
Are you aware of a social issue that isn’t being addressed? Would people benefit from communicating online with others about this issue? Then you may have found the perfect niche to start an online community.
A great example of this is The Pitch 2022 People’s Choice winner Talk Twenties, an online community that offers a safe space for twentysomethings to ask life’s big questions. Read our interview with founder Gaby Mendes here.
While looking after children can be a demanding job alongside other roles, there are various ways of juggling it as a side hustle, from occasional babysitting to part-time nannying and childminding.
For more casual jobs, you’ll just need to provide references, while for longer-term placements you may be asked to show childcare qualifications. Having a car is also handy if you’re expected to pick up little ones from school, or take them on days out.
32. Tutor local students
LinkedIn predicts that 2023 will be the year for tutors. With several years of disrupted and disjointed learning, parents and schools alike are looking for support to help students bridge the gap – and make up for the lost education time during the pandemic.
There are no formal requirements to become a tutor, but if you’re thinking about doing this as a serious side business then you should consider getting qualified teacher status (QTS).
You will also be expected to have some form of professional education in your teaching topic, such as an undergraduate degree – though this will depend on what level of education you want to teach.
33. Rent out your space
Got a room, parking space or garage sitting there doing nothing? Make a bit of extra cash by renting out via websites such as JustPark, Park On My Drive, Airbnb and Spareroom. If you live close to a sporting or entertainment venue, it could also be worth putting a note on any Facebook event pages to say that you have a parking space up for grabs – you can often charge a premium for extra busy days!
Nifty with a needle and thread? Doing alterations and repairs can be a lucrative side hustle, especially with the current push against fast fashion and desire to extend the life of existing clothing.
If you’re feeling even more ambitious, you could move on to making clothes from scratch, or upcycling pre-loved pieces. There are various online marketplaces where you can sell your creations, or you could sew-to-order if you want to charge a higher price for a bespoke item.
35. Hair and beauty
With the hair and beauty industry bouncing back in 2022, there has never been a better time to start your own side hustle in this area.
Some examples of side hustles in this industry include:
- Nail technician
- Hair stylist
- Tanning technician
- Make-up artist (MUA)
- Body art (tattooing and piercing)
- Spa therapist
- Skincare specialist
It’s worth noting that most hair and beauty side hustles will require an upfront cost to secure equipment or a place in a salon, so you will need to have some spare cash to go down this route. Depending on the type of side hustle you’re running, you might also be able to run your business out of your home or travel to customers’ homes.
36. Open an online shop
While we’ve covered selling your own wares online, there’s also the option to sell products made by other people. It’s important to think about what will make your offering stand out from the countless other online shops and online marketplaces – is it local makers, a sustainable angle, or exclusive products?
People love having a beautiful garden, but there are lots of people out there who are physically unable to take care of it themselves.
Most people will only need a gardener for a couple of hours every week or two, so this is the perfect business to run as a side hustle.
To find your customers, ask friends and family, post on local Facebook groups or share flyers to see if anyone needs any help with their garden.
38. Make more of your music
If you’re making music at home or jamming with a band in your spare time, there’s no reason why you can’t turn it into a money-spinning side hustle. While playing gigs in local bars and venues won’t bring in much cash, providing the music or DJing skills at a wedding or corporate event can yield a much better return.
39. Sports and adventure
If you love the outdoors and enjoy some adventurous hobbies, being an instructor is a fun way to add to your income. From paddleboarding to climbing, there’s often the option of moving between several activities, and many activity centres will provide additional training for instructors, and sport-related qualifications are desirable.
If your groups include children or school groups, you may be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Many activity centres and adventure companies offer flexible contracts, especially over the summer peak period.
40. Be a film and TV extra
Be seen on screen and make some money in the process! Being an extra or walk-on for a film or TV show can earn you around £100 per day, with the potential for repeat roles on particular productions.
The work can be inconsistent and sometimes last minute, so you’ll need to be flexible and reliable. But joining up with large casting agencies should mean that you get a steady stream of offers, although the agency will take a commission, often around 15%.
Ready to start your side hustle?
Before you get into the weeds of starting a new business, there are multiple things you will need to consider, for example:
- Whether you’ll need to get extra funding to support your side hustle business
- How much you’re going to charge for your product or service
- How you’ll build your community around your side hustle
Want to take your side hustle to the next level? Find out how with Sage’s side hustle toolkit.