IT as a Side Hustle


#1

Anyone doing IT as a side hustle? I’m referring to doing it as an official business, not just a few one-offs here and there. I work full time in IT and my bosses started another business and I’m a consultant with that business. I’m considering taking on other clients. With time being a consideration I’m thinking the MSP route would be ideal.

I’d like to get other people’s thoughts.


#2

My question is, are you going to be the one managing those clients?
I run a technology business and with the few clients I have gained, my schedule can book up pretty quick and become overwhelming. I’m not sure how well it would work with having another full-time job.


#3

It would be mainly me at first, but with this other business I already have a guy that could help me out on an as needed basis. My current job allows me some flexibility as I’m salaried. I get paid to do the job, not fill a seat between Xam and Xpm. And I get off fairly early almost every day because I come in early, so being on-site at a client during normal business hours would be possible on a daily basis.


#4

Oh no. I have my hands full with my full time IT hustle.
If I would do some side hustle it would not be in IT at all.


#5

I work 40 h/week in my main IT job and 7 h/month in my second IT job. These 7 hours are not regular and more on an on-demand basis. From experience I can say that the demand always arises in inconvenient situations.

If you have someone close to your skills to fill in when you are at your main job, go for it. As a one-man-show I would be worried about being able to satisfy the customer.


#6

Side LLC here for the last 12+ years. It can be done. Be up front with your availability and get to know these companies. If you’re nearly on a friendship level not only will they not be looking to get rid of you but they’ll be more flexible. Keep the service you provide at a high level and you’ll most likely be golden.

Also, keep check on how many business/users/systems you can actually support. Don’t take on more than you can but do push the envelope a tad. If you’re like me, you’ll work your ass off getting a business in good shape then they need minimal support unless it’s another project. I’ve been doing this for a while and have been quite successful with it (full customer retention).


#7

I started doing this about June of last year and want to move it forward as a full time. The issue as stated before is inconvenience of time. I am like you and work IT primarily for a company with a flexible schedule. I got started because our company outsourced some “help” that didn’t fit the bill to assist me ended up increasing my workload. Opened my eyes to the opportunity, I really don’t suggest it unless you have the time. If you have the time go for it, really changes the dynamics of which you work on. My day-to-day Job is Virtualization, and Datacenter work. My growing business is more end-user items which is fun as well.


#8

I have been dabbling at this for awhile now. I work full time in tech retail while running my own media (photography/videography/SMM/etc.) company on the side. Having a tech background, I am debating expanding my company to also provide break-fix and low-level MSP support to mostly residential and SMB clients. However, I have been warned, and rightly so, multiple times to be wary of non-compete and exclusivity clauses when juggling your own company and a full-time job in a similar field. You could possibly find yourself out of a job, at best, or, at worst, in a mess of legal trouble. Just something to keep in mind. Also, I have a few trusted friends/associates that I contract in when I get overwhelmed. It cuts into margins, of course, but allows me to provide much faster, higher-quality service while still maintaining my day job, as well as allowing me to take on larger jobs I couldn’t tackle myself, but without paying a regular payrole.


#9

Looking at the number of vies for this topic, I’d say this is something of interest for many. The side hustle is a tempting look at the grass on the other side, and it’s addictive. I’ve spent all but the last few years as an independent contractor in IT and Software development, three and a half years ago I took a part time job at the local elementary school doing tier 1 stuff. Since then the IT biz has become the side hustle, and I miss doing it full time TONS! Now I’m in this weird spot where I don’t have the time to build my client roster back up, but can’t leave the “part time” job because of money and am getting to the point where I hate my “job”. Mainly because I really like “being my own boss” (which is both really hard and really rewarding).

Anyone making this move should be warned, once you get a taste of self employment, once you take a fun hobby and turn it into an income, you might not ever want to go back! Most of us are here because we like technology and helping others. And proving to yourself and family that it can be a living really makes a “9-5” almost a punishment.

For example, look at how @LTS_Tom is truly happy with what he does every day. He’ll likely tell anyone that it’s not easy, especially to start, but it’s not hard to see that he truly enjoys his job and has a fulfilling life because of it. I think that’s part of the allure of self employment. Just know that once you start down that road, nothing less will make you truly happy in work.

With all that said, I say do it! Find a way and make it happen! Even the pay cut for a while won’t matter because life will be sweeter! Just remember, it’s called a side hustle for a reason. And you likely won’t regret it.


#10

It’s how I started in the business many moons ago part time for two years then I just decided to go full time. Took two months of cold calling but landed a substantial client and went from getting by to good money almost overnight. Took on a partner dumped a partner had to learn much but it paid off. Would I do it again, in a New York second. Was it easy, no but as the SF operators say, “the only easy day was yesterday.” Embrace the suck and stick to your guns.


#11

Here, here! Well said!


#12

LOL, will use company (day-to-day) job and my infant startup as (side business): (sorry it is getting late.

Absolutely love this thread. I am trying to grow my “side business” as we speak. My reason is I have always been entrepreneur minded. But my day job allows me to get in front of a ton of new technology that I don’t have to pay for and get paid for exposure. The the corporate disposal cycle has allowed for me to start my side business with almost no investment in my infrastructure.

I talked with a colleagues/and friends in the industry. One of which works for VmWare he told me that he advised me to do both… I know it sounds crazy he mentioned that I get good benefits decent pay and a ton of vacation. He worked onsite at a government facility and one of the IT workers did that and loved his life. My main motivation is because the only problem with Corporate IT is your voice gets muzzled. My company is going in a (private cloud) direction, and for the cost we could by the hardware it is housed on every month… And being passionate about technology it hurts me to see this.

The other asked me would I consider purchasing a company to help increase my growth pattern. The pride in me doesn’t really like that. But I was called on my commute home by a company (small 1 owner 2 part time) I showed interest in last year. The owner is looking to retire and just live out of his motor home. I am asking for financials and will have a college friend look over numbers to get an idea. It would give me the opportunity to visit my wife’s family more often as well.

I am going to continue to focus on my side business and grow it organically and entertain anything that puts me and my family in a situation to succeed.

I wish everyone in the same boat great success and if you enjoy what you do it is never work!