Is starting a small business a good side hustle idea?

Jürg Widmer Probst

Is starting a small business a good side hustle idea?

Recent years have seen most people go through trying economic times. The covid pandemic has been followed by the war in Ukraine and the current cost of living crisis.

With all this going on, it’s unsurprising that many people’s finances have taken a hit and that concerns about the economic future are growing. In times like these, opportunities to earn more money can provide much-needed security and stability.

Whether you’re primarily motivated by finances or have a cool idea you want to try out, starting your own business has the potential to fulfil these goals. Starting a small business while still working is a wise financial decision but is not easy by any means.

Let’s look at the reality of starting a side hustle, including the how’s, must-know details, challenges, and risks.


The rise of side hustles


The UK is seeing a boom in the small business economy. More and more people have begun exploring their interests, hobbies, and passions alongside work.

Currently, the UK small business market is worth over £1.6 trillion. More small businesses are making more money and employing more people. But why are we seeing this increase now?

Many people sadly lost their jobs during the various lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic. Statistics show that at least 26% of people who held onto their jobs during covid were furloughed at some point. Others lost their jobs altogether. All this meant that people had more time and less certainty, both powerful motivations to start a side hustle.

Following the covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever before have been able to work from home. Less time spent in the office and commuting means people have more time and energy to invest in their passions.

Furthermore, significant increases in living costs, from gas prices to housing to food and general rises in inflation, have meant that many feel growing pressure to up their earnings.


Pros of starting a small business


There are many positives of having your own business, some are obvious, and others are not so obvious.

  • Make more money: Many people start their own businesses because they want to earn more.
  • Pursue your passions: Freelance careers and small businesses are often the results of someone following their passion. Needless to say, work is much more fulfilling and enjoyable if you are passionate about it.
  • Flexibility: Being your boss can mean working when you want and even from wherever you want.

There are many others, some that will be specific to your business, but these are some of the main attractions that draw people to start their own business.


Cons of starting a small business


Starting a small business is an exciting thing, but there are some cons and challenges of which you should be aware.

  • Tax: If you have a secondary income that earns you over £1,000, you may need to pay tax on it. Luckily, the tax process is relatively straightforward. You will simply need to complete a self-assessment form on the UK government website.
  • Time: Some small businesses require more time investments than others. Ultimately, if you want to start a small business, you will have to invest time, which can be tiring, especially if you work full time or have a family.
  • Stress: For most people, running a business isn’t easy. It can involve worries and fears of failure. So if you’re looking to live a stress-free life right now, launching a company or freelance career might not be what you want to do.

Despite these challenges, many people still want to start a business. The positives of creating something new that aligns with your passions are tempting despite the potential cons.

Those who are determined to start something of their own should learn what they can for the best chance of success.


Expert advice on running a successful small business


  • Pace yourself: Starting a small business is exciting, especially if you are passionate about the industry. However, you can’t do everything at once. You will need time to rest to keep going and avoid burnout.
  • Set boundaries: You should apply this to yourself and others. Having a clear line on things like when you work and which projects you take on will help stop you from becoming overwhelmed.
  • Start small: Slowly building your customer base allows you to grow naturally and confidently and make mistakes on a smaller scale.
  • Funding: While some side hustles, like copywriting, can take little to no funding to start, others will require more financial investment. If you are selling products, you will need to purchase materials. There are ways to keep things low-cost, including utilizing social media and free website building tools like Wix. Many other funding options, including grants, are also designed to help startups.
  • Delegate: No one is good at everything. It’s okay (and recommended) to delegate work you can’t or don’t want to do to others. With online freelancer platforms and software, finding affordable help is easier than ever.
  • Get customer feedback: This can encourage consumer trust in your brand, meaning more customers. It is also an excellent opportunity to see where you can improve.


Can I run a small business alongside working a full-time job? It’s the question many people ask. While, of course, the more time you can dedicate to your small business, the better, it’s not always feasible for someone to leave their secure income to chase a hustle that isn’t yet profitable.

There’s no denying that working while running a small business is a challenge, but it is possible, especially at the start. You’ll need to be mindful of how you use your time and do what you can to improve efficiency. There are lots of tools and software with free options that can help with this.


What should you know before you start a side hustle?


Knowing common mistakes people make when opening a small business can help you avoid them. Past errors (whether your own or other people’s) are a great way to learn what to do and not to do so you can push your business even further.

Plan for success, but prepare for failure. Realistically, not every side hustle or small business will be a success. You can do many things to improve your chances, but it is also essential to consider the possibility of things not going to plan. Not every failure will mean the end of your small business. However, it is good to think about if and when you would pull the plug if things aren’t going well so you can reinvest your time, money, and energy elsewhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *