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Whether you’re trying to get out of debt, increase your income, or lay the foundations for a career change, there are several options available to you to earn additional income. Here are 10 UK side hustle ideas you can start with little or no money.
10 UK Side Hustle Ideas
1. Dog Walking
This may seem a little strange as the first business idea, but it’s a great one for a number of reasons. You don’t necessarily need to own a dog. If your circumstances permit, a dog walking business offers several benefits.
You might be a stay-at-home parent with a dog or two of your own and want to socialise more. Perhaps you’re a student looking to earn some extra money between lectures and study sessions.
Dog walking is a great way to combine earning extra income with fresh air, exercise and socialising. Costs to set up might include dog first aid training and any materials you need to purchase. You can read more about what you might need to consider for dog walking in this post here.
Babysitting is often a service that school-aged students tend to offer, however, that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider it. If you already have children of your own then you’ve already got experience. You could start by asking around friends and offering babysitting as a service.
Although there are no necessary qualifications required for babysitting, it would certainly be advantageous for you to have basic first aid training. A DBS (disclosure and barring service) certificate will be required if you are considering babysitting work through an agency. A standard check is £26, although this may be covered by the company. Some parents may require you to have a DBS check, too. For more information, see this article from sitters.co.uk on How to Become a Babysitter.
Working with children can be extremely rewarding. You could use babysitting as a stepping stone to starting your own childcare business. If you already have children at home, this could be a fantastic opportunity to combine being a stay-at-home parent with growing a business.
3. Start a Blog
Blogging is an extremely rewarding side hustle or full-time business opportunity. The Miss Penny Money blog costs me £1.15 a week for hosting and includes the cost of the domain name.
If you love writing and want somewhere to showcase your work, a blog is a perfect place to build up your experience and present your portfolio. Within the first 3 months of going self-hosted with this blog, I earned £300 through collaborations and sponsorships with brands.
Before launching into setting up just any blog, consider what it is you want to write about. Find a niche. It’s important to blog about something that matters to you. If you’re passionate about your subject, that passion will shine through in your writing, and inspire you to commit to developing your blog.
What Do You Need to Start a Blog?
Essentially, you need to decide on a name for your blog, and you’ll need to check to see if that domain name is available. Once you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll need to register and purchase it, which you can do either through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy.com, or through the same company you use for hosting (which makes things easier in my opinion).
When it comes to building your website, there are a number of website builders to choose from, including WordPress, Blogger, Weebly and Wix. WordPress is a firm favourite among bloggers, and there are plenty of free themes to choose from which you can tweak yourself.
If you want to purchase a theme, there are several options out there. Some popular theme providers include Blossom Themes and BluChic.com. BlueChic.com also offer a free email course on creating your dream website in 5 days.
Ways to monetise your blog include affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and adverts.
I use HostPresto for my website hosting, and I highly recommend them. I certainly wasn’t an expert when I set up this blog, and they’ve always been really helpful with any questions I’ve had. Click here to start your blog by purchasing your web hosting.
Freelance writing is my main occupation. I’ve been writing since 2012 on and off when I made the decision to become a full-time mum/stay-at-home parent. I’ve used freelance marketplaces such as Upwork, and People Per Hour to find work, which has ranged from voice recording, to blogging, to re-writing a client’s policies and more.
Freelancing isn’t just for writers. If you have a skill and a service that you can package and sell, you can get paid for it. Using marketplaces like those listed above are a great starting point for getting yourself set up and building up some experience, although they do take a commission from the sale so you need to consider this when bidding and pricing up your jobs.
Alternatively, try reaching out to friends, family, acquaintances, local businesses, etc. and tell them what you can offer and how you can help them.
You’ll need a laptop/desktop or at least a tablet to be able to work on projects.
For more information on freelancing, see this article here.
5. Selling on eBay
eBay can be a great way to earn some extra money simply by selling things from around the home. It doesn’t have to stop there, though, and many people are taking the ‘reseller’ approach, by purchasing low-cost items, or acquiring unwanted goods and then selling on for a profit.
