If you are one of the many people who has started their own side hustle in the last 12 months, you've probably found it's not quite how you imagined it. Along with doing the things you wanted to be doing and making you money, you'd rather not do many other annoying little tasks. The bad news here is that as you get busier and your side hustle grows into something much more impressive, those tasks will only increase.
Among those tasks will be doing your accounts, managing all of your business's 'tech' parts, and keeping them all working, and dealing with building your brand online. You can deal with most of these by using simple apps or services. However, something that might need your immediate attention is creating a website for your brand.
Why do you even need a website?
The short answer here is because virtually everybody else has one. The longer answer involves having a greater level of control and security over your business. If you currently engage with potential customers on social media and sell via Etsy, Amazon, or eBay, you might not think you need a website, but in reality, you do. While all of these platforms are very useful, you have no control over any of their policy decisions that will affect your future.
If they update their T&Cs (for instance, if Etsy updates its seller policies so that the product you are selling no longer counts as handmade or vintage), then all of your hard work is gone. However, if you also trade on your own website, you have a place where you can still make sales.
What type of website do you need?
The type of website you need will depend mainly on what you do and where you see yourself in a few years. If you intend for your website to be a place where potential customers can find out more about you and your brand and maybe have a few questions answered, you will only need something simple.
For a basic site like this that will only consist of a few pages and does rely on Google's attention to get traffic, you can create something yourself using a WordPress theme and an afternoon. If you wish to sell on your site in addition to other platforms, then something like a Shopify site might be a better idea, where all of the design is done for you, and you only need to fill in the blanks.
How do you keep your website safe?
Now you have your piece of digital real-estate, you need to keep it safe along with the rest of your data, like your customer database. As small concerns like yours are increasingly becoming the targets of cyberattacks and less able to recover from them, investing in managed IT services would be a sensible move.
As well as providing protection and backup for your business, you could simultaneously upgrade to cloud storage to avoid any expensive hardware costs or limitations as your business grows.
If you are serious about maintaining your side hustle or new business, then building a website and then ensuring it is secure can ensure that your business is taken to the next level. It is the only way that you will be able to compete long term.