Australians are entrepreneurs at heart. Some dream of being the next unicorn startup. Others love having a side business to follow their passions. In the last 12 months, approximately 3.221 million people started a small business or a side hustle (Feb 2022-2023). Australia's dynamic small business sector will be even more exciting thanks to their ideas and creativity.

Over half of Australians worry about job security (61%).2 The side hustle is a way to build an additional income source. If the idea takes off, it can also become an opportunity to live the dream and take the side hustle full-time.

What Is A Side Hustle?

A side hustle is a business you set up on the side, while still being employed and making money from the "main" job. A side hustle is an opportunity to try out a business idea before committing to it fully. Or turn that hobby into something more (and dedicate even more time to it).

In other words, a side hustle allows you to earn some extra income in your off hours and while on the go, while also doing something that you are passionate about.

How To Start A Market Stall?

One of the most popular side hustles for Australians is to start a market stall. The costs involved in getting started are small, and with the right items to sell, and a good location in your local town’s community markets, you can make some good money from low upkeep. 

Many successful businesses have launched from market stalls. Making the best of the opportunity just requires a bit of forethought and planning on your part:

1. First, ask yourself why you're doing this.

Understanding your goals is a crucial step. Is the market stall going to be about saving money, or do you have an idea for an amazing and innovative product or service, and want to test it before committing to it full-time? Is this a hobby, or something you hope to turn into your primary source of income? Asking yourself these questions will help you structure the business.

2. Do your research.

Like any business, you want to determine who your target customer will be, and what you can offer them that other, similar businesses cannot. The more different your business is,  the more potential it has to stand out.

3. Draw up a business plan.

How much will it cost you to set up and run the market stall? How will it be profitable? How will you acquire new customers, and how can you service them with the time you have available? The more detailed the business plan (and CommBank has a useful template that you can use to draw one up), the better you set yourself up for success with your business.

4. Get yourself set up as a business.

It might be "just" a side hustle, but setting your market stall up as a formal business is a good idea, both in terms of effectively running the business and for taxation. Make sure you organise an ABN, a dedicated business bank account, and set yourself up with the right payment facilities so that your customers can pay you.

This is where CommBank helps Australians who have incredible, innovative ideas, across the country. You can set up a Business Transaction Account with CommBank and, simply by purchasing the Smart Mini reader, you will be able to start taking payments from major credit card types almost immediately. With a low 1.1% rate per transaction3, the funds will be deposited directly into your linked Business Transaction Account4 with a top-notch same-day timeframe5.

Businesses of all sizes need mobile payments. At time of writing we expect that by 2025, just 10% of transactions will be cash6. But you don't need expensive, complicated and inflexible EFTPOS terminal solutions. Smart Mini connects to your mobile phone or tablet and, in minutes, allows you to seamlessly accept payments from your customers7. For them, the experience is no different from any large retailer or service provider. It's the kind of professionalism and convenience that turns customers into regulars.

Many market stalls involve being on the road and travelling to various markets in the region. One of the challenges that stops many people from launching the side hustle is a simple one: how do you take payments on the go? Smart Mini is a convenient solution to this obstacle. 

5. Develop a marketing plan

Every business – even your market stall – needs a marketing plan. You don’t need to commit a lot of money to it to get started, but you do need to work out a way to start getting your name out there. 

A small business marketing plan typically involves defining your target audience, identifying what it is that is unique & special about the product you’re selling, and determining what the best marketing channels are for your business. Is it fliers in car windows (a useful way to promote a local market stall!) or some kind of social media presence (great if your products photo nicely!). You’re going to be time and resource poor, so make sure that you prioritise those actions that are most likely to provide the highest return on your effort and money spent. 

6. Launch that side hustle!

Now the fun begins! Once you’ve got your market stall ready to launch, get out there, follow your marketing plan, and start talking to customers. You'll make some mistakes along the way, and that’s okay. Learn from them and evolve your business to better meet your customer’s needs. Before you know it, what started out as a humble little side project will become a major source of income. More importantly, each success will be a satisfying accomplishment to celebrate. It's your side hustle and those achievements are yours and yours alone.