How to Streamline Your Side Hustle

by on Jun 18 2014 - 39 Comments

streamline your side hustleToday’s post is from our regular Wednesday contributor, Cat.

If you have a side hustle, chances are that you’re a pretty busy person.

You likely have a full time job and try to squeeze in your hustle any time you can to make an extra buck.

I’ve been there, and it really is a grueling schedule to add on hours to your work week. Still, as many of you know, side hustles can be lucrative, fun even. And, the best part is that they can turn into full time jobs, which has been the case for many bloggers out there, myself included.

Still, there comes a time, when your hustle gets bigger than you. You used to be able to manage everything yourself but all of a sudden, your little hustle has grown to a point where things start to slip or you just way too tired to deal with the small details. It’s hard to give up the control of your business (or maybe that’s just me) but there comes a time and a place where you just need to streamline things. Here’s how:

1) Ask for Help

DC can attest to the fact that I’m hard-headed. I really will try to do just about everything myself, and it’s difficult for me to admit when I have reached my max. Just this week, I had a Skype conference with a few other bloggers, and both twins were crying so much I had to mute myself. Then, I finished out the conference with one of them on my lap.

I realized that I really can’t do the whole work-at-home mom thing without help. So, I’ve hired a babysitter, a housekeeper, and signed up for a food delivery service. It’s not the most frugal thing in the world, but the time I save from cleaning etc. allows me to focus on my business. When you do that, you realize what’s most important and you tend to work faster, automatically streamlining your work flow.

Remember: streamlining your side hustle could mean actually streamlining your life first.

2) Utilize Tools

There are so many tools that can help you to streamline and organize the tasks that are a part of your side hustle. For example, there is accounting software, social media automation, editorial calendars, built-in excel spreadsheets, and just about anything else you can think of. You know the saying, “There’s an app for that”? Well, there’s also a tool for that too! I really enjoy excel spreadsheets, and I use the editorial calendar that DC created for free to keep everything straight.

3) Get a VA

Virtual assistants can help with so many things. When I had my twins, I took about a 6 week maternity leave. I was still writing and checking in on the blog, but I had someone checking my e-mail which tends to explode every day. Just having that one thing I didn’t need to worry about was so nice and such a huge weight off my shoulders. I could rest easy knowing I didn’t miss any advertising opportunities or other important messages.

I’m still working on finding my groove and keeping everything together while caring for my two munchkins. Some days are better than others, but I know if I keep streamlining my various hustles, I will get the hang of it eventually!

How do you streamline your side hustle?

39 comments
mycareercrusade
mycareercrusade

Completely agree with outsourcing and the way that I streamline mine (want to do this more) but is by using sites like Fiverr :)

Ugifter
Ugifter

I just emailed you about my super-secret tool project! There's so much available on the internet to make life better, Kathleen teaches me all about these things.

BrokeMillennial
BrokeMillennial

Paying for a little help to free up time to make more money makes sense to me! Even if the little beans were crying, I bet the other bloggers liked seeing them on Skype. :)

LisaVsTheLoans
LisaVsTheLoans

Hiring a housekeeper may not be "frugal", but I think you're buying time which will pay off in the long run! Personally, I think it's worth it to splurge on convenience.

Eyesonthedollar
Eyesonthedollar

I'm so glad you got some help. Working from home is still a job. There's no way you could take 2 kids and a house full of chores to an office and get anything done!

RyanKBiddulph
RyanKBiddulph

Cat, asking for a bit of help makes such a big difference. Thanks!

SenseofCents
SenseofCents

These are all great tips! I still do a lot myself, but I also outsource things when I'm not the best at it (such as migrating websites - I know that I can hire someone else to do it at a much FASTER pace), or when I know that I should focus on other tasks at hand.

Beachbudget
Beachbudget

Right now I'm still in doing everything myself mode. Every once in awhile I will hire someone to do some technical work on my blog, but usually that's a one off. I can imagine with two newborns, having extra help is really beneficial. 

