A recent study by Bentley University shows that over two thirds of men dream of starting their own business. Yet with the economy in flux, quitting your day job to follow said dream can be daunting at best and impossible at worst.
That’s where side hustles come in – ways to make money outside of the nine-to-five that’ll allow you to add skills to your CV and prove your entrepreneurship without handing in your notice.
Here are some of the best ways to boost your bank balance without getting fired this year.
Share And Share Alike
Shares are no longer just on the stock market. “The sharing economy is growing exponentially, as consumers get more used to the idea of what we call ‘collaborative consumption’, and what you might call ‘sharing your stuff’,” says Nigel Wilson, managing director at online behavioural consultancy Hitwise.
Recent studies show that 19 per cent of all adults in the US and UK have engaged in a sharing economy transaction, and the opportunities are growing. If becoming an Uber driver or renting out your spare room on AirBnb still feels like a step too far, dip your toe into sharing by renting out your car on Turo, your camera on Cameralends, fitness equipment on Spinlister or even deliver home-cooked meals straight from your oven with Umi-Kitchen.
Turning square-eyed thanks to your Snapchat addiction? Turn it into something productive. “Startups and small businesses are constantly in need of people who can help them build their brands online, especially with newer platforms that they may not have ventured onto yet,” says Wilson.
“Flexjobs and CareerBuilder are full of these opportunities but directly approaching a company that you think could do better online has also seen great success, providing you approach it in the right way. ‘Social media consultant’ also looks great on your CV.”
Got a firm grasp on at least one language and access to a webcam? There’s more you can do with that than just host an online chatroom. “The demand for English teachers who have the patience and willingness to coach people over Skype is huge,” says Wilson.
While full English as a Second Language (ESL) accreditation is recommended, you can qualify for some jobs so long as you’re a native speaker. “Head to sites like Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for the latest listings, but keep an eye on the fees offered as they’ll vary wildly.”
Fancy yourself as a Tinder pro? Believe it or not, your expertise is something many people are willing to pay for. Online dating coach Virginia Roberts charges upwards of £150 an hour for one-on-one video coaching.
“If you can put together an enticing profile, select flattering photos and craft messages that get results, you’re qualified to help out those who find it more difficult. It’s great fun, too.”
As the role of the travel agent diminishes on the high street, time-poor people are still willing to pay for someone to find them the cheapest deals and best locations. If you love to travel and have knowledge of when and where to find the best offers and the coolest hotspots, you’re already halfway there.
“Start with friends and family, then ask for referrals. You can also sign up on a site that connects you with travellers looking for inspiration, such as Plansify. You’ll earn £8-£20 an hour to answer three questions, or £30-£50 for an hour-long Skype session,” says Wilson.
People either love or hate creating presentations, and there’s a surprisingly large amount of people willing to pay decent fees for someone to take the PowerPoint wrestling off their hands.
“Start small with friends and family, but word of mouth can spread easily if you create an online presence – the joy of presentation consulting and creation is that it can be done anywhere in the world, so connect with the largest audience you can,” says Adam Noar, founder of specialists Presentation Panda.
“Everyone from businesspeople to students use my services, so be prepared to price accordingly.”
Know everything about the Spurs team between 1994 and 1996? An expert on how to paint fence panels? As engaged podcast audiences grow exponentially, specialist podcasts are becoming a great way to make money – and attract specific advertisers.
“If you’re a relevant, specialist podcast that a business will see clear results from [such as a DIY store advertising on your fence panel show], they’ll be willing to pay £150-£400 for a 30-second advertisement. And those numbers keep growing as your listeners do,” says John Lee Dumas, host of the business podcast Entrepreneur on Fire.
Swapped your hometown for the big city? If you relocated specifically to develop skill sets or certifications within an industry, consider putting your knowledge to use in your free time by offering consulting services to small, local businesses that may not have access to people with your expertise.
“Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist or manufacturing aficionado, if you’re serious about becoming a local business consultant, you can make a decent amount of money and get the rewarding experience of seeing your impact make a difference,” says small business consultant Karyn Greenstreet.
Got the insider knowledge about the place you live? Maybe you know the best brunch spots, or how to best spend a rainy afternoon. Or maybe you travel to a tourist hotspot so regularly you know the public transport timetables off by heart?
It doesn’t have to be about a place, either. Maybe you’re a dab hand at styling outfits or cobbling together a meal. Anyone with anything useful to share can start a blog – because most of us turn to Google whenever we need help. And once you’ve built up some followers and you’re getting decent hits, that’s when you can start making money by hosting adverts and recommending products for commission. All you need to start is a WordPress account.
Offer Your Time
Take advantage of the gig economy by signing up to sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Whatever skills you have, there’s bound to be someone willing to pay for you to do it for them. And think outside of the box here.
Even if you’re not an expert at coding or graphic design, focus on whatever you are good at, even if it is simple. Maybe you have a talent for writing a good email, researching, or simply offering advice. Ask your friends and family if you’re stuck for your specific talent – you’ll be surprised at the weird, specific things other people have noticed you’re good at.
If you’ve got a good eye for spotting a bargain, such as valuable items in vintage or second-hand sales, or you’re simply willing to camp overnight queuing for the latest must-have sneaker drops, consider setting up an Ebay account.
If you buy at the right price and there is demand for your item, you can make a great return (even after taking into account selling and transaction fees) and have yourself a nice, easy-to-manage sideline business that has the potential to develop into your main income stream over time.