words Alexa Wang
It is the dream of many to turn a hobby into a business opportunity: filling your working day with something that you can hand on heart say that you enjoy, but is your hobby a viable way for you to achieve a steady form of income?
It’s a big step to take and not without risk. The biggest risk is perhaps the fact that your once much-loved hobby becomes something that you can no longer do because the business failure tarnishes its appeal. Would you be able to continue practicing your craft if it failed to be a financial success? It’s a gamble.
However, if you are ready to take the leap towards turning your hobby into a business, you are opening the door to what can become a life of great passion and work satisfaction for your chosen industry, and it’s an exciting time. Here are 3 steps for you to take, to turn your dream into your reality:
Costs are more than the raw products that you need for your business, it is the time that you are investing into your home business. You need to have a firm business plan in place, with a realistic budget and firm goals and objectives. You must get into the habit of recording the time that you spend on specific tasks – this will allow you to work out which are the more profitable aspects of the business, and the tasks that aren’t quite so worthwhile. Turning your hobby into a business is one of the hardest things you can do. Hiring the right people for the job is what you should really be think about at the start, for example if your business is IT orientated, looking into IT recruitment is perfect for you.
You need to be hot on the heels of your competitors and get an online presence to promote your products and brand. There’s a social media platform for every type of business. Think about who your customers are going to be and target that demographic. If you are an artist, for example, create a website that showcases the pieces that you have in your portfolio, use social media to promote it, and host an event to display your work at an art gallery so that people can view your creations, and you have an opportunity to network. Never underestimate the power of networking, you don’t know who knows who and how they may be able to help your business.
Be Your Brand
You may not be comfortable with self-promotion, but when your business depends on it, it is important to master. Hobbies turned into successful businesses are all about you. People buy into you just as much as your product – they want to be able to associate with your brand, and that means that you must meet their expectation too. If people like you, they will buy your products. Always be aware that you are representing your business, and every person you meet is a potential customer.
There is nothing quite as stressful as having to work towards a deadline. While you may enjoy the pursuit of a hobby as a form of leisure, you will find that once money becomes involved, the pressure is on to complete tasks within a timeframe that makes it economically efficient, and that can change the enjoyment you gain from the hobby into stress. However, if you plan well and apply the energy you have, you can transform your life.