We offer a free tax return if your income is below £3,000. If you earn more, we charge a flat fee of £99.

5 simple steps to starting a side hustle

9/11/2021

Starting a side-hustle is exciting! Though, as with any new endeavour it can be overwhelming, but as Simon Sinek (who labels himself an author and optimist!) said:

“Dream big. Start small. But most of all, start.”

We've pulled together a list of our top tips to help get you off the ground. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]

Everyone can side hustle

There are so many potential side hustles, there truly is something for everyone. It might be a new application of your professional experience or perhaps a passion, interest or hobby you can monetise somehow. Think about:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you experienced in?
  • Where do you want to build your skills?
  • Where have you seen an opportunity to solve a problem that people experience regularly?

Write all your thoughts down and group the similar ones, maybe there are some complimentary ideas there. There’s no way of knowing which is the best route to take at this point, but if there’s something there that’s exciting and you’re passionate about, that’s probably a good place to start! We’ll come onto validation shortly.

Be clear on the commitment

In order to make a success of a side hustle, you’re going to need to commit a significant amount of your time. With that in mind, it’s critical to be clear on your why. What are your motivations and what do you want to achieve? Be sure to keep a note of this so that you can come back to it later.

At the same time, make sure you consider your capacity. How much time can you afford to commit to your side hustle? Make sure none of your other commitments will be significantly impacted in a way that isn’t acceptable and be sure to build time for your side hustle into your routine.

Set a budget

Whatever your motivation or goals, it’s critical to set a budget. Your side hustle needs to be sustainable, and if you’re looking to top up your income, your costs need to be kept under control so that you can make a profit. Ask yourself the following:

  • How much can I afford to spend on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • How much could I afford to invest in total - considering the worst case scenario that you don’t see any of it again?

Once you’ve got the answers to these questions, and it’s best to be conservative, start keeping a record of EVERY EXPENSE as well as all income for your side hustle. This will make any future tax return much easier…

Keeping track of your finances, specifically monitoring income and expenses (and profit!) will be one of the earnr app’s core features, as will your tax submission. Watch this space!

Start small and validate your idea

With any side hustle, or business, you need test that there will be demand for your product or service before a significant amount of money is invested. The best way to build confidence in that demand is to run a test. Remember the problem you are solving, the solution you are offering. Think about whether you can offer your service on a small scale to one or two customers? Can you make a few items and sell them beyond your immediate friends and family?

Running a test can limit your initial expenses and possible loss, whilst also providing feedback that your customers exist. Make sure you ask your customers for feedback too:

  • What would they change?
  • What would they use/buy if you didn’t exist?
  • Which of their friends should you offer your product or service to as well?

Set goals and plan

With your side hustle idea taking shape, it's easy to get excited about what it could become. In order to give that future a possibility, it’s important to set a plan to get there. For now, it’s sensible to consider where you would like to be in a year, and define the key steps to get there. If the jump between any of those milestones is longer than 3 months, they’re probably too far apart. We’d recommend setting goals for each month over the next year, that way you’ve got a steady path to your 12 month target!


And, remember to make your goals SMART:

  • Specific - focus on what’s really important to help prioritisation
  • Measurable - ensure it’s clear when the goal has been achieved
  • Achievable - the goals should be a stretch, but possible
  • Relevant - ask yourself, how will achieving this help my side hustle?
  • Timebound - setting monthly targets is a good approach here


Download earnr