What are the most popular side hustles?


Date: 9 May 2024

A mobile hairresser is cutting an older woman's hair.

If you're thinking of starting a side hustle, you're in good company. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, more of us are looking for ways to supplement our income. It means that having a side hustle is becoming the norm.

A recent survey of 2,000 Brits by NatWest has found that 64% of people are looking for ways to increase their income in 2024 and, of these, 45% say they are looking to increase their income by starting or growing a side hustle. Similarly, a 2023 poll by Money.co.uk found that 31% of Brits already have a side hustle and 42% are considering starting one. From becoming an Uber driver, renting a spare room or teaching a sport at weekends, there are lots of opportunities to earn some extra money.

So, what does it take to set up a side hustle? The first step is to decide what kind of side business you want to run. Think about your interests and your expertise and do some research to find out if there's demand for any of your skills. It's best to choose something that you'll enjoy doing, given that you'll be working on it in your spare time.

Taking payments for your side hustle

More often than not, you don't need to spend much to get a side hustle off the ground. The key thing is to start with the right payment system that will allow your customers to pay you (whether you're out and about, working from home or selling online) and give you a tool for managing your cash flow. You'll also have to spend time marketing your new side business; social media sites, especially local sites like NextDoor, can be a great way to get the word out.

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Here are ten of the most popular side hustles that could inspire you to start up a side business of your own.

1. Selling goods at a market

Do you love baking, making jewellery, growing vegetables or upcycling furniture? Farmers markets, street markets, vintage and flea markets, car boot sales and pop-up events provide an easy and low-cost way to run a retail side hustle based on your passion. The National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF) website includes a searchable database of markets all over the UK. You'll need a POS system like Square to take card payments.

2. Virtual Assistant

If you're well-organised, computer-savvy, good with people and have a can-do attitude, you could make good money on the side being a virtual assistant. The job description for a virtual assistant can include managing admin, replying to emails, booking appointments, doing research, making phone calls, proof-reading documents and writing posts for social media. Freelance websites like Fiverr and PeoplePerHour are a good place to find virtual assistant work.

3. Personal training

Personal trainers are more in demand than ever. Paying for a gym membership is no longer seen as a luxury as so many of us prioritise our own well-being. Even so, levels of obesity are rising and, as a result, GPs are now referring patients to exercise professionals. In addition, gyms and sports centres are always looking for freelance trainers to take their classes. Being a personal trainer is a gig that can easily fit around a 9-5 job. With a payment system like Square, you can manage your appointments schedule as well as taking payments from clients in person or online.

4. Selling online

Selling goods via an online marketplace such as eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon or Vinted can be a great way to make money on the side, whether you're selling candles, cosmetics, clothes or car parts. You may already be experienced at buying and selling things online; if you want to turn your hobby into a regular money-spinner, you will need to check out the current tax rules concerning online sales.

5. Social media management

Lots of businesses need help with their social media marketing. If you love creating compelling social media content and have experience building an online following, you could offer your services to local businesses that don't have this expertise in-house and help them to get the most out of sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

6. Dog walking and pet-sitting

Animal lovers can build up a lucrative side hustle by offering dog walking and pet-sitting in their local area. Many British households have pets but often owners are too busy working to walk their dogs and they also need a pet-sitter when they go on holiday. This work can easily fit around your main job - especially if you work from home and have some flexibility in your hours.

7. Tutoring

Have you got a skill that you could pass on to someone else? From teaching a language or a musical instrument to helping someone to pass their maths GCSE, if you have expertise that is in demand, then you could turn it into a lucrative side hustle. Another potential money-spinner is to teach English as a second language to students online. You will need to complete an online TEFL course and then can schedule one-to-one tuition sessions in your spare time.

8. Freelancing

Doing some freelance work in your professional field can be a great way to earn extra money and open up new career opportunities. You may have a steady job that you love, whether you're a content writer, a graphic designer or a web developer, but you'd like to dip your toe in the water as a freelancer. By advertising your service on sites like Upwork, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour, you can test the demand for your services, make new contacts and bring in some extra money.

9. Home and garden work

Homeowners often struggle to find someone to do simple jobs in their home or garden. If you have the skills, you could offer your services doing home maintenance, decorating, carpentry or gardening in your spare time. A simple way to get started is by contacting neighbours on a local WhatsApp group or on the NextDoor app. Once you've got your first customers, work often comes in via word-of-mouth recommendation.

10. Mobile hairdresser, beautician or nail artist

Around two-thirds of businesses offering hair and beauty treatments don't have salon premises but operate a mobile service or work from home. If you're a trained hairdresser, nail artist or beautician, you're in an excellent position to make extra money on the side by working with clients from home.

Copyright 2024. Article made possible by Square.

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