The Part-Time Entrepreneur (Part 2 of 4)

It is common for people to work multiple jobs and for a variety of reasons. This series focuses on entrepreneurial part-time jobs, and is designed to help those of you who already have a side hustle, as well as those of you looking to get started!

This installment looks at some (mostly) free tools and resources to help you navigate part-time entrepreneurship. There are limitless options for paid products and materials as well, so use this list as a starting point to help find what works for you!

Education

There are a number of organizations dedicated to educating small business owners. Even if you are operating through a company like Young Living Essential Oils, understanding topics like market trends and how to determine and reach your target market are valuable skills to know. Check out the Small Business Administration for resources ranging from business planning to loans and grants to marketing and even government contracting! While most of their information is available online, there are local administrators that would be available for in-person meetings as well.

Don’t forget your local library system and community colleges when looking into education as well. Often times learning communities like these provide webinars and classes for small business owners at little to no charge. If you are lucky enough to have a college or university nearby, there may even be opportunities to work with current business students as a project or case study.

Organization

The most powerful tool you have for organization is a good old fashioned spiral bound notebook. Entrepreneurs are innovators and often very creative people. Keeping a notebook dedicated to your part-time job will allow you to make notes whenever and wherever an idea strikes. If you prefer the tech version, keep notes on your phone in one place. Having these easily accessible will allow you to act when you have time, and keep your brain power focused on whatever task is at hand - not trying to remember whatever it was that you thought of earlier in the day.

Calendars will also be important to any part-time entrepreneur. Keep dates, schedules, and appointments orderly so that you are able to fulfill all of your responsibilities. Don’t let yourself be double booked - especially with any of your full-time job requirements! Sync calendars from various email addresses, Outlook and outside sources like school calendars and family activities. The online tool Trello has a calendar feature that works hand in hand with to do list boards and offers a clean way to keep different types of tasks organized.

If you are managing social media accounts, tools like Buffer and Planoly allow you to create posts when you have time and have them scheduled to go out automatically. Keeping track of customers is made easier with a program like Insightly which has a free plan for super small businesses. Also, don’t forget that while you’re here, Goals.com has great tools for tracking progress and keeping tasks organized!

Miscellaneous

What makes entrepreneurial ventures great is that each one is unique. Here are a few more resources and ideas to help you with your situation!

  • Did you know that you can order free shipping supplies from the United States Post Office? They also have online payment for shipping charges, products like mail scales, free at-home pick up scheduling, and more!

  • When was the last time you reviewed your insurance policies? If you are now using your vehicle for business, make sure you are getting the best deal on your car insurance. A home office may come into play with insurance and when it comes time to file your taxes.

  • Are you looking to offer your services on Care.com or an app like Takl? Take a look at other providers in your area. What makes them stand out to you? Are they listing certifications that you do or do not have? Have an Etsy shop? You have boundless resources for research at your fingertips - just search for other shops that either have similar products or simply catch your eye. In general, what makes these shops or providers successful?

As a part-time entrepreneur, it can be daunting trying to figure out how best to utilize your limited time. Try out some free tools and develop a system that works for you! Do you have any recommendations for tools that made a difference in your line of work?

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