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“Side hustle”, “side gig”, or “sideline” in some cases, is increasingly becoming a common term among young Filipinos. To put it simple, a side hustle is a source of income that isn’t someone’s primary occupation or employment.
For example, you could be working at an office as an accountant during the day and by night, a freelance graphic designer during your spare time so as to bring in extra money.
The benefits of having side gigs are apparent: you make more money than you usually would (it simply improves your cash flow).
The downsides are just as obvious: Since you’ve already spent 8+ hours on your day job, the rest of your dwindling free time would be exhausted doing extra work.
What follows is a list of the most profitable side gigs you can get into with varying degrees of difficulty.
What is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is an additional job that provides supplemental income to one’s full-time job. It’s also called a sideline, side gig, or raket.
Typically, it’s something a person loves to do, as opposed to a day job that’s just meant to put food on the table and pay the bills. A side hustle gives employees the chance to pursue their passion or dream job without giving up the financial stability of a regular paycheck.
However, a side hustle is different from a part-time job. With a side hustle, you can pretty much determine for yourself how long you want to work in a day and how much you want to earn.
This freedom you can’t get from a part-time job, as the employer is the one who decides the employee’s work schedule and salary.
8 Best Side Hustles for Filipinos in 2020
Ready to become rich this 2020?
Improve your cash flow and earn more money in your free time with these 8 side hustle ideas.
1. Financial Advisor or Insurance Agent
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P20,000 – P50,000
This may come as a surprise to some, but being a financial advisor or insurance agent for a large company can be incredibly profitable if you have the necessary interpersonal skills to go along with it.
The job description mainly revolves around offering financial advice and educating people about insurance policies, and how these services can help your potential clients’ lives in the long run.
These jobs are often advertised as flexible with time, with high earning potential – which is true, as your salary would be on a commission basis (around 40% – 50% commissions per sale).
Granted that you have the necessary PR skills, you’ll earn as much as you’re capable of selling.
Successful agents can earn six digits a month for every 20-30 hours a week spent meeting with clients, but that depends entirely on one’s ability to network, market and sell the services.
Doing the math:
If you can sell at least 3 insurance policies worth P20,000+ (per annum) every month, you can modestly earn around P30,000 per month (and assuming your clients will continue on with their policies, you’ll receive the same amount on the succeeding year).
What makes this side hustle lucrative?
Only 47% of the working population in the country are insured, which means there are millions of Filipinos out there that will eventually need to have one. And there’s VUL, an insurance policy that offers both life insurance and investment features.
Although, in order to become an agent, one must take the appropriate certification exams in the Philippines. These prerequisites can cost up to P6,000 total (P2,020 for the Insurance Commission Exam for traditional and VUL, while the License costs P3,030 – which is valid for 3 years). So study up to get yourself certified and licensed to work for companies such as AXA, Manu Life, or Pru Life.
Bigger institutions like Sun Life Financial do offer free certification/licensing exams, including free reviewers (reading materials) and free seminars.
Estimated Monthly Earnings: from P10,000 – P100,000
A freelancer is defined as a self-employed worker who has no long-term commitments to an employer.
The Philippine business climate in Manila seeks freelancers that have skills in the following fields:
- Multimedia arts (video editing, sound editing, dubbing, voice acting, graphic design
- Creative writing (article writing, proofreading, copywriting, data entry, transcription)
- Digital marketing (SEO, digital PR, social media management, content marketing, creating promotional campaigns and material)
- Events (organizing, promoting, coordinating, logistics, photography, etc…)
- Teaching (online ESL tutor)
- Admin & customer service (virtual assistant, customer service representative)
- Web & Software Development (programmer, web developer, web designer, QA)
If you are aiming to earn extra income as a freelancer, reassess and reevaluate your skills. Here are a few sample questions to ask yourself when assessing an opportunity:
- Do you have an eloquent command of English and/or another language?
- Do you have a knack for writing and putting character and significance to articles and coming up with substantial topics to write about?
- Do you have a keen eye for proofreading?
- Do you have the proper productive habits, work ethic and the right equipment for video editing or graphic design?
