The size of the gig economy has more than doubled since 2016, thanks largely to an influx of workers who are looking to create part-time and secondary streams of income. This trend continues unabated too, especially as more and more people embrace concepts such as retail trading and remote working.
In fact, some 48% of gig workers in the UK also have a full-time job, with people looking to optimise their earning potential at a time when the cost of living crisis and rampant inflation continues to rage throughout the UK. Sure, inflation fell markedly in July, but the cost of living remains far beyond the 2% target set by the Bank of England (BoE).
But what exactly is a secondary income, and how can you successfully create one in the current climate? Let’s get into it!
What Do We Mean by a Secondary Income?
In simple terms, a secondary income is one that’s built and maintained alongside a primary, full-time job role.
Historically, people would pursue secondary incomes by taking on additional, part-time jobs at less social hours, after working at their primary role between nine and five.
However, remote and hybrid models (along with the explosion of the digital economy) have created more flexibility for workers in 2023, who can now seek out a wider range of convenient and even passive income streams to supplement their main way of generating money.
OK, So What Are The Best Ways to Create a Secondary Income?
The question that remains, of course, is what are the best ways of generating a secondary income in the current climate? The truth is that there remain many options at present, so the key is to identify which one best works for you. Here are some of your options.
#1. Trading and Investing
We’ll start with what are generally passive streams of income, with a number of trading and investment vehicles available in the digital age.
Arguably, forex trading offers the best liquidity and most impressive leverage, although the volatile nature of this space may be off putting to more risk-averse individuals. In this case, more secure, buy-and-hold assets like stocks offer considerably more value, along with incremental returns over time.
In the case of forex trading, the volatility associated with this practice can also be leveraged to actively profit from short-term price shifts, so long as you take time to learn FX theory and the market’s structure. There are plenty of ‘forex for beginners’ resources available online, with these focused on knowledge, determinism and how you can leverage demo accounts to gain practical trading experience.
#2. Selling Products Online or Dropshipping
Ever since the emergence of the ecommerce marketplace at the turn of the century, sites like Amazon and eBay have made it easier for individuals to sell their unwanted or bespoke items online.
However, technological advances have also made it possible for such individuals to now engage in dropshipping, where they buy in-demand items at wholesale prices before selling these on at their retail values to realise a profit.
More specifically, you can identify in-demand items online and source these from competitive suppliers based on orders received from buyers. Then, you can organise their shipment directly to the consumer, while releasing the difference between wholesale and retail prices as your profit. This business model typically depends on driving a high volume of sales.
#3. Launch a Business
We’ll end with one of the most common methods of generating a secondary income, which is to start a new business. However, this is also one of the most challenging and complex strategies, and one that requires significant funding and organization.
Of course, this type of endeavour can be funded in numerous ways, simply through bootstrapping and earning money organically through a full-time job or seeking third party investment (depending on the value and nature of your business idea).
You can also start small and scale your efforts organically over time, as you look to grow in line with demand and profitability. During this period, you may look to evolve the venture so that it becomes your primary source of income, but this should be a long-term objective that’s attainable and managed carefully.