Setting up a side small hustle business can be pretty tough, especially when working at a full-time job. Your evenings and weekends are suddenly filled with even more responsibilities, as you grow a fledgling business on your own. Finding the time and energy to do everything might at first seem nigh on impossible.
Thankfully, with the ever-developing advancements in software and technology, working a side hustle has never been easier. Even with family commitments, work emergencies, potential health issues, general chores, and the need for good exercise and sleep, it’s possible to grow a thriving side hustle business when you rely on the benefits of modern tools and software.
There are thousands – tens of thousands – of apps and platforms for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. Most are designed to make life easier for the business owner in terms of productivity, workflow, cash flow, communication, and a lot more. And it’s some of these tools which can help make a successful side hustle not just a dream but a reality.
Essential tools for new side hustle business owners
If you’re just starting your own side hustle, the following 7 types of essential tools can help make your side project a lot easier to grow and manage:
- Cloud invoicing software
If your side hustle involves working with clients, then invoicing is a necessary chore. However, with high quality free invoicing software – like our cloud-based invoicing platform here at Invoice Ninja – you can easily create and send invoices in a matter of minutes.
Gone are the days when you needed to create an invoice in Excel or Word. You can simply modify a professionally designed invoice template which can then be used over and over again, together with your unique brand colors and logo. All data is automatically tracked and there are more than 40 different payment gateways, making invoicing a breeze.
- Time-tracking tools
Due to its very nature as a side endeavor, a side hustle is heavily time focused. Every spare minute and hour needs to be used intelligently and productively. When you’re working a full-time job and trying to grow a side business, every second counts.
That’s why you need good time-tracking tools. As you record and analyze every minute working on your side project – as well as your day in general – you’ll quickly spot where you can maximize your productivity and minimize distractions. Time-tracking software is also essential when recording time spent on client projects priced by the hour.
At Invoice Ninja, time-tracking software is a seamless feature of our platform.
- Project management Kanban Boards
Like with time-tracking tools, project management software is also highly beneficial in improving workflow, productivity, and peace of mind. Even as a solo-professional, without a team to lead, you’ll still have multiple tasks to complete each day. Project management tools such as Kanban Boards help you quickly view where you’re at when it comes to your current progress.
The visual nature of the Kanban Board helps your brain quickly decipher what needs to be done and when, plus, what can be delegated, outsourced, postponed, or merged into something else. After a tiring day at your full-time job, a good project management system can make life that little bit easier.
We also have Kanban Boards as an inherent feature of our invoicing platform.
- Cloud storage tools
One of the worst things you can do as an online business owner is to place too much faith on the longevity and health of your computer. Storing all your files on your laptop can work well enough for months, even years, until one day it doesn’t. And you’ve lost everything in one foul swoop.
Cloud storage ensures your valuable files – including client work, self-created products, marketing content, and any course materials you purchase – will remain safe and accessible regardless of any computer failings.
Popular cloud storage and file management platforms include Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
- CRM – Customer Relationship Management tools
Whether you’re selling products or services, trying to manage more than a few clients or customers can be very tricky. Pen and paper or Excel can only get you so far. That’s why, if you want to quickly grow and potentially expand your side hustle, you need CRM software.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management – is basically how you manage, track, and communicate with current and potential customers. Good CRM software allows you to record, automate, customize, and analyze deals, contact data, conversations, emails, and so much more.
Popular CRM apps include Pipedrive, Hubspot, and Salesforce.
- Email marketing tools
Email is an essential marketing and sales strategy for businesses of all sizes and types. It’s the most direct way of contacting interested prospects and remaining in touch with happy existing customers. Good email marketing and selling therefore requires good quality email software.
There are a number of different types of email strategies to potentially implement. Each requires intelligent formatting, copywriting, design, and tactics, depending on the target audience, products/services, and where the recipient is in the sales cycle. Good email software provides data about the emails you send, helping you to improve a diverse range of metrics.
- Social media tools
One of the most powerful forms of marketing is social media, especially for small niche businesses. Yet it can also be a serious time drain and distraction, especially for solo-professionals working both a side hustle and a full-time job. It’s nearly impossible – and probably a very bad idea – to update social media channels at work, and so this leaves spare moments late at night and during weekends.
Unfortunately, these can be bad times if you’re targeting certain audiences. A way around this is to automate and schedule updates to go out ahead of time. Certain social media apps allow you to set predetermined times for updates on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and a number of other social media channels.
You can then focus on your work and reply to any comments and interactions as and when needed.
Bring all your tools together
These are just 7 types of essential tools you’ll need when setting up a side hustle as a busy employee. As mentioned, the invoicing, time-tracking, and project management software are all included within the Invoice Ninja platform, making it a lot easier to manage all data and updates from one easy-to-use admin panel.
However, you can also make good use of other incredibly helpful tools when using Invoice Ninja, thanks to our synchronization and integration with thousands of diverse apps.
A complete toolkit of apps for your side hustle
Side hustles are hard work, especially when you’re a full-time employee. Why make life harder for yourself? Instead, rely on the latest innovative open-source developed technology and software to run many facets of your business almost on autopilot.
With Invoice Ninja you can do all this and more.
You can then focus on the essential tasks that will make your side hustle truly lucrative.