'Side hustle' the new biz trend

Monday 27 November 2017
Luke Keioskie's picture
The Shaker

The 'side hustle' is on, as a wave of entrepreneurial Aussies seek additional income streams to supplement their day job.

New research from Xero’s Ageless Entrepreneur report found almost a quarter of Australians already have a ‘side hustle’ on top of their main income, while 38 percent of Aussies intend to start a ‘side hustle’ in the future.

The ‘side hustle’ is a way of earning extra cash on top of an everyday job, and it is well and truly heading towards the new norm. There is a new generation in Australia looking to get ahead with multiple streams of income and a flexible lifestyle.

Xero’s report revealed the ‘side hustle’ trend has emerged due to two dominant factors, the most common being the desire for variety and to try new things (44%).

Not surprisingly, with mounting pressures around housing affordability, cost of transport and childcare in Australia, 40 per cent of respondents also said the reason they look for a ‘side hustle’ is due to the increase in the cost of living.

When it comes to choosing how Aussies want to make money on the side, they are putting their passions first. 35 percent of Australians are pursuing businesses based on their hobbies, with an additional 29 percent setting up online-based businesses and a further 17 percent that are knowledge-based. In terms of the industries, 13 percent of ‘side hustle’ projects are in IT and technology, followed by 9 percent in retail sales and 7 percent in administration.

According to the research, 62 percent of Aussies think it is easier to start a business today than it was 20 years ago. Many believe this is due to opportunities that have arisen from technological developments and niche demands (64%), direct digital marketing (55%), as well as digital tools, which are making it simpler to conduct marketing activities and keep businesses organised.

Managing Director of Xero Australia Trent Innes said starting a ‘side hustle’ is becoming easier.

“However it’s technology and e-commerce platforms that save time and provide access to in-depth data that rival those of bigger businesses which is enabling many small businesses to thrive,” Mr Innes said.

“Every day we see small businesses pursue their passion for business. Some start as a side project, and ultimately become a fully-fledged business as they grow. Ensuring you have the right foundations and advice when you begin is crucial to success.”

Lisette Armstrong works full time as the head of marketing for a financial services company while also running her vegan chocolate business, Treat Dreams, in her spare time. Lisette is a prime example of an entrepreneurial side hustler capitalising on niche demand, as well as opportunities due to technological advancements.

“Without the flexibility and ease of modern tools, I wouldn’t be able to manage my business,” Lisette said.

“Applications like Xero have enabled me to run Treat Dreams, while also working full time. Whether it be processing invoices while I’m on the train home, or paying staff while relaxing on the couch, has made running Treat Dreams on the fly easy and simple.”