Many of us dream of working part time and devoting less of our life to working, and more towards hobbies or spending time with family and friends. Alternatively, perhaps we are happy in full time work but want to create a business for weekends and evenings, to bring in a little more money.
If either of these apply to you, read our guide first – and then take a look at our suggestions for eight part-time businesses.
When do you intend to work?
It’s important to differentiate between part time work where you set the time, and jobs that are contingent on clients and your lifestyle. Your work may have to fit around your home life, especially if you have children or you look after an elderly/disabled relative.
While it might seem daunting, careful planning can help you to hold down a full time role and persue another part time role at the same time. If you’re planning this it might pay to consult your employer first, especially if you believe the part-time work can help you enhance your existing skills. Be careful if there are any conflicts of interest.
Working part-time does not preclude you from taking on employees; in fact, having a co-worker or partner might open up your business to more possibilities, as you can work at different times and may have different skill sets, or work as a duo simultaneously to provide an enhanced product.
Ultimately, you’re launching a business to make money, or at least enough to survive. As well as setting prices for products/services, you’ll need to make a decision on how you’ll get to grips with the financial side of running a business. Your considerations should include:
- Registering with HMRC, and whether you’ll set yourself up as a sole trader or create a limited company. The two options have very different implications for the company from a taxation and legal standpoint.
- Your tax will be submitted on October 31 (paper) or January 31 (online) – how will you keep money aside for tax purposes, and will you use an accountant or rely on doing it yourself? How will you deal with National Insurance contributions?
- Will you pay for an electronic system for recording income, expenses, investments and other assets and liabilities?
- If you have employees, how will they be paid?
- What models will you use for bringing money into the company? Will you be looking for investment, and how will you gain this? Will you need a loan, and if so, what type?
- There is virtually no part-time business that won’t require some tools; from a new mobile phone to a lawnmower. You might need to redesign a room in your home, and need new office equipment, or even a new car. If you’re branching from employment to your own company, at least you may have some time to save up and plan exactly what you require.
With the above questions in mind, here are eight suggestions for a part time business for you.
Great part time business ideas
Despite the proliferation of DSLRs and video cameras, many people still lack confidence and knowledge when it comes to shooting properly. Here’s an example of where two might be better than one: many photographers/videographers now employ someone to take shots from different angles, or use different lens settings and equipment, while an event such as a wedding is taking place. Setting up a strong website with a good portfolio is crucial; include pictures of live events, promotional pictures and even holiday pics if they’re good enough, to give potential clients a preview of what to expect.
There’s a huge market for unusual, bespoke and customised jewellery, in the form of earrings, necklaces and other creations. The key is to find a niche and a style for your work that gets an audience, which could include rustic, pop art, sport, cartoons, or any other styles that make you unique. Again, setting up social media pages to showcase your products is critical, but don’t underestimate using local boutique, art and crafts stores as well.
Setting up as a cleaner may mean that you’ve got to work somewhat around clients. It may be that you have to clean an office on a Saturday morning, or first thing on Mondays, so your hours may be out of your control.That said, cleanliness is vital for many companies and homes, so you’ll almost always be guaranteed work, and the bigger the clients, the more likely it is that you’ll need to expand.
A part-time job as a freelance writer is likely to include deadlines that might be daily or as little as once a week. In that instance you can write the pieces at your leisure, in the evenings or weekends or throughout the day. Technology now allows you to work from home or on the road via a laptop, and even abroad or in the middle of the night. Sites such as UpWork can supplement your income, while good quality writers may still be able to find work for newspapers, magazines and their websites.
The fitness market is booming and the market for personal trainers is massive. A good trainer, with the correct credentials can expect to make a minimum of £20-30 an hour. Add an expertise, such as working to rehabilitate people after injury or illness or knowledge of specific sports, and this can soon increase. Again, a PT might start to build take on fitness instructors as employees and grow their brand.
If you’re educated to a high standard then home tutoring might be just the ticket for pupils of all ages to boost their skills and prepare them for exams. Get a CRB check completed to boost your chances of working with children, but don’t just stop there; many people are looking to boost their music, languages, sports, and mathematics skills, but you might also be able to help with more niche subjects such as history and certain sciences. Don’t forget to gain references and quotations from successful students.
There are many people of all ages who don’t know how to achieve things in life. They want a certain career, or more money, or a partner, or to travel, or to learn new skills – but they’re not sure what path to take. Enter the burgeoning market of life coaching; these coaches talk to clients about their situation, set large and small goals, and look at ways of overcoming problems and barriers. It’s not a regulated discipline and there are many courses available – UCAS offers advice here.
So many people don’t have the time or the inclination to care for their garden, even if it’s just a small front lawn. Maintaining flower beds and trees, and keeping paving, rockeries and sheds looking smart, is quite easy work for those who like it, and can be accomplished by people of any age; indeed, an experienced gardener can be worth their weight in marigolds. Little or no money needs to be spent on advertising and the wise gardener will take before-and-after photographs of their work.