- Do you have the PR skills or a strong technical background in Digital marketing?
- How well do you manage time and delegate tasks when it comes to organizing schedules and events?
If you have any of these skills or have something equally useful in your repertoire, you can sell your skills as a freelancer. There are plenty of online platforms which you can use to sell your services, such as:
- Jobstreet (for part-time home-based job opportunities)
Freelancers tend to earn on a project basis, so your skills need to be competitive, flexible, adaptive and constantly evolving. The difference between a good and great freelancer is that the former meet deadlines, and the other beats deadlines (accompanied by high-quality outputs).
It’s easy to improve your skills by offering your skills for cheap to build a portfolio and client-base. A freelancer becomes more attractive to future clients if he can turn up and show the projects he’s done.
Some people have built whole careers out of their freelance work, earning anywhere from P10,000 to P100,000 (or even more) per month depending on the quality of their work, and consistency and availability of projects.
You can surely earn more when you start closing long-term projects (that will pay you on a retainer) – and eventually scale it into a business when you start hiring more people to do the work (while you’re focusing on getting more projects).
As a freelancer, you must also learn how to assert yourself when it comes to charging your clients and collecting your salary, without being abrasive.
3. Sharing Economy
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P20,000 – P70,000
The rise of apps like Grab, Lalamove, and Airbnb has given birth to the so-called sharing economy, in which physical assets or services are shared between people for a fee.
By offering convenience to consumers, earning passive income from your assets has never been as profitable and accessible as now.
Enterprising side hustlers can ride on the income-earning potential of the sharing economy in three ways: by providing ride-sharing, logistics, or home-sharing services using their existing assets.
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P20,000 – P70,000
If you have a car and spare time, you can apply to be a TNVS (transport network vehicle services) driver, where you use your car to bring people from point A to point B for a profit.
Full-time drivers typically make P30,000 to P40,000 per month, so your income will depend on how frequent and available your schedule is to drive people around. The highest earnings for TNVS drivers happen during rush hour, but the drawback is that you’ll spend the most amount of time stuck in traffic.
To maximize their earnings, other people join ride-hailing platforms as operators and employ drivers to drive a small fleet of cars.
Grab is currently the market leader in the Philippine TNVS industry, but there are other ride-hailing firms Filipinos can join in to earn on the side using their car. Alternatives to Grab include HYPE, OWTO, and Go Lag.
Angkas is also gaining ground as a motorcycle ride-hailing platform in the Philippines, as the clamor for a faster mode of transport has intensified amid the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.
If you have a motorcycle (or can only afford to buy one instead of a car for side hustle purposes), then you can become a biker with Angkas or any of the two new bike-sharing platforms, JoyRide and Move It.
Courier and Logistics Services
Estimated Monthly Earnings:
- P6,000 – P30,000 (for motorcycle riders)
- P7,000 – P70,000 (for sedan/hatchback/MPV/SUV drivers)
- P20,000 – P350,000 (for van/light truck drivers)
Instead of transporting people with your vehicle, you may choose to make money transporting goods as a logistics services provider through logistics and delivery platforms such as Lalamove, Grab Express, Mober, and Transportify.
Joining these companies as a partner driver allows you to earn extra income delivering just about anything from one place to another with your vehicle.
There’s also a high demand for food delivery services, which is another opportunity to make money from your bike or motorcycle through apps like Foodpanda, GrabFood, and LalaFood.
Home-Sharing/Vacation Rental Services
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P20,000 – P70,000
Depending on your location and the size of your spare room – you can charge anywhere from P500 – P4,000 per day – and make decent money every month.
If you own an unoccupied condo or house, or one that has a spare room, you can rent it out and list it on home-sharing sites such as Airbnb or Agoda Homes. Usual guests are tourists and workers who live far from their workplaces and are looking for temporary accommodations.
Depending on your location and the size of your space for rent, you can charge anywhere from P500 to P4,000 per day—and make decent money every month.
When it comes to operational expenses, renting out a room has low-maintenance costs per week. Your main responsibility is to maintain the cleanliness of the room after the customer is done renting it.
