The pandemic saw the number of new businesses rise to new heights. From bakeries and party decorators to florists and fashion designers. More Brits are throwing in the towel on their corporate careers and pursuing their passions. If you’re feeling stuck or unhappy in your job, you may be wondering if you could do the same. But where to begin?
Launching a new business takes time, effort, and patience. Very few entrepreneurs bring in much profit in their first year, with the rule of thumb being that in the first successful year running your business, you can expect to make less than your previous year’s salary. That’s where a side business comes in. Here, we take a closer look at this and what profitable side businesses are out there.
What is a side business and why set one up?
A side business is a business which you run in your spare time, while working in your usual job as normal. Most businesses don’t make much profit (if any) until much later after launching. Starting off with a side hustle instead of barrelling straight into full-time entrepreneurship allows you to get your business up and running, while still being able to make a living.
A side business will also give you the opportunity to pursue something you’re truly passionate about, which may be beneficial if your day job doesn’t align with your interests or bring you a sense of accomplishment.
Let’s look at some common types of side businesses.
Selling products online
Selling products online is a popular side hustle for aspiring entrepreneurs. Typically, you would buy these items and then resell them to your customers. Common products include cosmetics, skincare, home fitness accessories like resistance bands, and scented candles. Business operators can often arrange “drop shipping” of these items, meaning they are shipped directly to the buyer.
However, not all businesses are selling brand-new items. Vintage toys, such as Star Wars figurines and collectables like Pokemon cards are often re-sold online. If they are sold with their original packaging they can be worth a significant amount of money.
Running a food van
If you love all things food and are a dab hand in the kitchen, a food van could be the perfect side business for you. Bear in mind you’ll have to be onboard with working all hours over the weekend, as that’s when you’re likely to get the most custom.
The initial costs involved in setting up a food van business are your supply of food, a generator to supply power to the equipment, insurance, a street trading licence and of course, the van itself. Remember to apply for alcohol licencing too if you’re planning to serve drinks along with your food.
Social media management
If you always have the perfect caption for your next Instagram post and are clued up on the latest TikTok trends, starting a social media management business could be your dream side hustle! There are plenty of busy business owners who don’t have the knowledge, skills, or confidence to effectively promote their brand on social media.
Social media management would allow you to use your passion and real-life experience to help struggling entrepreneurs gain a strong following through creative and engaging content. You could advise which social media platforms are most appropriate for their brand and where they’re most likely to reach their target audience.