By Jennifer Scott
Many of the most successful companies in the world started out with one or two people doing a hobby. It makes sense because hobbies are a source of joy and revitalization; they’re a way for you to step away from your weekly obligations and do something you actually enjoy. So, why wouldn’t you want to turn your hobby into a business?
While it’s true that nothing makes for a more satisfying career than making money doing something you love, it’s easier said than done, especially during the pandemic. If you want to form a successful business out of your hobby in this difficult economic climate, you will need more than just talent and passion. Along with understanding the intricacies of running a business, you will need to find funding and come up with a plan and commit to staying dedicated to it. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey.
Don’t Rush It
Having a passion for a hobby means a lot, but it doesn’t mean everything. For instance, you can love crafting products out of wood, but unless you’re really good at it, it won’t make you money in the long run. If you’re already a master of your craft, it might be time to take the plunge. However, if you still have a lot of learning to do and skills to acquire, wait until you’re sure you can make a living doing your hobby before you quit your day job.
Look Into E-Commerce
Regardless of your hobby, chances are you could sell products online as part of your business. E-commerce is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. Think of items related to your hobby and consider adding a shopping section to your website and/or selling through Etsy, eBay, or similar sites. If you’re new to e-commerce, take advantage of all the online wikis and guides available, which can teach you about customer service, SEO, branding, and much more.
Keep an Open Mind
Maybe your passion is making clothing. If your dream is to open a clothing boutique that sells your own products, don’t limit yourself to only that idea. Consider additional ways you could earn income and bolster your business plan. For example, perhaps you could teach sewing classes and/or open a dropshipping business that sells sewing supplies.
Set an Overarching Goal
You will need to set a lot of goals as you begin your business plan. But first, you need one overarching goal. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you want your hobby to become a full-time business or just a side job?
- Do you want to work from home or work toward buying an office space?
- Where do you hope your business to be in five years?
Develop a Business Plan
Business plans are complex, and you might do well to hire a business coach to walk you through it. However, there are things you can determine for yourself that will help you start, such as researching the market of your hobby to make sure your ideas are realistic, figuring up startup costs, and brainstorming how you will market your business.
Brand Your Business
Once your business plan gets underway, you will want to start thinking about your brand as a whole. This includes several factors, such as your business name, logo, tagline, and font. Once you create a unique, professional brand, you will be ready to use it as you market through your website, social media, and other avenues.
Yes, it’s possible to transition your hobby into a viable business. Just make sure you have the passion and skills to do it long-term. Also, consider starting an e-commerce side of the business and stay open to various ways you can make money from your skills. Finally, set an overall goal for your business, create a detailed business plan, and find the company brand that you’ll use on all your marketing projects.
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