Making it in today’s world is challenging — especially if you have children. The average wage hasn’t increased anywhere near as much as productivity in the past 40 years. It certainly hasn’t kept pace with rising health care and housing costs.
Therefore, you’re wise to start a small business on the side. Although such endeavors take time to build, they also allow you to keep all the profits. Here are eight tips for parents with side hustles.
1. Market Yourself
Fortunately, today’s connected world makes marketing yourself more affordable than ever. It doesn’t take much to start a blog, for example. Another must is to update your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to include your business.
While they may seem old-fashioned in today’s electronic age, business cards still serve a valuable purpose. They’re useful for distributing your contact information when you’re out and about.
Yes, you can exchange phone numbers, but you run the risk that your new contact won’t remember who you are or what you discussed if they merely add your number to their phone. Another alternative is an electronic business card that you can text to prospects.
2. Get a Planner
Working full-time, raising a family and running your business is a juggling act worthy of the circus tent. You need a way to keep on top of your various responsibilities, lest last-minute crunch panic make you throw up your hands in despair.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer one of today’s organizational apps or an old-fashioned paper planner that lets you write your duties in detail. What matters is that you sit down each Sunday evening and plot your week, reviewing the next day the evening before so that you stay on top of your to-do list.
3. Organize Your Workspace
Few things are more frustrating than being unable to find that report you swore you laid down right there. If your desk resembles something a hurricane left behind, it’s time to get organized.
This rule applies regardless of your chosen side hustle. Do you do small handyman repairs? Keep your tool belt and box organized so that you can always find the right screwdriver when you need it. Do you run a catering business? Keep that pantry tidy and all your ingredients neatly stored and labeled.
4. Invest in Accounting Software
Running a business means taking care of taxes. Even if you take a loss, you still need to report your earnings to the IRS.
The best way to stay on top of your responsibilities is to invest in quality accounting software. Ideally, look for those that allow you to import your books directly into your tax preparation program so that you don’t have to fill every item out by hand — and run the risk of human error.
5. Hire Household Help
Children demand and deserve attention, but it’s tough to balance a budget report with a 2-year-old on your lap. Set aside specific time to work on your business and hire household help when necessary.
If you’re partnered, you might be able to work out a schedule with your other half. Otherwise, investigate your childcare options. While it may cost a bit to hire help, you’ll reap the productivity rewards.
6. Feed Yourself Well
Tackling everything you need to in a week takes energy. You won’t get it from ultra-processed foods laden with sugar, additives and white flour.
Instead, take an hour or two out of your week to prepare freezer-ready meals. All you have to do is pop them in the pressure cooker during the workweek. You and your family will save money and fuel yourself with the nutrients you need to manage your breakneck schedule.
7. Make Time to Exercise
With everything you have on your plate, you might think, “who has time to exercise?” However, it’s all about working — and working out — smarter, not harder. Physical fitness gives you the energy you need to juggle your many hats, keeping your stress in check and preventing illness.
Fortunately, you don’t have to carve out an hour to go to the gym. Research suggests that working out in shorter segments works as effectively as a single longer session in managing health markers like blood sugar. Many of today’s home fitness apps feature workouts as short as 10 minutes. You can also find brief YouTube videos for free.
8. Take Meaningful Breaks
Having a side hustle as a parent means your business and personal life sometimes collide. It can start to feel as if you are always “on,” — leading to burnout if you aren’t careful.
Part of your business plan should include meaningful breaks. Holidays shouldn’t always be an opportunity to work harder at growing your hustle.
Your children are only young once. Once they’re grown, you’ll never have another chance to create precious memories. Work hard but give yourself meaningful breaks to spend with the ones you love the most. They’re the reason you grind hard every day, after all.
Tips for Parents With Side Hustles
It takes a lot to make it in today’s tough economy. The cost of necessities has soared faster than wages, inspiring many entrepreneurs to seek their fortune. If you’re one of them, heed these eight tips for parents with side hustles.