Skip to main content

Four simple steps to start your side hustle

Man sipping coffee in front of laptop

With rising costs and ongoing strikes for pay rises, many people in the UK are looking for some extra cash to earn on the side to boost their current income. For some people, that might be a second job, picking up some weekend shifts, or partaking in the new rising trend of side hustles.

In fact, a recent report by Royal London found that 5.2m workers in the UK have been forced to take on extra jobs to keep up with the cost of living crisis. Often born from the comfort of your own home, created to fit in your current work life, side hustles are the new craze which sees people honing their skills and utilizing online learning to earn some extra money.

Our Head of Education, Robbie Bryant, provides his top tips to starting your side hustle and how to secure that bank balance boost.

Identify skills and interest

“Before you can begin your side hustle, you need to understand what your side hustle is going to be. Do you have a talent that you can monetise, can you sell items online, would you be able to teach a skill to others? Have a look at the resources you currently have and decide what area you could best earn your money.”

Keep up with trends

“Monetising a skill is a great place to start but you also need to make sure that the demand is there. Search the web and social media to uncover what is currently trending, what are people interested in – is there something you can quickly jump on to earn some money? For example, this year charcuterie boards became extremely popular online and many people started to offer a charcuterie board service – plugging that gap in the market and meeting the demands of current trends.”


“Investing in yourself is essential. If you have a passion for something that you think could be lucrative but you need some training, try an online course. They are reasonably priced and you can fit it in around your lifestyle and work unlike a traditional college or university. From there, you can then sell your service to people with the respectable fact that you are now qualified in this area. For example, one of the top courses we offer is the nail technician course where you can learn how to become a nail technician from the comfort of your own home and immediately start working with clients – it’s that simple!”

Build a clientele

“In order to make money, you need people to spend money. So early on in your side hustle journey, start to build a clientele. Think about where these people might easily find your services and focus on that platform whether it’s Facebook, Yelp or LinkedIn. Use all of these free platforms to advertise your new side hustle and offer some free or discounted introduction fees to entice your first set of clients.”

Someone who knows exactly how to begin a side hustle is Sophia, 37, from Cornwall. Sophia recently started her side hustle journey, taking an online course to become a nail technician alongside running a business with her husband breeding miniature dachshunds!

After completing a gel nails course from home with us, Sophia now hopes to gain even more qualifications to become a brilliant nail technician.

Speaking of her side hustle experience, Sophia said: “Open Study College has encouraged me to think about future careers in the beauty industry and that’s why in the long-term I’d like to be a freelance nail technician, as well as running our family business and raising my amazing children.

“In addition to studying in my free time, I own and run a removals business with my husband, and breed miniature Dachshunds, which takes up the majority of my time. So, with family life on top of this, you can understand why distance learning is the perfect option for me.

“If I had to offer advice to anyone, I would say to try and allocate a time to do some studying Monday to Friday, even if it’s just an hour here and there. And don’t pressure yourself to do it on weekends, but it’s a bonus if you do!”

Related courses