Our recent research found that 19% of side hustlers said 'technology' was the most confusing part of owning their own business. With an array of options available across marketing, finance, note-taking and social media, it can be daunting to know what to use and when!
No matter what your side hustle or small business is, technology is an important part. It is there to help you automate processes, stay on top of your finances and make sure you’re hitting all your deadlines.
In this blog we cover some finance, marketing, and task management tools that could help make running your business easier.
When it comes to starting a side hustle or your own business you are going to have to deal with receipts, invoices and, of course, paying tax. To help you stay on top of that, there are a number of bookkeeping apps that help you organise your finances, send invoices and collect everything you need ahead of tax season.
FreeAgent, bookkeeping (paid, free with Mettle*)
FreeAgent is a bookkeeping tool that allows you to get a full picture of both your historical income and potential future profits on your dashboard. There are additional features like invoicing and a built-in time-tracking tool to capture every second that you work on a project, which can then be transferred to an invoice to bill clients.
If you’re a Mettle customer, you can get access to FreeAgent for free. Read more to see how it works.
Quickbooks, bookkeeping (paid)
Quickbooks says that it’s committed to helping businesses thrive, whether you’re a sole trader, a small business, a bookkeeper or an accountant. It offers you a way to manage your finances in real-time, automate your books and always know where you stand with your finances. It has additional features like allowing you to submit your taxes, get paid and manage your employees. Quickbooks has two different plans depending on if you are a sole trader or a limited company, which you can find here.
Making sure people know about your business is an important part of winning new clients and keeping existing ones. You need a marketing plan! Whether you are focusing on one social media channel, running email campaigns, or want to replicate your content across all platforms – there are a number of tools that can help.
MailChimp, email marketing (free and paid-for plans)
If you have a client base you want to send marketing emails to, then MailChimp is a great choice. It is an all-in-one marketing platform that will help you to design your email campaigns, and understand the data behind them. There are free and paid-for plans, which you can see here.
Buffer, social media management (free and paid plans)
Buffer is a social media tool that allows you to publish to multiple channels through it’s Chrome extension or the Buffer software. You can schedule posts across all major platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as see the data behind posts and how you’re engaging with your audience. There is a free plan, and the paid-for Essentials plan, which you can find out about here.
With all these different strands to juggle – from posting on social, replying to customers, making sure you have inventory and keeping up with your books, you are going to need a task management tool.
Notion, collaboration and task manager (free)
Notion is a notetaking and project management software that helps you keep track of all your tasks, plans, projects and more while also allowing collaboration. The app has a host of features, where you can link to videos, web pages, or make task sheets. Notion offers free and paid-for plans, which you can find out about here.
Things, task manager (paid)
Things is a task manager available for all Apple products. You can break larger projects into subheadings, or use Upcoming List to see your agenda for the coming days. It is a streamlined note-service where you choose what info you want to see and when. You need to pay to download the app.
*To get FreeAgent for free, all you have to do is make at least one transaction a month from your Mettle account. If you don’t make one transaction a month, or if your Mettle account is closed and you continue to use FreeAgent then the FreeAgent fees will apply.