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Side business ideas UK
7 min read

10 side businesses ideas to start this summer

Recent research has revealed that over a third of people in the UK now run their own side-hustle business, the majority of which were set up during the pandemic. In a survey of 1,000 people across the UK, 28% said the pandemic gave them time and energy to make their side-hustle happen, 23% said it made them reconsider what they wanted to do long term, while 20% were also motivated to make up for lost income. 

This trend shows no sign of slowing down﹣with 31% of those surveyed saying they are thinking about setting up a side business, but haven’t got it up and running yet.

As we head into the summer months, we’ve rounded up 10 side business ideas that are easy to get off the ground, which could be a good way to make money alongside your day job.


Do you live in a popular tourist spot? Hosting your home on Airbnb is a great side business idea, particularly during the summer months. It’s also a smart way to take advantage of increased staycations, with many Brits still gathering their confidence to travel abroad with the pandemic so fresh in their memories. The emerging trend of staycations is a legacy from COVID that is likely here to stay, as many Brits have been enjoying the same relaxing benefits of a holiday, but without the hefty travel costs.

Whether you’re looking to superpower your savings or re-invest the money back into your main business, Airbnb’s user-friendly platform makes it simple to upload your details to and begin the listing process. Sign up is free﹣and once you’ve created your account, you can create a listing! It can take up to 72 hours for a new listing to be included in search results.

It’s important to be aware of, and understand, the laws that apply to your location. Airbnb provides guidance to help Hosts on Airbnb become familiar with hosting responsibilities, while providing a general overview of different laws, regulations, and best practices that may affect Hosts. You will be required to follow Airbnb’s guidelines, such as their >Hosting Standards, and to make sure you follow the laws and other rules that apply to your specific circumstances. This all takes time so make sure you get organised and listed ahead of the popular summer months.

Top Tip: To give your listing the best chance of success, ensure your photos are good quality. Those that have professional photos can earn 40% more than other hosts in their area who don’t use professional images. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a professional, see if you can use a high quality camera.

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Lawn care and landscaping

A great side business idea that’s particularly popular during the summer is lawn care and landscaping. If you like to stay active, enjoy the outdoors and know your gardening, then this seasonal side-hustle could quickly grow your finances.

While demand is high for gardening during the summer (and spring!), your first year is going to be about investing in the equipment you need, developing your skills and establishing your first set of clients. The following year, you can hit the ground running in spring again and look to build your client list further.

Top Tip: Be smart with your marketing during different times of the year. For example, weed control might be required more around Feb-May, while the new mowing season begins in spring but really takes off in the summer.


Personal tutor

While it seems strange to suggest an educational side business idea during the summer holidays, it’s actually a great time to start your journey as a personal tutor before September commences. Embracing the ‘low’ period to understand the industry, what you can offer, what you need to have in place and time to investigate the available online tutoring platforms to apply to, is a smart move.

In the UK, there are no legal requirements to have any specific qualifications to become a tutor but, in general, tutors tend to have a specific academic subject and a degree-level qualification in it. A degree isn’t compulsory, but helps sell your services. You can advertise locally or register/apply to websites such as Personal Tutors.

Online tutoring is a great option for those looking for greater flexibility by teaching remotely, as well as the ability to reach a wider audience. There are a number of online tutoring platforms available, however it’s important to note that each has its own application process and requirements. For example, provides tutors who study at top UK universities and are experts in over 30 subjects from KS2 up to GCSE and A Level. If you’re studying at a top UK university, then this could be a great platform for you to make some extra money on the side particularly during the summer when you might have more available time in your calendar to investigate and trial, to see if you could make it a longer-term side-hustle alongside your studies.

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Online surveys

Complete paid surveys to earn money online! Businesses pay for your opinions to help them refine their products and marketing materials. Money Saving Expert has created a detailed guide to help you get off to the most profitable start, including their list of the top 25 online survey sites, helping you to hit the ground running.


Can you offer specialist services, working on different projects for multiple businesses? Freelancing tends to lend itself to work within the creative and media industries, or professional services, however the roles and type of work conducted by freelancers are expanding the whole time. Common freelance roles include graphic designers, bookkeepers, management consultants, photographers, virtual assistants, writers and social media managers.

Don’t forget to check your employment contract (we go into this in more detail later on)﹣as an employee, you have an obligation not to compete with your employer, with some employers specifically including this in your contract. Your contract also might say that you must ask your employer’s permission to start a side-hustle. Make sure to tread carefully, you don’t want to risk damaging your relationship with your employer in your bid to make money on the side.