In addition to being a savvy way to earn some extra money, it’s also good for the environment by promoting the resale of preloved goods rather than contributing to the mass production of fast fashion.
If you have an eye for a bargain, you could turn your purchases into extra income for you. Places you could visit to find items for resale include car boot sales, charity shops, online marketplaces such as Facebook.
You need a phone/tablet for taking photos and uploading your listings, and a PayPal account for transactions to protect yourself and the buyer.
For some top tips on making the most of your eBay sales, check out these tips here.
6. Become a Virtual Assistant
Do you have administration and organisational skills that you’ve not tapped into for a while due to being a stay-at-home parent?
In addition to being able to earn around £25 an hour, working from home as a virtual assistant can help to keep your skills fresh while being on maternity leave/a career break.
You can update your CV with your latest projects to prove that you’re keeping your working knowledge up-to-date for when you’re ready to return to work. Of course, once the children go back to school, you might decide that self-employment is the way forward and go on to develop a flourishing VA business!
There’s no initial outlay necessarily when first setting up as a VA. You could advertise on Facebook and Twitter to begin with, although it’s a good idea to think about getting a website set up at a later date.
Marketplaces like Peopleperhour.com and Upwork.com are good places to find virtual assistant work. There are lots and lots of entrepreneurs out there looking for your super skills and support!
7. Be a Social Media Manager
If you live and breathe social media, this is a perfect job for you. If a company wants to get noticed, they need to have a web presence, and that includes social media because it’s where their customers hang out.
Not only that but managing social media can be a very time-consuming business. A company needs someone to be the face of their business, update their posts, respond to comments and deal with or escalate any arising issues.
Social media management is a service you could offer as a virtual assistant, or even a standalone service in itself. Again, you could market your services on places like People Per Hour and Upwork. LinkedIn is another great place to promote yourself and your business.
8. Be a Professional Organiser
Are you a meticulous organiser? Do you have everyone’s birthday presents purchased and wrapped 3 months in advance? If you get a kick out of being in control and on top of everything, why not consider becoming a professional organiser for people who need your help?
There’s even an association – The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, who provide highly acclaimed 2-day training courses for people looking to start a professional organising business for around £300.
Alternatively, Reed.co.uk also offer an online diploma course for a more reasonable fee of £49 including VAT.
When starting out you could offer your organising services to friends and family and ask them for testimonials to add to your website or Facebook page. Then when you’re ready to take your business to the next level you might consider investing in a course for accreditation.
9. Be an Events Planner
Another business option you might consider is becoming an events planner. If you love planning birthday parties or social events, could you offer it as a professional service?
The coordination and organisation required when planning an event isn’t something just anyone can manage. If you’re skilled in this area, are sociable, personable, great at communication and getting things done, this could be right up your street.
It could pave the way for a career change or even a successful Events Organisation business.
10. Offer Domestic Services
Domestic services such as cleaning and ironing are a brilliant way to earn extra money, and more so if you have a love for cleaning. With so many people working such busy lives, especially working parents who don’t have the time or energy to clean AND sort the kids out after a long day at work, there’s certainly space in the market.
If this is something you want to offer, think about your unique selling point (or USP). What makes you stand out above everyone else? Are you passionate about shiny taps and hunting out those cobwebs? Are you super-reliable and fast? Whatever your strength, focus on that when reaching out to new clients.
The best thing is, if you’re self-employed, you can choose your own hours. So if you have children in school or pre-school/nursery, you can do these jobs during school hours and still be there for them at home time.
Final Points to Consider
One thing to remember with any side hustle or business is that if you are going self-employed and trading, you will need to register for self-assessment for tax purposes. Any additional income over your personal tax allowance will need to be taxed, so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you are already employed.
If you are working from home and have children at home, I’d recommend working in the evenings when they’re in bed or when they’re at nursery/preschool. Don’t forget you will be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare once your child turns 3, which provides even more potential earning power! If you are on certain benefits you may be eligible for childcare if your child is 2 years old.
I hope this post has given you something to think about and some ideas on how you could start a side hustle and maybe develop it into a business. If you enjoyed it and think someone you know could benefit from it, please share it with your friends!
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