Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Article Originally featured on our sister blog The Cache Cow. 

While creating a side business is not for everyone, it can be a great way to enjoy your hobby while being paid to do it! Here are seven things to think about when turning a hobby into a business venture.

1. Make sure you love it.

Before turning your hobby into a business, think about how the stresses of business management will affect how much you enjoy your hobby. While you may love cake decorating now, dealing with a raging bridezilla after hours of work might diminish the enjoyment you once felt. Be sure that you weigh the potential stresses that creating a business would cause, against the level of enjoyment you receive from practicing your hobby.

2. Find little ways to monetize

A great way to start a business from a hobby is to find little ways to monetize things that you are already doing. Do you enjoy tying flies? Start up a community class to teach others, or sell your creations online. Do you have an eye for interior design? Market your services on community pages, and offer to help friends in exchange for word-of-mouth reviews. Starting small can help you recognize areas where you can grow in the market.

3. Research the industry.

Once you have established what hobby to use and how you would like to pursue it, it is important to research competitors in the market. If you decide to pursue photography, chances are you will be competing with several others in your area. Look to successful businesses to see what works well, and watch for areas where you can create a niche. Learn as much about your market as you can and look for ways you can improve it.

4. Create a brand – stick to it.

During the early stages of your business, you should develop a brand. Decide what you want your company image to be, who your target market is, and what standard of quality you want to uphold for your products and services. Once you have determined these things, try to stay consistent. This will help you create a more recognizable brand and give you a sense of direction for future decisions.

5. Evaluate your business goals.

Create a business plan, and determine to what level you want to take your venture. If you would like to keep your business as a small weekend hobby, that is great! If you want to pursue it until it can replace your current full-time work, also great! Be sure you have your goals in mind as you prepare your business plan so you can adjust the level of resources you will need to commit to reach your goals.

 

6. Enlist knowledge and skills of others.

This can be one of the most crucial steps to starting a new business venture. Do what you do best, and hire out the rest. If you want to sell your amazing handmade quilts, you are probably also going to need help with graphic design, web development, accounting, legal, and marketing. You can often find help from local businesses, or even hire students to help fulfill some of these roles for a lower cost. When you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to simply ask for advice from professionals, they might be willing to give you a few tips without requiring you to purchase their full services.

7. Go for it!

Finally, don’t be afraid to go for it! You might be surprised at how easy it is to make some extra cash by teaching others your skill or creating custom goods for people. Start taking steps toward creating your business today.

Do you have a side business? What was one thing that helped you get your venture off the ground? 

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