Joshua Rodriguez
Joshua Rodriguez

Hey Cat, great post. I can definitely understand looking for help in some areas to focus in others as you got cleaning and babysitting help to focus on your blog. Personally, I've hired about 10 VAs now and I still have 8 of them, which works out. Thanks for the great read!

ShannonRyan
ShannonRyan

Asking for help is HUGE, Cat. And I'm glad you've taken measures to get some needed help. Being a Mom is an amazing, wonderful and TOUGH role. Delegation isn't always easy to do at first, but the much needed free time to focus on other things will be wonderful. Some may say that you're not being frugal adding a babysitter, housekeeper and delivery service but disagree. Sure, there is a cost associated with those perceived luxuries, but there is also a cost if you cannot complete  your work on time or do it well, feel constantly overwhelmed and not be the Mom or wife you want to be. In my mind, those costs are much higher and now that you have support - you can continue to do your good work and be in the position to take on more work, if that's even something you want. 

Practical Cents
Practical Cents

Very good point on how streamlining your side hustle could mean streamlining your life first.  Many times getting organized at home can make a world of difference at work.  

TheWriteBudget
TheWriteBudget

I'm still trying to work on figuring out how to balance everything. It's a work in progress. 

blonde_finance
blonde_finance

I definitely need to get better at asking for help but my issue is that sometimes I don't realize I need it or what specific help I need until it's too late and I am pulling out my hair. I actually have an intern who just started working for me this week and it has been SO nice! I already feel more productive just knowing there is someone I can designate tasks to. 

DebtRoundUp
DebtRoundUp

Nice work Cat!  I have been trying to streamline a lot of my work.  I typically do most of my stuff with automation, but a VA is in my future for sure.

BudgetforMore
BudgetforMore

 I thinking learning how to unitlize technology in any job or side hustle is key. For example, I started using Microsoft OneNote and it has changed the way I take notes at my job. It has made my life much easier!

theFinancegirl
theFinancegirl

I love your tip on getting a virtual assistant. I haven't done it yet, but I foresee this in my future!

Holly at ClubThrifty
Holly at ClubThrifty

Are the kids staying home while you work?  If so, you are much more dedicated than me!  My kids have to be gone from the house for me to get anything done.

FrugalRules
FrugalRules

Great tips Cat! I really don't have a side hustle anymore as it has become my full-time job, but I think I use all of these tips. There just always seems to be too many things going on that if you don't ask for help you'll get too overwhelmed.

BudgetBlonde
BudgetBlonde

@LisaVsTheLoans Yes exactly - buying time is 100% correct. I can make double to triple what I pay her per hour so it's worth it to me. 

BudgetBlonde
BudgetBlonde

@Eyesonthedollar I appreciate that! I felt like I was failing when I couldn't get it all done so I gave in and started hiring.

BudgetBlonde
BudgetBlonde

@SenseofCents Exactly - our time is valuable too. I'm sure we could figure out how to migrate etc but it's so much more worth it to pay someone else!

BudgetBlonde
BudgetBlonde

@ShannonRyan Thank you for saying that Shannon! I was feeling guilty for spending the money but I can make more working than I can cleaning so I'm happy to pay for someone else to do it and get my 4 hours back etc!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

@BudgetforMore I looked at OneNote but gave up after a few minutes : /  I put my notes in Word and Excel.  Definitely not the most efficient way to do things.  I'll have to give it a try again.

BudgetBlonde
BudgetBlonde

@Holly at ClubThrifty Yes for now. They are just too itty bitty and beanette just got off of her heart rate monitor. But my work has been drastically affected so I'll be trying to find a way to follow in your footsteps soon.

BudgetforMore
BudgetforMore

 I think it is pretty nice once you get used to it. I love how versatile it is. I've even taught a few of my coworkers how to use the program too.