How a side business can lead to social and economic success

A DIFFERENT KIND OF HOUSE WORK: Narelle Adams has built up reputable side businesses outside of her main employment.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF HOUSE WORK: Narelle Adams has built up reputable side businesses outside of her main employment.

Side businesses are booming in popularity as people seek out more flexible working arrangements, and Naracoorte has seen many working women become entrepreneurs in their spare time.

Narelle Adams (Reiki and Readings with Relle/Arbonne), Heidi Yelland (Wild Sage Designs) and Veberly Johnson (Younique) all have vibrant and busy working lives outside of their main employment.

While having a second job is often seen as even more of a ‘grind’, these entrepreneurs have found that their side businesses are fun and fulfilling.

“I had always wanted to have my own business and had decided to commit time for myself to be more creative,” Heidi said. 

“I enjoyed the learning process of setting up a business and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting people at markets, and the positive feedback I have received from women wearing what I make. It's a bonus to make a bit of extra money!”

The ability to earn an additional income while being able to juggle a family life also appealed to Narelle.

Narelle has been working from home since moving to Naracoorte in 2011, as she had a remote-based job for an Adelaide business and was raising a young son.

“The hours were gradually cut back, which meant money was tight,” she said. 

“One thing that I have learnt over the years is that you can’t rely on one source of income. What would you do if you lost that source of income, or were unable to work, or were the sole income provider?”

As well as having a network marketing business, Narelle also gained the confidence to become a certified reiki practitioner, stating:

“I realised how much I enjoyed helping other people, and making them not only look good, but feel good too, on the inside and out.”

As for Veberly, the ability to work on her own schedule and grow her social network was also a selling point for having a side business.

“Additional income, free makeup, meeting new people, making friends, travelling and travel incentives, working anytime, anywhere,” she replied when asked about her motivation.

“When I say anytime, this means at the wee hours of the morning when your customers are on the other side of the world. 

“There are lots of people you meet and will know along the journey. You will get to know their story. You offer them an opportunity for self improvement and growth. That's part of it.

“Then subconsciously, you know that you have encouraged someone, uplifted them, and knew that somehow, you have helped brighten their day and put a smile on their face.

“When you are in the circle of same-minded (successful) people, you just keep moving on and keep pushing towards your goals.”

Veberly, Heidi and Narelle are part of a growing trend wherein women are emerging as a dominant force in entrepreneurship, freelancing, and franchising.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that women are becoming entrepreneurs at a faster rate than men, and the Economic Times found that 48 per cent of freelancers utilising the service PayPal were women.

In the US, 83% of women became franchise owners over the past year compared to just 13% of men, and Brian Scudamore, writing for Forbes, found that women’s social marketing skills are rapidly becoming more valued by both business leaders and clients.

These women-led side businesses also have a positive effect on the local economy, with Narelle and Heidi reporting that they often set up stalls at markets and events, to support the community and socialise.

“When you work from home, or you are a stay-at-home mum, you can feel a bit isolated,” Narelle said.

“Having businesses that keep you in regular contact with people is important.”​

J. Mariah Brown, writing for Chron, outlined the ways in which small businesses can support local economies by detailing how they create products and services to fill niches.

In addition to this, many small businesses often maintain customer loyalty even through economic crises, and have said customers (and owners) put their money straight back into local services.

In the era of entrepreneurship, it’s looking increasingly likely that the future of retail isn’t a big corporate store at the mall, but a familiar, friendly and female face at a market stall.