A new study from O2 Business has revealed that over a quarter of people in full-time employment are earning money via side businesses.
27% of Brits are using their side business to top up their salaries by an average of 23%. This averages out to £6,446 a year which contributes around £40bn a year to the economy.
The study found that 40% of UK workers knew someone who worked and ran a side business alongside. 23% said they were considering doing the same in the future.
When asked why they wanted to start a side business, 58% said that it was to earn more money while 27% said it was to follow their passions.
For many a side business is seen as a way of testing a potential new career. 41% of side business owners say they would like their side ventures their full-time job in the future.
O2 Business found that people are often spending over nine hours a week on their side business, making up an average of 59 extra working days per year. Starting a business alongside a full-time job may be a lot of work but it’s also a way of minimising risk because you’ve still got your salary to fall back on should things go wrong.
Why the Rise in Side Businesses?
New technology and the internet has made it easier than ever to set up a side business at minimal cost. People can now operate entirely online without ever having to rent shop or office space. Many freelancers never even meet their clients face to face as being online makes it easy to find and communicate with clients on the opposite side of the country or even internationally.
46% of side business owners listed broadband as necessary to run their business. A further 27% listed social media and 14% said the cloud were useful for the day-to-day running of their businesses.
As well as making it easier to run side businesses, the internet has opened up a whole new land of business opportunities that would otherwise not exist. Things like business blogging and social media management have become popular options for many freelancers.
The study found that the most popular choice for side businesses were in the tech and IT, arts & crafts, blogging and fitness sectors.
The Work-Life Balance
The term work-life balance keeps cropping up on business blogs all over the internet and for good reason. Business owners are starting to think about how they can improve on this to maintain a happy, healthy workforce.
While some businesses are making the effort to address the work-life balance, by offering flexible working or work from home schemes, many are still behind. This means that people are looking beyond the confines of a traditional 9-5 job and are turning their attention to creating a side business that they can one day use to replace their income.
While having a job and a side business means you’re busy a lot of the time, many side business owners feel the benefits outweigh the downsides.
Have you got or are thinking of building a side business? What’s your main reason for creating one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Want to learn more?
Subscribe to our newsletter to get accounting tips like this right to your inbox
About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.