People using their creative hobbies to generate extra income

Wages in the UK are failing to keep up with the increase in household bills and in order to plug the gap many people are running a business on the sid…

Wages in the UK are failing to keep up with the increase in household bills and in order to plug the gap many people are running a business on the side to supplement their incomes.

This is according to Aviva's bi-annual SME Pulse report, which revealed almost half of part-time business owners (44 per cent) run it in order to make ends meet.

Some seven in ten people are juggling their businesses with a full-time job, but 48 per cent of those surveyed in fact plan to make their part-time venture a permanent deal with more than one in ten (15 per cent) aiming to be a fully-fledged small enterprise within the next two years.

The main hobbies individuals are turning to for additional income include creative activities such as photography, arts and crafts and cake-baking. Indeed, 42 per cent of people cited these skills, while the others are providing website design, consultancy, retail and trade skills like decorating.

Interestingly, it is women who are the most likely to show their entrepreneurial spirit than men (49 per cent of women compared to 33 per cent of men). The research also found women are much more ambitious, with more than a third (35 per cent) planning to eventually make their hobby full-time compared to just a quarter of men (25 per cent).

Indeed, the research shows that within the next two years, women are twice as likely (20 per cent) to plan to go full-time than men (ten per cent). Although a quarter (27 per cent) of all those planning to do so said they will only go full-time once demand exceeds their expectations. 

Aviva found the top three concerns part-time entrepreneurs had when they first set up their business was not having the expertise or knowledge to make it a success. More than a quarter (27 per cent) were worried about not knowing how to promote their business, while for 26 per cent it was not generating enough sales and 22 per cent said it was not knowing how to manage their accounts.

It's no surprise so many people are opting to run a part-time business considering the amount they can make. The report revealed these entrepreneurs make an average turnover of £3,800 per year, with those in the East Midlands having the highest turnover out of any region in the UK at £6,400 per year. 

Robert Ledger, head of small business at Aviva, said: "Nearly a third of part-time ventures began as a chance to turn a hobby into a business, but it is understandable in the current climate that for most the need to supplement their income was the key driver.

"It seems that from photography to cupcakes many entrepreneurs are taking their first steps to becoming businesses of the future which is exciting news for the economy, especially in light of recent reports on a growth in business confidence in the UK."

By Amy White

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