Have you thought about turning your passion hobby Into a booming second act? Do you have projects for your spare time that you just LOVE? Well, why not spend your day loving what you do, right?
If you’ve ever thought about turning your hobby into a business, how would you start? What would you do first? Do you know the essentials for launching?
Below are a few critical things to think about before you get started:
Should you actually turn your business into a hobby?
You’ve spent a long time cultivating a hobby and enjoying the creative outlet. Many people find that they don’t enjoy their hobby when forced to work on a deadline, worry about sales and marketing, and adhere to specific schedules and customer expectations. Some also discovered that they wanted nothing to do with it even after it was no longer a business. Would you be happy if you couldn’t relax and enjoy it? It happens!
Some things to consider:
- Would you still love this activity if you were working on a deadline? If others told you how to do it? If you had to work on a schedule or worry about selling a specific number?
- Would you still love doing this knowing that you had to make a quota to stay in business or pay your rent?
- Would your hobby still bring you joy if it were mixed with marketing, sales, and accounting?
If you’re ready to move forward, here are some tips on getting started.
What’s your goal?
Do you want to start a full-time business or a side hustle? Are you looking for just want a little extra “fun” cash or will this be the supplement to your retirement income? And, it’s a given: the more you need the income, the harder you’ll have to work.
Brainstorm all the ways you could make money from your hobby.
There are several ways to create your hobby business:
(1) You can teach what you love, and you can teach the business of what you love. For example, if you love pottery, you could certainly sell your creations. But, you could also implement the business side by teaching pottery classes or opening an art studio so others could learn and enjoy your craft.
(2) Use your experience and background: teach marketing or sales to another pottery business.
(3) Write about your hobby in a blog or ebook. How-To books are extremely popular.
You may need to combine some things to create a financially sustainable business.
Be confident of your abilities.
If you want to make money from your hobby, be certain that your skills are exemplary. If they’re not, get some coaching or take some classes to improve those skills. Wait until you’re certain they are top notch; remember, you’re selling your expertise.
Write a business plan.
Unless you’re planning on securing a business loan, this plan is strictly for your benefit. You’ll need to evaluate the market to ensure it’s a viable business idea, and putting a plan together will help you determine how much money you’ll need to get started. Your plan will help you set goals and decide how you’ll get customers and market your business.
Develop your business mindset.
This hobby will no longer be something you do only in your spare time. Consider it your second job and be sure you show up for work!
Learn some marketing.
Customers are essential for a successful business, and it takes marketing skills to get them through the door. You’ll need a website and social media presence because your connections will be online as well as in your local community.
Create a strong brand and use it everywhere.
This is your business identity. Of course, you’ll need a business name, logo, fonts, color scheme, etc. These reflect your business’ personality. But your brand is more than a cute name and fancy fonts. It’s your reputation and how your customers perceive you. Develop a strong brand, so you’re instantly recognized – whether that’s online or in a brick and mortar storefront. Wear it. Speak it. Carry it. It announces your presence.
Get your first customer — even if you have to work for free.
You’ll be amazed at how your confidence will soar when you have your first customer. Many of us have had to do the first job for free by trading it for a good review or testimonial. Doesn’t matter how you get that first customer – just get one!
Build a team.
Think about who you’ll need to make this a successful venture. Attorney? CPA? Employees? Business Coach? Mentor? Marketing Guru? Decide what you need and don’t be afraid to ask questions and solicit help when you need it.
Take care of your finances.
The first rule – keep business and personal finances separate. You’ll need to report income and expenses, pay local/state/federal taxes, (possibly) collect sales tax, and without precise records, you’ll have a nightmare on your hands. Set up your books accurately in the beginning, and you’ll be so much happier on Tax Day.
Go for it!
Remember Nike’s slogan – Just Do It! Go for it 100% and don’t look back. You’ll have to work hard, but you’ll be doing something you love every day. Remember self-care. Don’t expect perfection! There’s a new motto floating around the Internet these days: Progress Not Perfection. (At least it’s new to me.) Remember this because “progress” just means taking that next step. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
What hobbies do you enjoy that you could turn into a small business? What’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments below or schedule a coffee chat — we’d love to hear your ideas. 🙂