![Woman working from home to start her side hustle](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/a-woman-working-from-home-to-start-her-side-hustle.jpg?id=32076838&width=2000&height=1500&coordinates=94%2C0%2C94%2C0)
More than [5 million businesses](https://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/?programCode=BFS&startYear=2022&endYear=2022&categories%5b%5d=TOTAL&dataType=BA_BA&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1¬Adjusted=1&errorData=0#table-results) were started in 2022, contributing to a total of 33,185,550 small businesses in America as of March 2023, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy.
However, not all of these businesses are full-time. According to the Small Business Insights Survey by Index by Pinger, 76% of adults who own a small business and/or work a side hustle are also employed by another company. Side hustles are no longer just a way to make extra money, as 61% of respondents consider their side hustles to be their primary source of income.
Bankrate data reveals that approximately 39% of working Americans, around 65 million people, have side hustles. Of these, 33% rely on their side hustles to cover regular living expenses, 25% use it for saving money, and 12% need it to repay debt. Side hustles are prevalent across all generations: 24% of baby boomers, 40% of Gen X, 50% of millennials, and 53% of Gen Z participate in them.
It is interesting to note that more men (43%) than women (35%) earn money through side hustles. On average, side hustlers bring in $810 per month, with millennials earning $1,022, Gen Z earning $753, Gen X earning $670, and baby boomers earning $646.
While financial reasons are motivating factors, research shows that people primarily start side hustles to pursue their passions (44%) and achieve professional independence (41%). Common motivations reported by side hustlers include seeking personal freedom, earning extra income for saving, spending, or investing, making ends meet, paying off debt faster, finding a creative outlet, or feeling a calling.
When it comes to side hustle ideas, there is a wide range of options. Popular side hustles include online businesses (blogging, podcasting, online courses, and affiliate marketing), freelancing and consulting, e-commerce (selling on platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or operating an online store), investing (real estate, crypto, stocks, or buying businesses), self-publishing, offering local services (cleaning, knife sharpening, notary services, pet waste removal, etc.), YouTube, software and app development, and gig jobs (delivery services, driving for Lyft or Uber). The best side hustle for individuals depends on their skills, interests, needs, and time commitments.
Starting a side hustle requires similar steps as starting a business:
– Conduct market research to identify demand, outline goals, understand the target audience and competition, and make financial projections.
– Sharpen time management skills to balance the side hustle with other commitments by investing in technology for efficiency and better productivity.
– Create a website and utilize social media to build the brand and connect with customers and other entrepreneurs.
Side Hustle Nation subscribers highlight growth/marketing, time management, idea generation, mindset/motivation, admin/legal/tech tasks, focus/organization, money/startup funds, and lack of skills as common challenges faced when starting a side hustle.
Advice from business owners and side hustlers for success includes expecting mistakes, having confidence in one’s abilities, trusting instincts, maintaining caution, embracing courage, and always bringing something extra to the table.
For some, side hustles serve as a temporary solution, while others have long-term plans. Digital Ocean’s survey reveals that side hustlers aim to grow their side hustles into businesses with a few employees (29%), make it their full-time job while keeping it small (26%), continue as a side hustle (22%), scale for venture funding (17%), sell to another company (10%), or go public (5%). Regardless of the goals, building a successful side hustle requires time, effort, and adaptability.
Ultimately, starting a side hustle can be a rewarding endeavor, providing supplemental income, professional growth, and the opportunity to pursue passions.