As the cost of living rises in South Africa, people are increasingly harnessing their ‘inner entrepreneurs’ to make money. So what qualifies as a side-hustle? Best selling author Chris Guillebeau defines a side hustle as:
A side hustle is not a part-time job. A side hustle is not the gig economy. It is an asset that works for you.
The rise of social media and technology has given all of us the opportunity to connect to a far bigger market place. Many of us have taken to selling their secondhand or unwanted furniture, clothes, even plants through Facebook Marketplace and local community groups. There are more and more business opportunities for people baking cakes, creating balloon installations, offering photography and tutoring services or making unique gifts.
Whereas a few years ago, a physical store coupled with printed advertising was a minimum requirement for anyone launching a new business, now thanks to social media and apps, the dream of your own business is within reach of many more people. Thinking how to supplement or enhance your income, or become less dependent on an employer, is becoming a global trend. In his book, The Art of the Side Hustle, Guillebeau explores how to not only maximize your earning potential but to start thinking differently.
An Old Mutual Survey in 2017 noted that 24% of those surveyed in South Africa have an additional source of income, other than their full time employment.
Some of the better known side-hustles are AirBnB and Uber, where the tech apps help to create a platform to connect those that need a product with those than can provide the service. It helps work assets harder than they would have been before the launch of these two platforms. AirBnB has given everyone with a spare room, cottage or holiday home the opportunity to make money through a platform that facilitates and protects the parties. Uber has created an easy to us affordable taxi service in areas that may previously not had one – and created work for drivers that take drive cars owned by others.
But what if you don’t have space to rent out or a spare car to turn into an Uber? Fedgroup’s Impact Farming app works on a similar principal to both AirBnB and Uber. It connects you, the investor, with the farmer. The farmer wants to expand his business. In some cases, particularly in urban solar farming, the landowner may want to rent out his land or asset to a farmer. You want to earn income from an asset. Fedgroup’s platform ensures peace of mind for all parties as it vets and audits the transactions. The assets are fully insured – much as is standard when choosing to join AirBnB or Uber.
Impact farming is a way to supplement your income and invest for the mid term with less of the risk and hard work associated with launching a business. You also benefit from economies of scale – the volume of electricity being produced, for example, means a landlord is willing to pay you to power a shopping centre. One or two solar panels alone would not be worth the time.
However you build your side hustle, think through how much time you have available and how much you have to invest up front. Many have low up front costs – offering you time as a tutor is low risk as long as you ensure you clearly communicate your hourly rate and how to pay you. Equally working as a freelance writer is less secure than being employed full time but offers flexibility and low overheads. Baking or creating cards or gifts requires more thought. Carefully research who else is offering similar services in your area and do your homework before you invest in your first purchase of materials. If you are considering Uber or AirBnB, you need to investigate the cost of comprehensive insurance and consider wear and tear.
For Fedgroup’s Impact Farming, once you have purchased your assets, there is no other time commitment. In addition you can get involved from as little as R300 for a blueberry push and there are no ongoing maintenance costs. To get the most income out of your asset, it is better to stay vested for the term because hives and blueberry bushes will generate more as they mature and solar electricity will be more valuable in time.
Inspired to be an entrepreneur? What side hustle will you choose today? Let us know.