Part two of our side hustle bootcamp series will show you which tools and resources can help you launch your small business with little money spent.
As we reviewed in the first part of our side hustle bootcamp, the first step towards launching your business is research and planning. The second is getting organized.
If you’re ready to get your side hustle off the ground, it’s time for a to-do list because between branding and accounting, there are a lot of little things to keep track of.
The good news is you don’t have to go it alone: the internet is full of tools and platforms that will save you time, money, and stress. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best resources to help you work smarter, not harder. Many of these services are free or low-cost, so you don’t have to invest much until your business is validated and profitable.
Branding and logo tools
Whether you’re launching a podcast or a healthy veggie box, you’ll need a logo. A good logo design will symbolize your brand name, communicate your brand identity, grab attention, and distinguish you from other businesses Depending on what kind of product you’re creating, you may need other branding elements as well. This could include packaging if you make a physical product, or signage if you’re going to run a market stall or pop-up shop.
So where should you turn for these crucial design elements? For DIY design, check out Canva. It’s a free, easy-to-use design platform that offers its own logo maker. And if you need physical marketing material like pamphlets or flyers, Canva can even print and mail them to you.
If you’re unsure where to start and have the capital, you can also recruit a professional designer to do your logo and branding for you, try 99 Designs. This platform that will connect you with designers who can do the job with flexible pricing.
Create a Web Presence
When you’re just starting out, it makes sense to keep everything simple, including your digital footprint. That’s why Linktree is the perfect tool for busy side hustlers. We’re not biased here: Linktree allows you to create a personalized page that houses the important links you want to share with your customers. It can function as your website or digital business card and it only takes a few minutes to make—no design expertise necessary.
Linktree also has unique features designed with side hustlers in mind, such as the ability to use your Linktree to collect payments, tips, or donations. And with a Linktree PRO account, you can customize your look and feel of your Linktree so it’s in line with your branding and logo. Linktree PRO users also get access to user analytics which help you understand who your audience is and what they want. You can also use Linktree PRO to collect SMS and email subscribers, which is a really valuable long-term marketing tool. But more on that later.
Project Management and Collaboration
If you are side hustling with a friend or business partner, you should consider using a project management tool like Trello or Asana. Trello and Asana are visual organizational tools, kind of like a digital to-do list that’s shared by everyone on your team. They let you keep everything you’re working on in one place, so that everyone can see which stage different projects or tasks are at. That way, nothing gets lost or mixed up. It’s a way to make collaboration easier and more efficient.
If you’re side-hustling solo, a time management tool may be a smarter option. Resources like Toggl track your time and deliver reports detailing how long you spend on particular tasks. This information can help you organize the business-side of your side hustle. For instance, if Toggl tells you that you spend the most time posting out online orders, you may want to outsource that job so you have more bandwidth for other tasks.
It might not be the most exciting part of launching your side hustle, but getting your accounting sorted out early on will save you headaches down the line.
Having smooth accounting processes is important for a few reasons. You want to ensure that you’re paying any vendors in a timely fashion and that you’re getting paid by clients or customers quickly. But it will also help you manage stuff like taxes and expenses.
To keep your finances organized, handle your incomings and outgoings with online accounting software like Xero. Whether you’re selling a product or working with different clients, Xero makes paying bills, sending invoices and accepting payments easy.
With software doing the work for you, you’ll get to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re on top of the financial stuff.
Whatever kind of side hustle you’re starting, odds are you’ll want a presence on social media. Social media is a way to stay in touch with your audience or consumer base. It can be a place to advertise special promotions or post announcements—like what delicious fresh produce you’ve got in your veggie boxes this week. You can also use social media as a way to build your brand. For instance, that might mean posting adorable photos or stories from your family farm.
This is where Plann comes in. Plann allows you to plan all of your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn posts in the one place. Use it to schedule posts, design content (via Canva) and build out a content calendar. It makes staying active on social a lot less time consuming. For example, you could post announcements on your social media about what delicious fresh produce you’ve got in your veggie boxes this week, or any specials you’re currently running.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses because of customer retention and loyalty. People keep their email addresses for a long time, so by getting theirs, you’re potentially reaching the person for the next decade of their life.
Compared to other platforms, email has a very high conversion rate, which is the percentage of visitors to your website who end making a purchase. Conversion rate on email can be as high as 5%, whereas on social media it can be under 1%.
To be successful at email marketing, you should build up a list of loyal, engaged subscribers. This can take time, so it’s good to start capturing email addresses early on. With Linktree PRO, capturing email addresses is easy. Linktree PRO has a Mailchimp integration, which allows you to easily add an email sign up field to your Linktree. That means your audience can sign up to your email list in just two clicks. Add an email sign up link to your Linktree now and you’ll reap the rewards in the future.
Now that you have the tools necessary to get your side hustle off the ground, keep reading for expert tips on how to grow your business in part three of our side hustle bootcamp.