Lisette Armstrong turned her hobby into a major money spinner.
Lisette Armstrong turned her hobby into a major money spinner.

More Aussies getting a little on the side

ENTREPRENEURIAL Aussies are set to make 2018 the year of the 'side hustle', with improved technology enabling more people to turn a hobby or idea into a second income stream.

Recent research by accounting company Xero revealed 62 per cent of Australians are seeking additional income streams and nearly a quarter already have a side business on top of their regular income.

The Ageless Entrepreneur report, which canvassed 1000 respondents, also noted that a further 38 per cent intended to start a venture in the future. And not all are in it for the money, according to Trent Innes, Xero Australia managing director.

"There are two great Australian dreams. One is to own your own home and the other is to be your own boss," Mr Innes said. "In the Australian economy overall, big business is not growing in terms of jobs, whereas small business is where the growth is at."

Accessibility was a factor in the trend, with 62 per cent of respondents believing it easier today to start a business than 20 years ago. Many cited opportunities that have arisen from technological developments (64 per cent), direct digital marketing (55 per cent) and digital tools, which simplify administration.

"The technology allows small businesses to operate like a big business with global reach," Mr Innes said.

Lisette Armstrong was one of the 48 per cent that saw global reach technology as crucial to establishment and growth.

Lisette Armstrong runs a side hustle called Treat Dreams.
Lisette Armstrong runs a side hustle called Treat Dreams.

The full time corporate professional is into the second year of her side hustle: Treat Dreams; a "dairy-free, egg-free, vegan friendly" chocolate company.

"We've been stocked in a vegan health food supermarket, plus The Veronicas and Ruby Rose have shared our products (on social media)," Ms Armstrong said, adding that she started the company initially for a creative outlet.

I work full time in financial services and there are a lot of approval processes. I wanted to do something involving unfettered creativity," Ms Armstrong said. "It wasn't until I realised the level of control associated with being in charge of your own destiny that it was really appealing."

Ms Armstrong worked solo for the first year of Treat Dreams, coming home from her full time job and working into the night on her project, before getting up early to package products and doing it all again.

"I ended up having an accident in the kitchen, where I poured molten sugar all over my hand," she said. "It was clear I couldn't continue as I was. I hired a chocolatier and now have five staff."

The business has grown at a sustainable rate and Ms Armstrong has her eyes on expansion into the USA and UK.

"A lot of people ask where I find the time," she said. "You've got to be really committed to the vision of the business you have started … be really sure about the product you're creating and believe in it because you will need that to sustain you when you're operating on very little sleep."



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