Arts and crafts are one of the most popular side-hustles to be set up during the pandemic, with online marketplaces such as Etsy making it extremely quick for crafters and creatives to set up an online shop and instantly access its 96.3 million active buyers. The summer is a great time to launch your shop, as it gives you time to get everything in order before the busy Christmas shopping period. 

Top Tip: If you’re expecting increased sales in the run-up to Christmas, get your shop up and running in the summer to allow time for Etsy’s 90-day payment account reserve to expire. Etsy places this reserve on seller accounts that aren’t able to provide valid tracking for items as a way of protecting its customers. (It’s pretty much a safety net to allow time for the platform to help it get to know/trust you and ensure you’re offering quality products and customer service before releasing your full funds in case refunds are required.) If you get set up closer to Christmas and a reserve is placed on your account, you’re unlikely to receive your full funds until the reserve is lifted. 

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Street food market vendor

If you have a passion for street food, then a weekend street food market could be the perfect way to get your side-hustle started. Committing to permanent premises isn’t an option for many entrepreneurs who have a full time job, however street food markets (as well as pop up events) offer the flexibility you’ll need to get launched and start growing. Many street food markets tend to be located around hotspots for tourists, making it a great side-hustle to start this summer.

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Dog walker/Sitter

This is a great side-hustle to start during the summer months, as dog owners look to get away for a holiday (especially families making the most of the school holidays!). And it’s not just those taking a holiday that makes this a popular option﹣around 3.2m households in the UK acquired a pet since the start of the UK pandemic. The ending of restrictions and returning to work has led to an increase in demand for dog walking and sitting services. If you’re working from home, it also provides a great opportunity to get you outside and exercising, which in turn can make you more productive in your main day job. It’s a win-win!

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House Sitter

If you don’t have any major plans to go away over the summer, then house sitting could be for you. While the most common form of housesitting is where the sitter looks after the house and pets in exchange for free accommodation (and no money changes hands), there are opportunities to house sit and be paid should the homeowners require more from you e.g. jobs around the house / have a number of pets to be cared for.

House sitting is a particularly useful side-hustle for those who work from home and only need a reliable internet connection to complete their work. A number of homeowners have pets, such as dogs, who would require walking during the day, and who might not cope well being left on their own for long periods of time should you be commuting to an office job.

While websites such as House Sitters UK are helpful, they do require you to clearly state in your profile that you would expect payment, so might not be the best platform to grow your side-hustle on, as you’ll be in competition with those happy to live rent-free. You might want to consider trialling some local marketing ideas to promote your services and spread the word. And don’t forget the power of your own social network! Let your friends and family know that you’re around this summer (and beyond!) for any sitting jobs.


If you’re considering starting an eCommerce business on the side, then a dropshipping fulfilment model could be a great fit. Your limited time is spent selling your products and serving your customers, while a supplier takes on the fulfilment of your orders. It’s low overhead, hands-off and scalable, should you want to grow it into your main day job! Ensure your marketing and customer service skills are up to scratch to encourage sales, positive reviews and growth. While customer service enquiries are best answered in real time, the marketing side of your side-hustle can be taken care of during evenings and weekends. You could even utilise a social media scheduling tool, ensuring a regular stream of marketing content goes out without you having to manually publish every time. It’s a great way to keep marketing ticking over, even when you’re at your day job.

Key considerations when starting a side business (not just for summer!):

As you can see, while it makes sense to make hay while the sun shines, summer can also be a ‘low’ season for other industries, offering up the opportunity for entrepreneurs to research and prepare their new side-hustle in time for high demand during autumn and winter, such as tutoring and seasonal gifts.

While the above ideas are quick side-hustles you can get off the ground quickly, don’t forget the essential business requirements you need to have in place while operating a side business.

  • Make sure your day job allows for a side business

    Check your employment contract to ensure you’re legally allowed to have a side-hustle. If you’re an employee, you have an obligation not to compete with your employer, which is governed by common law under the implied duty of fidelity. Some employers will include express terms in your employment contract, stating you’re not allowed to compete with them, or that you need to ask their permission to start a side-hustle. If you’re not competing with your employer, then they shouldn’t unreasonably refuse permission. In some cases however, your employer might have concerns that your side-hustle will impact your productivity at work if you’re not resting outside of working hours.

  • Be mindful of any licences and insurance you might need

    These will depend on the type of side-hustle you’re operating. All businesses must follow legislation that governs what you can and cannot do when it comes to selling goods and services. Do your due diligence when it comes to knowing what you’re obligated to have in place for your industry.

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  • Don’t forget tax

    You will need to pay tax on your earnings. If you make money from a side-hustle, this is classed as self-employed income and you need to report it to HMRC.

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