How to start saving time and energy on your side hustle with limiting hours during the work week.
Adding a side hustle onto your full-time job is a crafted skill. Working full-time for someone else while working for yourself is not something that comes easy. Every hour of your day seems to counts more than it did before. Between an average of 8 hours at your full-time job, the time spent commuting to work and the time spent on daily family and household items, there isn’t much time left in the day. So when it comes to building a side hustle, it’s important to make every minute count. To do this, I’ve outlined 9 ways to streamline your side hustle below that will save you time and energy while building an efficient business.
Running a successful business and working full time doesn’t need to feel like a fantasy. It is possible to have the best of both worlds by working smarter instead of harder. Automating and streamlining your side hustle is the perfect method for making your business more efficient and giving you back some time throughout each week to invest back into your business or into your personal time. Let’s dive into 5 methods for streamlining your side hustle while also working 9-5.
01. define your workflows
Defining your workflows is extremely important when beginning to automate and streamline your business. First, you need to know what you are streamlining. Look at your business and write down any workflows that occur. This could be the client booking process, product or service delivery, blogging, email writing or anything other workflows that happens on a regular basis within your business.
After each workflow is written down, write out the step-by-step process of that workflow. For example, if a workflow within your business is client booking, that process may start with inquiry, then sending your pricing guide, then a follow-up email, sending over a contract and so on until the client is booked. Writing out each of these steps one by one will help you see, organize and begin to create systems within your business.
02. invest in a client relationship management software
Now that you have all of your workflows identified and written down, let’s talk about investing in a client relationship management software, commonly known as a CRM. A CRM is a software that houses all of your contacts, email templates, pricing guides, portfolios and much more. And when it comes to streamlining your business, a CRM platform can help you access all of your business’s assets, send them out when needed, manage projects, send invoices and collect payments.
A CRM can save you a significant amount of administrative tasks throughout each week. You may even feel like you have a personal assistant helping out with dotting and crossing the T’s and I’s. If you are curious about learning more or investing in a CRM platform, checkout Honeybook and Dubsado. I have used both platforms, most recently Dubsado- which ran my photography business for four years straight.
03. automating your business
If you do invest in a CRM platform, one amazing bonus that occurs is the ability to automate tasks. You can apply your standard workflows to your CRM, triggering automation for conditional steps within your workflow. This could look like sending emails, review requests, appointment reminders and more.
Automation can also occur outside of a CRM and in many aspects of your business. When running a side hustle, it’s so important to look at your business for anything that can be automated. If you can have technology running your business while you are working, then it’s like gaining that much more time into your side hustler schedule each day! Except, you don’t have to do anything!
Other items that you may consider automating within your side hustle include social media posts, Pinterest marketing, email auto-responders, appointment reminder alters, email sequences and more.
Creating templates for your business is a significant time-saver when it comes to creating content each week. You can create templates to use for any email situation, social media posts, blog outlines, pricing guides and more. This saves you from having to create content from scratch on a regular basis, preserving your energy and creativity and keeping your business looking consistent and professional. My two favorite template types are email and social media.
Email templates are one of the best ways to streamline your side hustle. You can create templates for inquiries, bookings, not accepting projects, project delivery and more. And if you’re worried about sounding like a robot and losing your personal touch with clients, don’t be. Build out your email templates keeping the business details consistent but leaving room for personalization. That way when it’s time to send an email, you can easily pull in a template, tweak a few details, give it a personal touch and send it on its way in a fraction of the time it would take you to write everything out.
Templates are also great for social media. If you blog regularly, post client reviews or implement graphics into your social media marketing, creating a suite of standard templates is a great way of making this process quicker! Canva has thousands and thousands of social media templates that you can explore for this! They also have ready-for-you pricing guide templates and much more!
05. email sequences
According to Hubspot.com, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. Email marketing is only growing and is an amazing tool for entrepreneurs to reach, serve, connect and sell to their audience. In that order!
And email sequences are a great way to streamline and automate this strategy within your business. Creating a sequence of emails that goes out to your audience after they do something like download a free offer, inquire about your services or purchase a lower ticket product or service, is a passive way to keep the conversation going. Through sales sequences, nurture sequences, booking and more, email sequences can be put on auto-pilot and make you money while you’re at your full-time job by naturally navigating your audience to the next process of working with you and your business.
Flodesk is an email service provider that does a great job at helping others craft email sequences based on the desired end result. I use Flodesk for all of my email marketing and cannot rave enough by how easy and effective they make the process. Explore more to see if Flodesk is right for you business. And if it is for you, get 50% off your subscription here.
06. batch content
Just like you did with workflows, take a look at your business, and observe all of the content you create on a regular basis. This could be blog posts, social media posts, YouTube episodes, podcast shows, emails or more. And from there, see how you can begin batching these pieces of content to then schedule out and publish over a longer period of time.
Batching content is beneficial for multiple reasons. One is; you can stay in the same mindset while creating content over and over again, making it quicker and more consistent. For example, you could write 4 blog posts back to back. Your brain gets used to the writing process and you can enter and stay in a flow state, creating more quality content rather than sporadically writing posts before jumping to another task.
07. passive lead gaining strategies
When it comes to gaining new leads, we often think that we have to actively sell our services and promote ourselves to bring in more income. But what if our lead gaining strategy was on auto-pilot? Not just by your inquiry form being passive, but by having potential clients passively find your inquiry. That’s the sweet spot!
Consider developing passive lead-gaining strategies for your side hustle so that when it is time for you to clock in for your own business, you have potential leads already there waiting for you! Doesn’t this sound much better than spending your limited time having to find leads?
You can implement passive lead gaining strategies by publishing blog posts on a regular basis, by passive promoting a free offer than leads a potential client to buy or inquiry with you through an email funnel, by creating an affiliate program for yourself and having others promote your business for commission and much more! Explore a strategy that best fits your business and see how you can begin streamlining towards new leads.
08. set standard side hustle hours
A part of streamlining your business around working a 9-5 is making sure you have a designated schedule for working your side hustle. Setting standard business hours is a wonderful way to stay organized and make your side hustle feel less like a chore but more like a scheduled out part of your day!
Standard business hours can also be helpful for discipline and allocated time to the work that needs to be done. It removes the guessing game of when you will do any outstanding tasks and introduces a new level of routine into your life and business.
09. create your side hustle routine
In addition to setting standard working hours, creating a side hustle routine can help streamline your business but also yourself! As a side hustle business owner, you need to feel organized and efficient. And having a standard routine is a great place to start. This could look like setting standard business hours each day, managing your side hustle tasks around your 9-5, habit stacking, allocating work for certain parts of the day and more.
Creating a routine around your side hustle is also a great way to manage both life and business. With a winning routine, you can accomplish more within a day, pay attention to how you and your body work best and decrease (if not eliminate) the times where you tend to go off course and focus on something that truly isn’t a moving needle. I’ve been there a time or too myself.
If you want to get started creating your side hustler routine, download my free templates! And if you already know that developing a winning routine is the thing you need, check out Design My Day and let’s do it together!
run a side hustle that doesn’t run you
Having a side hustle doesn’t need to look like zero sleep or social life. You can truly have the best of both worlds and build a profitable business around working a full-time job. And the key to that, is to streamline your business, automate as much as you can and build strategically!
Run a business that doesn’t run you into the ground. If you are creating your business, this concept may seem a little far-fetched. But keep in mind the creation part of the business is new and requires a different train of thought, effort and creativity. Focus on what running and operating your business will feel like during a normal week and build your business in a way that provides you with a dream outcome.