You may also need to organize your schedule to meet future tenants who are interested in renting your place to give them keys and let them in. Becoming a host on Airbnb or Agoda Homes can be a high-earning business idea for you if your property is in an attractive location, especially near tourist destinations where a lot of visitors want to spend time in.
4. Buy & Sell (Item Trading)
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P10,000 – P30,000
If you have a knack for spotting good deals and understanding what people like to buy online, and organizing the market in niches, you can make a good amount of money using online sales platforms like:
One common thing to do here is to look for cheap deals to buy from and then re-sell them on the same platforms for more.
Alternatively, you can look into going to offline marketplaces such as garage sales, thrift shops and other places which aren’t making good use of online marketplaces to score cheap deals which, in turn, can flip you a good profit using those platforms.
Profit and time invested are less certain as they depend entirely on what you’re looking to sell. Often the time investment relies on moving on deals quickly before someone scoops up something that you see could be profitable.
The main thing you’re creating value for customers here is your ability to spot deals and items for their convenience.
Remember: Buy low, sell a bit higher.
5. Offering Professional or Trade Skill Services:
Estimated income: P15,000 – P40,000 per month
There are many other services you can offer to make money on the side. For instance, anyone can get together a few other people and offer to clean people’s houses, cars, condos or else for a tidy sum of money.
There are platforms to offer such services on, such as:
These platforms create listings for skilled craftsmen and artisans too. Including manual labor jobs for:
- Home repair and improvement
- Moving & trucking services
- Cleaning, electrical, pest control, and plumbing services
- Gadgets and appliance repairs & services
- Food catering services
- Events, performers, and other business services
- Fitness/Personal trainers and more.
They also list licensed professionals such as accountants, lawyers, physicians, and engineers.
Of course, social media is a powerful tool to market your services to people looking for them. As with anything else, your earnings depend on the service you provide and how well you do in the field.
6. P2P Lending
Estimated Annual Earnings: 6% – 30% of the money invested
A side hustle doesn’t have to take so much of your time. Case in point: investing your money in peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.
As the name implies, P2P lending involves lending money to borrowers (through online platforms such as FundKo, Blend PH, and Vidalia) and earning interest from it.
Compared to other investments such as stocks and mutual funds, P2P lending is less complicated and easier to learn. It also requires only minimal investment.
For as low as P5,000, you can already become a lender on a P2P lending platform.
Estimated Monthly Earnings: P24,000 – P50 million
Making YouTube videos for a living can be a lucrative side hustle for those who love sharing engaging content online. Monthly earnings can go six digits or even as far as millions, depending on the number of videos posted and their number of views.
YouTubers typically make money from every view or click of ads placed on their videos. They may also get paid filming product reviews and/or attending promotional events (such as product launches) and making a video about them.
With passion and the right equipment, just about anyone can start a side gig as a vlogger.
However, not everyone succeeds in vlogging—it takes a lot of commitment, talent, and strategy to edge out the competition.
8. Live Video Game Streaming
Love gaming? Turn your hobby into profit through live streaming.
You can stream a video of yourself playing games online for other gamers to watch on platforms like YouTube, Facebook Gaming and Twitch.
There are various ways to earn side income as a gaming streamer:
- Subscriptions/Pay per view
- Donations or tips from fans
- Affiliate sales
- Sponsorships and brand deals
- Selling your merchandise
If you live stream on Facebook, the company will even pay you 55% of the advertising revenues if you have 2,000 followers and a video with at least 300 viewers watching at the same time.
This is perhaps why gamers claim they’re making more money on Facebook Gaming than on Twitch and YouTube.
How to Start a Side Hustle in the Philippines
Ideally, you begin a side hustle when you have a day job that funds your living expenses and will serve as your fallback in case your gig doesn’t turn out well.
But it’s never easy to run your side hustle on top of a 9 to 5 job. You need to have the right mindset, ability to prioritize things, and enough preparation before diving in.
Here are the steps to start your side hustle properly while working a full-time job.
