12 tools that I use to run my side business

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Paul works at a start-up for the past four years, it’s only months ago when he woke up on a bright, sunny day to know that he’s thrown out of his job, because of the pandemic. I know this Paul is one of you, tormenting yourself on your ill fate for days, and finally coming up with the idea of not sticking up for ‘One’ job or one source of income this time. You can deliberately start looking out for ideas on How to start a side business and become familiar to infinite ideas. Of course, Paul chose running a Consulting Business, you may have already guessed that from out title.

You can start creating MSIs (multiple sources of income) has become no more a fad but a reality based on current scenarios. There are so many ways of creating side hustles but the easiest is to be a consultant. And along with that, another question raises How to be a Consultant. So here, we’re uncovering the most essential tools for starting a consulting business on your own.

1. Owning a high performance laptop

For the starters, when you’re looking for solutions for winning the battles of a side hustle, you’re going to need some company, the more robust, the better. Consulting as a business asks for loads of data to handle, managing website (s), keeping track of documents, etc., and all of that can be executed into a reality with good storage and a reliable motherboard. A laptop with 8 GB RAM cause these laptops are designed to handle heavy lifting like multitasking on presentations, complex SaaS tools, recordings and so on.

2. Visiting cards

Once you have established yourself as a consultant, you’re going to need your personalized business cards at handy. Visiting cards are mandatory for drawing a very strong, first impression on people. A business card may seem too tiny to care for you, but having a card not only reflects your professionalism but also one of the cost-effective ways to build your brand with credibility and trust.  

3. 5-page website

Now, if you’ve got yourself into consulting, you got to have an online presence. Web development companies often come up with this very notion of a website that’s stitched together in 5 numbers of main pages. A website with an SEO-friendly, compact outlook is an important place where the potential clients and other people associated with your industry might look you up. Days are gone when you had to hire someone to develop your website for yourself. Now, there are so many options for website builder tools like good old WordPress or Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and with minimal costing, that you can do it all by yourself.

4. Proposal document

A proposal document generally works for a consultant in the same way resume works for a person looking for employment. It will provide the details about the services you’re willing to provide your clients while closing a deal. A well designed, lucrative consulting proposal may be the thing you’re looking for to help you turn your prospective leads into contracts in the long run. And with options like Propsify or simple Google Documents, it’s not much of a huss to come up with an adequate proposal document.  A consulting proposal is not mere formal paperwork, it’s a building ground for starting out on a new client-consultant partnership.

5.Setting up a Payment Gateway

Instamojo is a company that works as a payment getaway for all transactions related to digital goods and services, consulting being one of them. It is a new, simpler way for Indian sellers to do business and collect their respective payments. Razorpay is anther go-to option for domestic payments, and if you’re dealing with international clients then PayPal can be your payment gateway for that.

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6. LinkedIn marketing

If you’re still in a mind of looking out answers for  How to Start a Consulting Business and ways to accelerate it from time to time, then LinkedIn Marketing could be the one thing you’re missing out. You’re maybe wondering why we’re talking about LinkedIn all of a sudden, but a platform with more than 500 millions of users that is entirely created for business people, and generating leads while looking out for the superior talents is the most important asset to hold on to while searching for the answer to the age-old question of How to have multiple sources of income. LinkedIn provides entrepreneurs with tools like Sales Navigator, Plugins, LinkedIn Small Business, Crystal, Guru, etc. There are also tools like Get Prospect which can extract email ids from LinkedIn itself so that you can reach out to potential clients via email id and pitch them personally.

Email me at karmesh@karmaworks to get 200 email ids instead of 100 email ids from GetProspect

7. Facebook Ads

The Facebook advertising campaign is the new powerhouse for B2B lead generations and will be helpful in your journey of finding How to start a side business. Facebook ads manager might get complicated at first, but as you learn and grow it’ll work as a catalyst for your sales funnel. Facebook has got one of the most sophisticated ways to market your services while working as a ‘lead magnet’  for your consultancy. From collecting information about leads to engaging them into a different dimension of the sales funnel it builds the right audience infographics and increase your business reach for better.

8. Speak out Your Offers!

You can’t make a single sale if you’re not ready to make an offering of your services to the target market. It could be a personalized sales message or a cold call, sometimes even a newsletter. Good old advertisements, collection of referrals, coming up with a lucrative sales letter could be one of your ways to market your services to the crowd. You can use Offer frameworks like  “I help ___with ___to___ “ and make your signature mark on the trade.

Also read why this year you must start a consulting business

9. Advanced Tools to the Rescue

Addressing the two most useful and ‘Out of the box’ tools for selling your services online.

There are some more advance tools Side Hustle Profit recommends. Go take a look

9.1 Clickfunnels

Clickfunnels is like a website, but when it comes to the features it’s more than that. These sales funnels are entirely developed for entrepreneurs and especially make your ways at ease for How to be a consultant. This tool guides your website visitors in a step by step formulation and points out to the one product/service out for sale. It even works after your visitor has left your page by following up on their activities. Clickfunels works as a simple website editor that in no time creates sales funnels that help you convert and it also comes with Facebook Marketing Automation as a bonus!

9.2 Active Campaign

If you’re a consultant looking out for tools to market your business, then Sales Automation is the one thing you should eyeing! Active Campaign is your email marketing buddy who’s willing to do more, like segmentation of your contacts, creation of automated yet personalized goals for How to start a side hustle with fun and also provides CRM services along with crafting customer forms, advanced reporting and tracking activities on your site.

10. Presentation Tools

The one thing that needs to be done in a Consulting business over and over again is, ‘Report Presentation’. With a bad hand at crafting a presentation, you can’t get a good grasp over your data and then your industry. Consultants prefer PowerPoint over anything else when it comes to this, cause it helps is preparing eye-catching presentations without a huss with an interest in converting. But, with time, changed the dimension of business presentation, because of virtual slideshows and also video outputs some are using tools like Prezi, Canva or Crello. There are near about 100 millions of global users who prefer Prezi with an alternative approach to slide-based traditional presentation since 2018.

11. Invoicing Tools

While your business is growing on its networks, there comes a huge concern with the management of expenses. And what’s better than going for a free invoicing tool like Refrens for all your transactions? With Refrens you’re getting free invoices with no limits, you’re been able to collect international payment at reasonable rates, you can also send tasteful quotations and estimations for converting then into invoices.

12. Conferencing Tools

As COVID-19 has made quite the uncertainty for business activities, a large amount is going for remote functioning. The same thing applies to Consulting businesses. And with video conferencing tools like Google Meet or Zoom, it costs absolutely nothing for the business owners to get connected with people. Networking is the most important part of How to Start a Consulting Business, and face to face calls with your prospects may get you there, faster. Robust communication skills with such tools go a long way in how marketable your business could be.

Consulting is a Daily hustle

If you’re searching for a side hustle and somehow ended up with a consulting business, then this might come as a shock, but you have to be present there each one of your days. Cause this is a solo adventure at the beginning, that you’ve got yourself into and now you got to stick up for it. Developing a business plan from scratch, experimenting with subcontractors, make appropriate investments, joining similar groups and building a network that grows in value, it ventures a lot out of your comfort zone. It takes time, a continuous process with needing proactive efforts from you, every single day.


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