When I was starting my business, I got really overwhelmed by all the things out there to help me maintain and grow my business. I didn’t have a ton of budget to spent on tools, so I had to be scrappy in the process.
You’re probably the same way.
If you’re launching a side hustle, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here are some cheap (and even free!) tools to get you started. They were the only ones I used for a LONG time in my side hustle as it grew to four figures per month! Enjoy!
Squarespace – $10 or $26/month
Squarespace, in my humble opinion, is the best web platform out there. It’s easy to use, has tons of templates and looks incredibly clean and professional. Before launching my business, I had a blog called Giant in Heels. While I was building that up, I tried a bunch of different platforms including Wix, WordPress and finally Squarespace. The other two were too clunky, hard to navigate and frustrated me to no end. Squarespace has done a ton of work to make the process seamless, along with a fabulous FAQ section/user guides to help you navigate through the functionality. Plus, the most basic version costs only $10/month. If you want to have a store, it’s only $26/month. I used that version until more recently when I wanted to understand the analytics on my store and upgraded to just under $50/month!
Google Suite – $5 per user
Gmail, Google Drive, Docs and Calendar have been my lifeline. Their products ARE AMAZING. And I only pay $5/month per user. Large organizations are migrating towards this tool actually, because of its flexibility and quality. My inbox is easy to organize, my life is in my Gcal (literally my life y’all…that will be another post: How to Organize your Gcal like a BOSS) and all of my questionnaires, spreadsheets and client information lives in my cloud. I can easily search and organize the material to find everything I want. You absolutely need this to function.
Canva – FREE
We all know that content is king these days. I use Canva to create pictures like the one at the top of this article – photos overlaid with text. They have a slew of different templates for everything from posters to social media posts to LinkedIn headers. I have used this tool to make all of my social media posts, the icons on my products page and my ebook. There are so many cool functionalities I haven’t even explored yet. It’s essentially a creative tool for non-creatives. Love it!
Mailchimp – FREE or $10/month
Every business – whether side or full-time – needs to have a mailing list. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to engage your audience, sell your products and distribute your content. There are a ton of different email marketing tools to use, but if you’re just starting out I recommend Mailchimp. They integrate nicely with Squarespace and are a cheap way to start out – they are actually free at first. You can upgrade to pay $10/month which includes automation features. In my opinion, it is worth it! I’ve heard of people moving away from the platform as they’ve grown, but for newbies – its ease of use and cheap price makes it a winner in my book.
Unsplash – FREE
When I started writing a lot of targeted content for my brand, I was getting so frustrated with the visual part of my business. I wasn’t a photographer and couldn’t spend a ton of money to hire someone to create my visual content. But! I wanted to have a visually appealing, professional website. There are a lot of subscription stock photo sites that are absolutely worth it (ie: Death to Stock) but if you’re just starting out, I highly recommend this free site. You can download and use the content as much as you’d like – just be kind and give credit to the photographer! 🙂
It doesn’t take much to sell a product online these days – all you need is a simple, clean website, a product or service and a mailing list to start building. Hustle on!