The State of Side Hustles in 2018 [infographic]

Cassandra,

To start a successful side hustle, you have to be a particular type of person.

Smart, savvy, and driven are a few character traits that come to mind. So are patient, resilient, and hard-working — because, as you’ve probably heard, starting a small business isn’t for the faint of heart.

That’s why it’s called a side hustle.

We wanted to know: What types of people are starting a side business? What ventures are they pursuing? Why are they choosing this path?

So we sent out a survey to some of our side-hustling customers, and got back 2116 responses! Here’s what we learned.

What types of people have side hustles?

Side hustlers skew female, with an average age of 25-34; a quarter of them have a bachelor’s or college degree.

The majority of those who start a side hustle are doing it on their own. Often referred to as “solopreneurs,” many people choose this route (at least to start) so they can break away from the traditional workplace structure with managers and hierarchies.

These statistics aren’t surprising. People are graduating with a fresh perspective on the business landscape, and with increasing knowledge of the vast number of online resources available to them.

Free or cheap online classes, on-demand drop-shipping vendors, custom DIY logo makers (wink), and easy-to-use website builders are just a few of those resources.

With a little work experience under their belts, these aspiring entrepreneurs are ready to take on a side job they can be passionate about and run on their own schedule.

What are the most popular side businesses?

One of the hardest decisions to make when it comes to starting a side hustle is settling on a unique business proposition:

  1. What are you selling?
  2. Who are you selling it to?
  3. How are you going to sell it?

Though it’s difficult to be the first innovator in an industry, there are tons of ways to make your business unique! Here are some of the top industries that our side hustlers are gravitating to:

When you’re selling a service, there’s so much of yourself you put into the business — think of a personal trainer, a dog walker, or a makeup artist.

Because of this, it makes sense that our customers use an online logo maker over getting a logo made by a designer. They want to be in charge of their own brand identity, as it’s an extension of themselves.

Why do people start side hustles?

In short, many side hustlers are looking for something that they can call their own; something that gives them more control, flexibility, personal growth, and (hopefully) money.

People spend a huge chunk of their waking hours at work, so it’s important to love what you do. For some people, that means working on something that they’re passionate about, which explains why we heard this response to “Why did you start a business?” multiple times:

“I wanted something that was 100% mine.”

People are also craving something that they can be solely in charge of — something that they can see through from start to finish, without having to get approval from their manager or boss.

“After years in the industry, it’s time to do this for myself instead of someone else,” wrote one survey respondent who worked in insurance.

A lot of business ideas come from seeing a problem and helping to solve that issue or “gap.” This explains why many of our side hustlers have had previous experience in the industry they’re starting a business in.

That said, people don’t always end up in the career paths they’re passionate about. This doesn’t mean they should throw their dreams out the window.

Side hustles are a great way to pursue something that helps satisfy this, or try something entirely new!

How do people find the time for a side business?

One issue people have when contemplating a side hustle is how they’ll find the time for it, especially when they already have a full-time job or are in school. But here’s the thing: if you really want to pursue something, you can make time for it!

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Evenings, weekends, little breaks at work,” wrote one respondent when talking about how they started a consumer goods business.

From our survey, we found there was a wide range of times people were willing to devote to their side hustle.

Considering that a large number of respondents said they’d like to turn their hustle into a full-time job, it makes sense that many are spending 20+ hours a week getting it off the ground.

What’s the future of side hustles?

It looks like the future of side hustles may be an influx in small businesses.

When starting your own business, it can be hard to tell if it will become more than just a side income or experiment.

You may have to go through a few ideas before you settle on one that actually works. Not every concept will lead to success, but many people who start side businesses hope that their time and work will eventually lead to a company they can work on full-time.


The full report

There’s a reason why millions of people from across the globe are starting a side business every year – and it’s not just to do with autonomy. There’s something particularly appealing about shaping your own future and seeing your hard work come to fruition.

If you’re reading this and have been thinking about starting your own business, make 2019 the year you do it! And feel free to share and embed the full infographic below. #sidehustlersunite