1. Know your purpose for starting a side hustle
Your full-time job already takes most of your time every day. Adding a side hustle to your daily routine will make your schedule a lot more hectic. Not to mention that it also requires a great deal of effort to succeed.
So before you launch your side hustle, do a self-assessment. Make sure to ask yourself these crucial questions first:
- Why do I want to start a side hustle when my work life is already jam-packed?
- What do I want to achieve out of this?
- Will the things that I gain from my side hustle be worth all my sacrifices?
Whether you want to earn extra income, shift careers, or pursue your passion, it’s important to figure out your purpose for starting a side gig.
2. Pick a side hustle that matches your interest and skills
Choose something you’re good at. You have skills; you just need to know which ones you can reinforce and sell. There’s no point in selling something you’re bad at.
Your side hustle has to be something that requires the skills, experience, and knowledge you already have.
Unlike in full-time employment where you can be on a learning curve, side hustles don’t have that flexibility. Learning a new skill takes time and money, and you can’t afford that if you want to be successful as a side hustler.
3. Validate your side hustle idea with one paying customer
Is there a market for the service you’re planning to provide? Are people willing to pay for it?
Test your idea out by working with and asking for honest feedback just one actual paying customer.
This way, you’re assured that you’re not starting something that won’t solve your target customers’ problems.
4. Set your goals
In any endeavor, it’s hard to track your progress without defining your goals from the get-go.
For example, how much income do you aim to earn? How many customers are ideal?
Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals and where you want to take your side hustle helps you hold yourself accountable and determine whether you’re on track.
5. Create your roadmap
Once you’ve defined your goals, map out how exactly you plan to get there, from launching your side hustle and beyond.
If your goals answer the whys of starting your side gig, your roadmap identifies the hows of it. Put everything into writing and update your roadmap from time to time to adapt to changes as needed.
Tips to Succeed in your Side Hustle
Here’s a recap of tips to maximize your success with your side hustle:
- Do something you’re good at – you have skills, you just need to know which ones you can reinforce and sell. There’s no point in selling something you’re bad at, chances are you’re not going to be making money anytime soon.
- Research. You need to know the market to break into it. How much competition are you up against, what type of customers and niches are you targeting and how much should you be charging?
- Don’t forget it’s a side-hustle. Only put so many hours into this as you can spare. If you want to be entrepreneurial and end up opening your own proper business out of this, you’d better work like it’s your only hustle.
- Fund your side hustle through savings. Taking on debt is a bad way to start a side hustle. As much as possible, use your savings. Even better, start a side gig that won’t require much funding, using resources you already have.
- Commit to a strict schedule. Treat your side-hustle schedule like your day job in the sense that you observe a fixed schedule. Decide the number of hours you can devote each day for your side gig and schedule it after your normal work hours.
- Focus on giving your best performance at your day job. You can’t afford to lose your full-time income. Also, your employer can be a client or a business partner when you go full-time with your business. So never compromise the quality of your work just because you’re juggling two jobs.
- Don’t work on your side hustle in the office. Using company resources or time for your side gig is both unethical and a possible violation of your employment contract. Don’t risk getting the ire of your employer.
- Don’t quit your full-time job too soon. Wait for your side hustle to reach your ideal income level (ideally at least 75% of your full-time income) before you hand in your resignation.
- Always add value to your customers. Think of more ways you can better help your customers through the services you provide. Be creative! And always go the extra mile. In doing so, you can keep them loyal to you because you’re able to give more value for their money.
- Form your support system. You can’t accomplish everything alone. Whether you run your side hustle on your own or with a business partner, you need people who you can turn to for guidance and support. These include mentors, colleagues, and friends who can share ideas and honest feedback with you.
In conclusion, when it comes to side hustles, keep trying and never stop learning.
You’re not going to make thousands of pesos on your first day, your first project or during your first gig.
- 10 Best Business Books for Young Entrepreneurs
- Best HMO for Freelancers & Self-Employed in the Philippines
- 35 Powerful Time Management Tips that Work
- 10 Ways to Make Your First Million
Get a grasp of the market and experiment with how you position yourself in the market. Try out some strategies and keep selling and building your presence until you find your niche.