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What New IT Side-Hustlers Need To Know About IT
Side-hustling has been around since long before COVID19. The pandemic did, however, demonstrate just how useful it can be. As a result, side-hustling is becoming increasingly popular. It is, however, important to set your side-hustle on a safe footing. For most people, that means getting to grips with IT. Here are four pointers to help.
Get your own domain
You license domains every year (or in multiples of a year). Most domains only cost $10 to $20 per year, so most people should afford them. Having your own website is optional (but often useful). The key point is that having your own domain will allow you to set up email addresses linked to it. This looks much more professional than openly using free email.
Protect your social media accounts
You’re probably already using social media privately. Unless you already have a large, relevant following, it’s usually better to separate your private social media from your business social media. You obviously want to protect both. In practical terms, however, securing your business account is likely to be more of a challenge.
The main reason for this is that you can set your private accounts accessible only to authorized people. Business accounts, by contrast, generally need to be kept public to be effective for marketing. That can make them an easier target for cybercriminals. Use any security features your platforms offer. At a minimum, use a powerful, unique password.
When you start a side-hustle, you will need to register for taxes. You will, however, generally be able to claim some business expenses against your taxes. Usually, this will include essential IT equipment. There is hence no reason to use personal devices for your side-hustle and plenty of reasons not to.
Most of these reasons hinge on security. As soon as you become a business, you have a business owner’s responsibility to maintain cybersecurity. This has three main implications. Firstly, you need to be careful what software you install on it. Secondly, you need to be careful about what websites you visit. Thirdly, you need to invest in appropriate security protection.
Your IT equipment is likely to be an essential part of your business, so you need to be prepared to deal with any issues with it. Resist any temptation to rely on your own IT knowledge or your family and friends. Make sure you know a reputable IT company you can contact in case of emergency.
Take mobile seriously
Even if you’re side-hustling purely from home, you’ll probably still use at least one mobile device. It would help if you protected it as seriously as you do your main computer. You also need to be aware that your clients will probably also be using mobile devices extensively. This will probably have implications for your business.
For example, if you are creating a website, you need to make sure that it loads quickly, even if it’s accessed by a budget phone or tablet. It also needs to look good on small screens. You might also want to think about making your site easy to navigate through voice search. This is increasingly used with both mobile devices and smart home assistants.