Over a third (35%) of Brits now run a side hustle, and many are making over £5,000 a year each in additional income.
The study by small business insurer Simply Business revealed the majority (55%) of side hustles were set up during the pandemic, when people used their time, energy and the need for extra income to set up a side business.
A separate study by Simply Business also found that 70% of small business owners believe that the cost of living crisis is their biggest challenge to financial recovery in 2022. So, unsurprisingly, many people are looking to utilise their hobbies, skills and passions to create successful side businesses, often with fruitful results.
Over one in 10 (14%) expect to make over £5,000 each in additional income in the next year. What’s more, over half (54%) now make up to 10% of their annual income from their side hustle.
Seven out of ten (72%) people who run a side hustle are currently employees of a company, as people reevaluate their careers, look to make extra income, or pursue a hobby.
Why has the side hustle become so popular?
As people manage the fallout of a global pandemic and the rising costs of living, many are turning to side hustles to earn extra income. Nearly a third (28%) said the pandemic gave them time and energy to make their side hustle happen, while one quarter (23%) believe the pandemic made them reconsider what they wanted to do long term.
One in five (20%) also needed to make up for lost income as a result of the pandemic, as redundancies and reduced income tightened purse strings.
And we can expect to see the rise in side businesses continue – as a further third (31%) are thinking about setting up a side hustle in the near future. Of those thinking of starting up, more than a third (36%) have an idea but are still figuring it out, while a further 30% say they haven’t had the time yet to get started.
But as the world gets back to work, a third (34%) of people with side hustles say they don’t have enough time to properly run their side business. A fifth (19%) struggle to get their work-life balance right, and 17% struggle to market their business and find customers.
Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said, “It is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that runs throughout the UK that more than one in three people now have a side hustle alongside their main source of income.
“People across the country are navigating incredibly challenging circumstances – we’re still recovering from a global pandemic, and the cost of living crisis doesn’t appear to be easing. So it comes as no surprise that one in three people have started their own side hustles to bring in extra income.
“Small businesses are crucial to the UK, accounting for 99% of all British businesses and contributing trillions of pounds a year to our economy. So it’s vital that we do everything we can to nurture these side hustles, giving people the opportunity to grow their businesses as they see fit.
“However, many have reported roadblocks as they look to scale their side hustles – including a lack of financial support, time, and red tape. At Simply Business, we’re acutely aware of the many challenges facing small business owners when starting up, especially at this time. That’s why we’ve launched our £25,000 Business Boost grant again this year to help one budding entrepreneur to start or grow their business.”