Adults from the South East are less likely than any other Brits to have a ‘side hustle’, according to research.
The new study found that just 12 percent of Brits from the South East have turned a hobby into a side business alongside their career, but that a further 74 percent would like to. This figure is almost half the UK average (23 percent), and the lowest of all the UK’s regions.
Brits from the South East also generate significantly less income than average from their side hustles, with earnings of £4,615.68 per year post-tax, vs. £6,604.80 nationally. This puts the South East in second lowest place in terms of side hustle earnings, after the East of England (£4,376,64).
The research was commissioned by Vistaprint – a leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses.
The two most popular side business sectors in the South East are beauty and wellness, such as hairdressers, personal trainers and dieticians, and retail and sales, which includes store owners and people selling products online.
Generating extra cash was found to be the top reason Brits from the South East either have or would like to start a side business (72 percent).
But 41 percent also started a side business to spend more time doing what they enjoy, and 36 percent did so to pursue their passion.
A desire and drive to follow one’s true calling is further supported by the finding that half of Brits from the South East can’t find a full-time job related to their interests.
Simon Braier, Customer Strategy and Insights Director from Vistaprint said: “Employees from the South East are less likely than average to start a side business, but those who do may find financial, professional and personal fulfilment that isn’t present in their full-time job.
“While many side hustles are born out of a personal interest or hobby, they don’t have to stay small.
“Side business owners can test their venture’s long-term viability, growth and marketing opportunities in a safer setting, helping them to ease the transition into full-time entrepreneurship and spend more time doing what they love.”
The study also found that almost two thirds of South East entrepreneurs (65 percent) treat their enterprise as a ‘5-9’ and work on it in the evenings to fit around their career.
A further 49 percent work on their side business at the weekends, while 22 percent do so during breaks at their full-time job.
A typical side business takes up 11 hours a week, while 12 percent of those polled spend 20+ hours a week working on it.
It also emerged that over one quarter (27 percent) of South East side business owners hope to grow their venture in the future.
But an average of £2,453.08 a month post-tax would need to be made to consider turning a side project into a full-time job – a figure well above the average side hustle earnings.
When asked for their advice on growing a side business, the top tip from successful side hustlers in the South East is setting long-term goals. This was followed by focusing on tasks which generate the most revenue, ensuring your side hustle is something you enjoy, building a strong social media presence and networking with people who run side businesses.
Vistaprint’s UK Market Lead Charlotte Holmes-Darby said: “To grow your side business, you need to think and act like a full-time entrepreneur.
“That also means you should be prepared to seize any opportunities that come your way and enable you to take your side hustle to the next level.”
Side hustle success story from the South East:
Kati Ramsden from Ashford spends her days working in HR but also runs a package free grocery shop on the side.
Alongside her 30 hours a week job and being a mum to two young children, Kati spends two days a week running her grocery store.
Kati said: “It’s been an incredible learning curve with a lot of trial and error.
“Every penny I make just goes back into the business, buying new stock – that’s my current focus.
“It’s a balancing act, balancing home and work life – I work Saturday and do feel I miss out on the stuff my husband and kids do.
“If you take on a side project it needs to be something you love to sustain your interest because the reality is you won’t be making a lot of money out of it, in the early days at least.”
Percentage of adults who have a side business by region:
Northern Ireland (34%)
North East (26%)
West Midlands (24%)
East Midlands (23%)
East of England (21%)
Yorkshire and the Humber (17%)
North West (15%)
South West (14%)
South East (12%)
"Its been an incredible learning curve with a lot of trial and error."