You’ll have to consider your location, however, as it can impact your profits. Advocacy group RideFairTO estimates that full-time Uber drivers in Toronto make less than $8 per hour, once unpaid idle time and car expenses are considered.
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2. Turn a hobby into a side business
When Samantha Roberts, 25, moved out of her family member’s home in Toronto and began renting with her partner, she noticed that her everyday spending was quickly adding up. “I find everything to be insanely expensive [here], especially groceries,” Roberts says.
Roberts was already spending a lot of time on embroidery as a hobby. So, she started her own custom embroidery business. She advertises her products on Instagram, and her clientele includes small local businesses purchasing uniforms for their employees, and people in her community looking for gifts.
Roberts says balancing her part-time job, her side business and her studies—she’s in school to become a teacher—can get quite busy, but monetizing her hobby was worth it. “Having extra spending money really does take some of the stress away,” she says.
While Roberts accepts payments from customers directly, if you’re considering starting your own shop, you could sell through an online marketplace like Depop or Etsy—these apps manage the payments and offer a wide customer base, which is especially helpful if you aren’t social-media-savvy or don’t want to spend time on marketing. Keep in mind, though, that these and other platforms charge fees for product listings, transactions, payment processing and advertising—read the terms and conditions carefully, and plan for that when you create your pricing.
Roberts successfully found a niche, but not every hobby or skill will turn a profit. If you’re going to spend time, energy and possibly money on a side business, ask yourself whether there is a real demand for what you want to do—beyond your family and friends, of course.
Not so crafty? Some other side-business ideas are dog walking, tutoring, reselling clothes or other belongings, teaching fitness classes and more. Look at your day job or past experience. If it’s not a conflict of interest for your current employer, you could start a side business.