A poll has revealed there could be as many as one in four of us who are actively involved in side hustles. While they might sound like rather sinister scams, these are actually bona fide businesses that generate extra income on top of the ‘day job’. 

And they’re becoming more and more popular. 

According to a study by OnePoll, commissioned by Vistaprint, a typical side business in the UK takes up around 13 hours a week. 

It found hairdressers, beauticians, personal trainers and dieticians are the most popular pursuits. 

Artists, DJs, designers, DIYers, decorators and gardeners also made it onto the list. 

An estimated 32% of people who have their own side hustle said they aim to grow their venture into an expanded company. 

In fact, the study by OnePoll showed side hustlers can top up their income with an average of more than £6,600 annually after tax while 15% make £12,000 every year. 

Generating supplementary cash was found to be the top reason for having or wanting to have a business on the side. But one in three start a part-time venture to pursue a passion. 

Jonathan Hart’s side hustle has certainly taken him in a whole new direction. As an assistant portering manager, he enjoys working in one of Surrey & Hampshire’s busiest hospitals. His true passion, however, has always been dogs and this has led to a side role with Take The Lead Services. 

“The company was first thought up in a pub in the New Forest with my brother and his partner. At the time Matt was a police officer and Karina was a veterinary nurse. They’d struggled to find a reliable professional to look after their dogs while they were away, so they came up with the idea of starting a part-time dog walking and day care business. 

“The idea was they could pay for their yearly holiday through the extra work.” 

Jonathan joined in August 2016, and was soon enjoying his perfect ‘side hustle’ role. 

“They were looking to kickstart the events side of the business – something to help raise money for charities, run dog shows and fun days, social walks and black-tie events and were looking for a part-time events manager.” 

Take The Lead Services is now one of the leading pet care professional companies in Surrey & Hampshire, employing more than 10 members of staff and offering a wide range of services, including daycare, grooming, walking, training, boarding, small pet care and events. It turns out man’s (and woman’s) best friend is also the catalyst for a great business. 

Mark Sutherland’s main job is a highways engineer – by day and by night shift – but he began baking last year. 

“I’d been struggling to find bread and cakes that suited my own lactose-intolerant diet, so I bought a recipe book. I began baking cupcakes and scones and would bring them to the team on my shifts – I got a real ribbing at first, but they were soon eating them faster than I could bake them!” 

It was when family and friends began asking if they could have regular deliveries that Mark realised, he had created a side hustle. 
“It’s still very low-key,” he says, “but it’s already paid for a new kitchen! I’m learning new culinary skills every day so who knows what the future might bring. Maybe my own bakery and café!” 

Although side hustle roles may not be directly linked to what you aspire to do in the long term, such as in Mark’s case, they still provide valuable experience you can use to help get you where you want to be. 

They are also great for learning new skills that can be used to land permanent positions and build exciting careers. 

You might find yourself networking with people you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to meet, and this can be a great way to help you naturally develop empathy, cultural and social awareness and personal sensitivity. 

Such soft skills are incredibly important in the health care and social services sectors. 

Being involved in entrepreneurship also teaches excellent numerical skills and the ability to handle cash confidently and in a trustworthy manner. 

This is an obvious advantage in many industries, from financial services and accountancy to the world of retail and hospitality. 

Finally, a side hustle helps instil discipline and self-motivation. Sometimes it’s not easy to be motivated every day by the benefits of a side hustle – the extra cash, upskilling and networking. This is especially true on cold, dark mornings or sun-filled weekends. 

But by persevering with your business, you’re showing determination and self-reliance: both are gold stars on your CV when it comes to applying for a new career. 

If you’re ready to enjoy a bit on the side by exploring the world of side hustles, you can find many temporary and part-time vacancies on x1jobs.