A study on the future of work conducted by simple e-commerce platform Selz uncovers the extent to which consumers are seeking out greater personal fulfilment and financial freedom by using technology to set up a side business.
Titled “The Side Business Phenomena,” the research surveyed working-age adults in the UK, US and Australia and found that an average of 16% were actively engaged in a side business, spending an average of 14.5 hours per week doing so. Side business entrepreneurs earn an average £16K per year in additional income, while 12% of the respondents add more than £49K to their annual income.
Martin Rushe, CEO at Selz, said: “Our research clearly shows that attitudes to work-life are changing. People are demanding much more flexibility around how they work and what they do — and that flexibility is valued as highly as money. People are tired of the daily grind, and personal entrepreneurialism is the emerging solution.”
When questioned about motivations to start a side business, the most frequent answer (57%) was: to make more money. But money is clearly not the only reason, with 45% specifying to do something that I love as their secondary reason. Geographically, the results are nuanced. In the U.S., the main driver is money; in the UK, it’s love; and in Australia, it was a tie between these two reasons.
And it’s technology, in particular e-commerce software, that is helping to drive this transformation, with 17% of side business owners providing a service or product that is exclusively online and 46% opting to mix online and offline channels.
Side businesses also operate across a wide range of industries, with services as the most popular at 33% and specifically technology and business services following with an aggregate 28% of all operations. In terms of what people are doing as their side business, 89% operate as suppliers of services or physical goods while 11% have a product that is purely digital online casino.
“Technology is zeroing the time and the risks involved in setting up a side business,” Rushe continued. “With Selz, for example, people can be up and running with a business in hours, with access to all the leading-edge tools used by big business, but at a fraction of the cost.”