The last two years have seen a boom in side hustles, as lockdown hobbies became passion projects, which evolved into thriving pandemic startups. With more of us working from home and priorities shifting, the number of new companies registered during lockdown soared.
The most popular pursuits were food and crafts – such as the range of homemade self-care products made by mum-of-two Jessica Poole. “During the first lockdown in March 2020, I was a mature student in my final year of university, working part-time and raising my two children as a lone parent,” says Poole, 30, from south London. “The only way I could manage my stress during that challenging time was through self-care: my candlelit baths became necessary to my survival.
“I loved the ritual so much, I began blending scented candles and rose quartz bath salts as gifts for friends and family. Then, as word of mouth spread, my products became a side hustle. My dream for London Lotus is to turn it into a business that offers a full range of self-care services, such as meditation classes and body positivity workshops, to help people grow into the best versions of themselves.”
Now we’ve reached the other side of lockdown, sparky entrepreneurs like Poole are considering turning their passion projects into serious money-making concerns. And to help them embrace these new opportunities, GoDaddy has created a guide to building a free starter website.
When you’re working on a project close to your heart, the nuts and bolts of launching an online business can feel daunting, so GoDaddy offers fast, secure web domains, and hundreds of easy-to-customise website templates to choose from to suit your product or service, whether that’s cakes or cardigans, counselling or copywriting. Users also have access to 24/7 customer care to help remove some of the obstacles standing between them and a thriving small business.
“I’d love to build Little Leaf Place into something bigger,” says Samantha Wyatt, who currently sells houseplants at craft fairs and through shopping sites. “At the moment, I’m building my social media presence and offering tips to plant owners on my Instagram page to keep them coming back, but my next step has to be building my own website.”
The 27-year-old from Worthing, West Sussex, developed her side hustle after she spotted a boom in people buying houseplants.
“They’ve become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, as lots of people have been spending much more time at home,” says Wyatt “I realised I could not only grow plants as my own hobby, but I could sell them, too.
“I work in retail, but am planning to focus on Little Leaf Place more over the next few years, just to see what happens. I’d love to expand, and eventually import plants wholesale rather than only selling my own stuff.”
If, like Wyatt, you’re planning 2022 to be the year of something bigger, you can grab a personalised .co.uk website from GoDaddy for just 99p. A professional email is also available to help you stand out from the crowd, with customers nine times more likely to choose a business with a professional email address.
Once you’ve set up your website, integrated marketing tools can be managed from your phone – and if you don’t know what integrated marketing tools are, GoDaddy can help with that too.
The hope is that, with such a wide range of services and tools available for new businesses to use on the move, more future entrepreneurs will find the drive they need to get their passion project off the ground – just as full-time mum Emily Tassi, 38, did.
“I’ve loved watching makeup tutorials since I was a teenager, and when I get ready for a night out, people ask me if I’ve had my makeup done professionally,” says Tassi, from south-west London. “I’ve started offering to do it for friends before they go out, and it’s occurred to me that this is something I could turn from a hobby into a side hustle.
“I used to work in finance, and at one point, I considered becoming a virtual PA, but makeup is my real passion. I love the confidence it gives people, and to get paid to make up a bride and bridesmaids and make them look gorgeous for their big day would be a dream.
“I’ve got an Instagram account, but so far, I simply haven’t found the ‘oomph’ I need to push myself forward and set up a website. It’s so hard to make that first leap, but getting a free website and 24/7 tech support would certainly make things easier.”
So, if you’re knitting, baking, meditating or making, but lack the push you need to take a leap of faith, now’s the ideal time to look at what GoDaddy has to offer, and take that first, crucial step towards turning your hobby into the next small business success story.
To kick off your passion project, start here