Research shows that nearly half of Brits (46%) are now using their time and skills to generate a second income through a side hustle, pocketing an average of £274 extra per week. For some people, those side hustles are becoming so profitable that they outearn their main income.
Greenwich-based Chersty Bitsindou is one of those people. She started working on community marketplace Airtasker as a way to earn extra money in 2018. Since then, she has turned her side hustle into a profitable business that “exceeded all expectations”.
We talked to Bitsindou to find out how she managed to earn an impressive £34,000 with a side hustle.
How a side hustle can change lives
Bitsindou used to be a dental technician before she joined Airtasker to offer house cleaning services. As a 30-something with three children aged 16, 10 and 4, Bitsindou needed a flexible side hustle that would help her increase her income, reduce her childcare costs, and allow her to spend more time with her kids. “My salary as a dental technician wasn’t satisfying, and I had to pay for childcare,” Bitsindou says.
The opportunity for change came when Bitsindou’s eldest daughter Amy saw an Airtasker ad on a train. Airtasker encourages people to monetise skills they already have – whether that’s offering IT support or flatpack furniture assembly. In the case of Bitsindou, that was house cleaning. Why? Because, as she puts it, “I love cleaning and that’s why I do it!”
“My mum used to have a cleaning company and, age 16, after school and at weekends, mum took me on jobs and trained me. She was very strict at home in keeping everything clean and tidy, and that’s where my high-quality of work comes from,” Bitsindou explains, adding that though she has other qualifications (which include being a dental technician and HR manager), she just truly enjoys cleaning.
She’s also making the most of other skills she has – including being able to speak French and German – to get more work. “I have met many French people, especially in Kensington, and they all love that I am multilingual,” she explains.
While it took some time to build up her client base, Bitsindou says once the five-star reviews started coming in, she was never low on jobs. “Once I hit 200 five-star reviews, I needed to get an assistant in order to fulfil all the tasks,” she explains. Eventually, she quit her job as a dental assistant and her Airtasker side hustle is her main source of income now.
The many advantages of a side hustle
Although workload varies every week, Bitsindou says she usually has five or six jobs split across three days. Some jobs take longer than others, which is why it varies so much. Shorter work time also means Bitsindou can save a lot of money on daycare. “I can have great flexibility, earn the money I need to support my family and still have time to do my other hobbies, such as Gospel singing,” she says.
The job comes with unexpected pluses as well. “I get to meet celebrities and recently cleaned for Raheem Sterling’s fashion event, where I met Tinie Tempah.”
Bitsindou says that while her earnings mainly go towards bills at the moment, she’s also saving to complete a master’s degree in communication to build her own cleaning business. And she’s been able to take her children on trips and spend more time with them.