This month the UK Government started slowly withdrawing support for the coronavirus furlough scheme. Employers now must pay National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Currently the Government is still paying 80 per cent of furloughed staff members’ salaries, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
However, from September this salary support will reduce to 70 percent and will drop further to 60 percent in October. Employers across the UK are currently assessing how viable it is to keep employees on if they must now pay more towards salaries and NI and pension contributions. If you are uncertain about whether your job will survive after the furlough scheme comes to an end, now may be the time to start a side hustle. Let’s look in more detail on starting a side hustle on furlough.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is an additional job or business that a person pursues in addition to their primary job to supplement their income, but they can also be started by people who want to develop a hobby. At this time of immense financial uncertainty generating any additional income may not only help pay the bills but may also help you cultivate new skills.
How many people have a side hustle?
Research by Henley Business School conducted in 2018, showed that 25% of Brits have a side hustle, and not only are they growing in popularity they are also extremely valuable to the UK economy. UK side hustles generate income worth £72 billion for the UK, or about 3.6% of UK GDP. The Henley report also estimated that 50% of the UK population could be forced to start a side hustle by 2030. However, since that research was published a lot has changed, the coronavirus has upturned the economy and transformed all notions of work and employment. Side hustling is going to become a necessary reality for many people, not in the distant future but right now.
Which side hustles are popular in the UK?
Currently Brits are pursuing a wide variety of side hustles but there are some that have emerged as increasingly popular. Uber not only revolutionised cab journeys for passengers it has also created a new income stream for many of the UK’s 40 million drivers. Uber drivers can decide when and where they work and earn significant amounts of money. During lockdown, its popularity understandably diminished but anecdotal reports suggest its use is on the rise again.
Freelancing is another popular sider hustle that many Brits have adopted. Freelancing offers a straightforward path to income and allows individuals to capitalise on existing skills. Experienced professionals and graduates alike are using social media and websites such as People per hour and Fiverr to sell their services on an hourly or project basis. There is demand for a variety of skills, from graphic design to accounting.
Another side hustle which exploits existing skills is e-tutoring. The impact of the coronavirus on schooling has increased the demand for private tutors. Parents are keen to hire tutors for their children in a range of areas including languages, music and even gaming. Alternatively side hustlers who want to teach but do not want to commit to daily or weekly lessons have developed online courses to sell on platforms like Udemy and Coursera. Online courses create a unique opportunity for you to create an income and share your knowledge with students across the world. The range of courses on offer is vast, if you can present information in a helpful and accessible way you can make a course about nearly anything.
Artisans are also making the best of their skills by developing hand made products and selling them online. Painters, seamstresses, potters, carpenters, and many more have created viable businesses. Astyn Gold, founder of Home Jewels, turned to candle making when she wanted to start a side hustle. Watch our interview with her to learn more.
Top tips for starting a side hustle
Before starting a side hustle, it is important to carefully assess your circumstances to identify the best option for you to pursue.
- Time & Commitment
How much time can you commit to a side hustle? It is important that you are realistic, and you consider how much time you have available between your full-time job, family commitments and any other extracurricular activities you may also be involved in. Putting in the extra work required to develop a side hustle is not easy, you must be prepared to commit for the long term if you want to be successful.
- Money & Investment
Does your side hustle require money to start-up? If so, investing in yourself is never a bad idea, however it is unwise to use all your savings. So, it is important to pursue a side hustle that does not require excessive financial investment and is manageable for your current finances.
- Future Plans
Choose a side hustle which fits into your future. Whether that is because it will help move you into a new career, enhance your career prospects in your ‘main job’ or simply generate the additional income that you require.