The foundations of a successful side hustle are built in your spare time; working around the daily demands that life throws at you. As such, a truly successful side hustle requires time management and commitment – and some helpful online hints. That’s what we’re here for.
Project Management Tools
First up, organising your demands and ensuring you have a handle on what you need to be doing. Keeping track of clients is all very well when you have a small business and a targeted client base, but as your side hustle grows it can be easy to lose track of promises you’ve made and workflows you’ve taken on.
There are a number of online project management tools that you can use to your benefit, ensuring your time is planned out to ensure maximum productivity.
One of the most popular is Trello – a one-page planner of sorts which allows you to create as many Job Streams as you like. Splitting your commitments into smaller chunks can help it seem more manageable, and Trello’s addition of useful tags allows you to easily highlight which jobs are Urgent, which are Ongoing and which are New Business. Trello is a visual way of presenting your tasks, and each individual entry is moveable. Another great feature of Trello is the ability to add multiple team members to each card, and even assign responsibility to individual people.
The other project management tool that’s worth a look is Asana – an online cloud software system that enables users to schedule tasks, plan how different project demands fit together, and – perhaps more usefully of all – quickly identify overlaps in your schedule.
Invoice Tracking Tools
Creating invoices is fairly straightforward if you have access to simple software such as Microsoft Word, but that doesn’t make it any easier to keep track of which invoices have been sent out, paid, and are still outstanding. That’s where online Invoicing Tools come in.
There are several free tools that you can find online to keep your finances in order, allowing you to keep client information safely stored in one location and presenting summaries around how much you’ve earned.
Invoicely is the first of these free tools. You can personalise your profile with company logos, personal information and an area to store your client details. The homepage dashboard enables you to see pending and paid invoices all in one place, and the quick and easy invoice creation feature sends out invoices automatically – with clients able to pay via Stripe, PayPal, BACS and more.
Working hard to create a successful side hustle is all very well, but ensuring you get paid is one of the most important parts of success. Collecting payment can be a challenge, and that’s why presenting as many convenient options as possible is always preferable to, for example, only accepting cheques or cash.
There are a few payment processors out there that can link to your mobile device for payment on the go, linking seamlessly to your side hustle website – making direct payment quick and easy.
Stripe is one of the most popular as it allows you to accept payment online or through a face-to-face transfer. There are of course fees included with each payment, and Stripe tends to take an average of 3% per transaction – but without hidden fees you can rest assured that the rest of your money really is yours.
Stripe also sends out receipts to your clients and includes features that show you how much money has been received over a specific period of time.
The Power of Apps
If you’re a side hustler who’s constantly on the go, time management apps are probably a good idea for you – particularly if you work and are paid by the hour. Hubstaff has both a free and a paid version of the app – but even just using the free version will allow you to track your time effectively to make sure your hourly invoicing is correct. If a client puts you on a budget, Hubstaff will help you keep track of that – telling you the amount of time to spend on that specific project and ensuring you don’t go over.
The extra features such as payroll software and team scheduling come with the paid package, and can be an excellent investment if your business looks set to grow.
Another good app for time tracking is Toggl. Toggl has a focus on watching how you spend your time, featuring one-click timers and tracking reminders that will make sure you keep to your allotted schedule for each job.
With an overview summary board available as well, Toggl encourages users to view reports on the efficiency of your workstreams, helping you establish where you can save time and make more money.
In short, planning your time around a growing side hustle requires some dedication – there’s no escaping it. But you don’t have to go it alone, and it doesn’t have to be entirely manual. With so many apps and websites available to support you with all areas of your side business, keeping on top of your workload has never been easier.