Research shows SA’s optimism in the side hustle

Leading retailer Game Stores asked South African’s just how much they thought a side hustle could supplement their income in 2021, and almost a third of those surveyed said they estimated that they could earn an extra R20 000 (or more) a year.


As South Africa continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions, many people have considered a side hustle to help them with their finances. Over 70% of respondents said a side hustle would help them to make more money or supplement their income. COVID-19 saw large reductions in people’s salaries, or job losses, and many realised the need to be self-sufficient without having to rely on an employer. Over half cited this as their main reasons for wanting to start a side hustle.


“Game conducted the research to better understand how much consumer behaviour has shifted in the last year, and where their priorities currently lie. Side hustles featured prominently as a means for people to supplement their income,” says Katherine Madley, Vice President of Marketing at Game. “I also think people have realised that they are more driven to take charge of their lives – nearly half of those surveyed said they want to follow their passion in 2021.”


This provides Game with real insight into what consumers needs are and that informs the retailer’s merchandising strategy. The largest cost for business owners and hustlers is technology (such access to laptops, data and cellphones) versus that of operational costs. This stands to reason as most small businesses depend heavily on technology to remain in touch with their customers.


“It is encouraging to see that despite the difficult times South Africans have experienced in the last year, they are still optimistic that a side hustle can help them through 2021 and it is our responsibility as a retailer to drive the gig economy by offering unbeatable deals on the tools and equipment they need to kick-start their businesses,” says Madley.


Interestingly, the research also showed that a side hustle would allow people to generate extra income to help the needy or fund further education, indicating and overall desire for self-improvement and giving back, after what has been a distressing year.


Game also partnered with well-known technology entrepreneur, Luvuyo Rani, to gain insight into what it takes to start a side hustle in South Africa in 2021. His top tips are:


Embrace the Gig Economy

“Make use of platforms like websites, microsites, messaging platforms and social media as part of your tools when creating a profile for your business.”


Have a Content Strategy

“Make sure you are focused on how best to create and share your content, in a way that speaks directly to your target audience and creates interest and talkability.”


Be Authentic

“Focus on what makes you unique and use that to fuel you to boldly follow your passion.”


Commit to Lifelong Learning

“Learning is a lifelong journey, especially in a society that evolves at such a rapid pace – and incredibly important as we move toward the 4th industrial revolution.”


Find a Mentor

“Be confident enough in yourself to ask the important questions – there is always something new to learn and there is always someone willing to work with you and teach you.”


Be Prepared to Make Mistakes

“No one person knows all the answers. The important thing is to keep a positive attitude, even when you make mistakes.”


Prioritize Your Wellbeing

“Exercise as often as possible, make sure you are sleeping well, drink enough water, pray or meditate, and remember to be grateful.”


Katherine Madley, Vice President of Marketing at Game

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