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More Canadians Turning to a “Side Hustle” to Boost Income

More and more Canadians are turning creative hobbies into side hustles to bolster their income and work on passion projects, according to new research by Vistaprint.

The study, which interviewed almost 2,000 Canadians in full-time employment, found 22 per cent had already turned a hobby into a side hustle, and a further 60 per cent would like to in the future. Of the respondents who had set up a side business, their average take home income (after tax) has increased by $15,430 each year.

Popular Categories of Side Hustles

The most popular field for side hustles is IT, with professionals offering diverse services such as web development and computer repairs. This is followed by finance, including financial advisors and accounting services, then arts music and entertainment businesses like DJs, artists and event planners.

The Benefits of Starting a Side Business

Unsurprisingly, increasing disposable income is the top reason to start a side hustle, according to 50 per cent of business owners. The ability to work a job that’s enjoyable (40 per cent) and wanting to stay productive in spare time (32 per cent) also proved popular responses.

“Canada’s side business economy is booming, as employees increasingly look for financial, professional and personal fulfilment that may not be present in their main job,” says Vistaprint Customer Strategy and Insights Director Simon Braier.

“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.”

Time the Main Issue Preventing Expansion

There are only 24 hours in a day. A lack of time means fitting a side hustle around a full-time career can prove a struggle. 61 per cent of respondents work on their side hustle after work, with a further 55 per cent taking time out of their weekend to tend to their business. The typical side hustle takes up 14 hours per week on average, with one-quarter of those surveyed spending more than 20 hours per week working on their side business.

Over one-third of participants (38 percent) want to grow their side business yet recognize that they would need to be bringing in over $5,000 per month to consider turning it into their full-time job. This figure is well above the $1,285.85 that average side business owners are currently taking home each month.

How to Grow a Side Hustle

When pressed for advice on growing a side business, respondents had plenty of suggestions. Start by ensuring the business is something you enjoy doing, as it will eat into your free time. This is followed by the advice to build a strong social media presence to help gain more business, and utilizing long-term strategy like creating a robust marketing plan to achieve your goals.

Here to Help

No matter what stage of business, or what problem you face, Small Business BC offers a range of seminars and one-on-one advisory sessions to suit any business.

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