Here’s How to Create Systems & Processes to Scale Your Side Hustle

When you’re building a new part-time business, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Taking your venture to new heights without pouring all your time and resources into it can be challenging if you don’t have the right mindset and procedures in place.

To scale your side business, you need to focus on creating systems and processes which increase the reach of your work with as few hours of hands-on effort from you as possible.

The tips below will help you maximize your time and set your business up to earn for you while you pursue other passions and projects.

How to Scale Your Part-time Business with Systems and Processes

A scalable part-time business is one that reaches more people and makes more money without requiring more of your time.

As a weekend warrior, you should work smarter, not harder, to achieve your goals.

Here are 7 ways to set your hustle up for scalable success, making you money long after you’ve shut down your laptop for the evening.

1. Create Standard Operating Procedures

A standard operating procedure, commonly abbreviated as an SOP, is exactly what it sounds like.

Depending on the nature of your business venture, your SOP document could look wildly different from someone else’s, but it’s essentially a detailed set of instructions outlining the steps of the operations you carry out.

It puts words to the tasks you execute, laying it out as a process. The advantages of an SOP document are two-fold. When you start to map out and put words to your own systems, you might see some areas that could be optimized.

Most important for scaling your side business, SOPs are key to collaborating with other people on tasks and outsourcing work.

These documents are the blueprints for your business. They eliminate miscommunication, increase efficiency, and allow you to focus on other tasks knowing that you’ve given clear-cut instructions before handing something off.

2. Use Software to Manage your Tasks, Schedule, and Communications

While a pen and paper are timeless tools for brainstorming and jotting down notes, you won’t get too far scaling your business with them.

You can truly revolutionize your business by investing some time (and potentially money) into using software designed to streamline your business.

Whether you’re on your own, subbing out work to freelancers, or part of a small team of entrepreneurs, the right platforms can help you keep your tasks, messages, and ideas in order.

If you aren’t already, consider building some of the following types of platforms into your systems and processes.

  • Customer relationship management software: To automate client-centered processes, manage your communications with customers, and queue up recurring tasks, consider using CRM software. HubSpot CRM, Bigin by Zoho CRM, and Salesforce are a few good choices for small business ventures.
  • Project management software: With project management platforms, you can automate tasks, schedule to-do’s, build out editorial calendars, communicate with collaborators, and scale projects. Apps like Notion, Trello, Asana, and Todoist are popular with new entrepreneurs.
  • Calendar apps: Something as simple as your Google calendar or iCalendar can play a key role in scaling your business, keeping you on schedule and prioritizing what’s important.
  • Payment processing: Paying freelancers and getting paid by clients shouldn’t eat into your valuable working hours, or the rest of your week.  Choose a simple and reliable platform like Stripe, Paypal, Quickbooks, or Square to simplify payments.

3. Do What Only You Can Do

The hours you have to dedicate to your side venture are limited, and they’re priceless

While it might be obvious you need to protect your boundaries from outside distractions like going out with friends or binging a new show while you’re on the clock, some interruptions are sneakier.

It’s all too easy to waste hours on tasks that don’t really need your direct involvement.

If you’re getting bogged down by any of the following, you need to re-prioritize:

  • IT problems
  • Customer service issues
  • Bookkeeping
  • Paying bills
  • Managing your inbox
  • Scheduling repeated assignments

While these tasks may need to get done, how involved do you need to be?

Outline all of the tasks you carry out regularly and ask which ones make the best use of your time.

4. Outsource and Automate

After asking yourself the question above, consider how you might offload tasks which anyone (or any system) could carry out.

If a task can be automated, like paying your Wi-Fi bill or renewing web hosting, do it

Project management software can be a major asset when it comes to automation, too, allowing you to set reminders, notifications, and renewable tasks so you can set and forget them.

One of the biggest steps to scaling any business is outsourcing. While the tools above are useful, they have their limits.

When it comes to outsourcing, consider the cost of hiring someone and the value of your time. 

If your cost-benefit analysis reveals delegating some tasks is worth the money, start considering how you can efficiently transfer tasks to someone else.

One thing to consider is not just your time, but the level of expertise of paying a professional – not only can you get it done faster, but it may be a higher level of quality than you might be able to output on your own.

You can scout out freelancers to fill a myriad of roles on sites like Fiverr and Upwork.

5. Create Scalable Products that Build Passive Income

As you build processes to scale your business, consider the type of material you’re producing.

While some products only earn a one-time profit, others can continuously make money and reach more people once they’re produced.

To create truly passive income, focus on finding ways to package and sell your expertise.

This could include:

  • Books/E-books
  • Online courses
  • Digital art
  • Stock photos and videos
  • Subscriptions

If you’re still in the early stages of building a business and deciding what direction to go, real estate investing through rental properties is another scalable idea.

While you may have to deal with some property management tasks and interact with tenants from time to time, it’s a mostly passive venture with the potential to keep earning long after the property is purchased. 

In the end, scalable and passive products mean requiring less time and creating more opportunities and sales.

6. Learn from Other Professionals

You aren’t the only new entrepreneur who’s set out to build a second or third business in your free time. 

There are plenty of communities (like this one) dedicated to providing resources to help you kill it as you pursue your latest venture.

Whether you’re a graphic designer, investor, writer, or accountant, there are loads of great models to follow as you build your business.

Are there any bloggers, influencers, or up-and-comers you look up to in the industry? Follow their content, ask questions, and incorporate some of their strategies into your systems and processes.

Listen to podcasts, enroll in online courses, attend conferences and seminars, and soak up all the insight you can, learning from other people’s experiences.

In the information age we live in, someone out there is already sharing their experience for free – don’t waste your time, effort, or money if you don’t have to.

7. Get Out There

To truly broaden the scope of your business, you need to make connections with clients, audiences, and other entrepreneurs. 

Here are a few ways to put yourself on the map in a way that builds your authority in your niche and adds value to other people’s lives:

  • Network: Whether you link up on LinkedIn, join a group on social media, or attend or host a conference, prioritize connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs.
  • Market: You need to market your business through advertising on social media or other outlets (which costs money) and through promotion (which takes time and effort). No matter how great your content or product is, people have to know it exists for your venture to prosper.
  • Build authority: Take advantage of PR opportunities to speak up on your areas of expertise. This might include guest posting on a site like Medium or responding to a journalist’s inquiry on HARO.
  • Start blogging: Whatever your niche, starting a blog could allow you to connect with clients, establish authority, and earn even more passive income with solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and affiliate marketing.

Why Scaling Your Part-Time Venture Is So Important

No matter how hard you grind on the weekends and evenings, your efforts will eventually reach a ceiling.

In addition to capping your earning potential, you could also burn yourself out if you get caught up in the monotony of everyday tasks. 

Setting aside time to build processes to scale your business can tear the ceiling off your weekend venture, helping you to earn on Monday – Friday as well.

With every new task you take on, consider how it plays into your goals of scaling your business and earning more without working more.

Whether you’re still brainstorming your next big venture or you’ve already created a business that’s brimming with potential, remember how valuable your time and attention are, and focus on producing scalable products that earn for you around the clock.

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