We all grow up determined in our search for our dream job. A way of making a living doing something we love. But that isn’t exactly the case for everybody -and it might not be the case for you. If you’re not satisfied with your job or haven’t found a dream job yet, then ask yourself this: what do you like doing on the weekends? What is that one thing you like to spend your off-work spare hours on? How passionate are you about that thing?
Whether it’s making delicate ornaments or hammering away at furniture, we all have some hobby. While a hobby is defined as an activity you enjoy doing in your spare hours; it can look very different for different people. Some might have a dedicated shed space for their woodwork, while others might enjoy their hobby on smaller scales. Regardless of how much time you are spending on your hobby right now, what matters is that you enjoy yourself doing it.
So why not make this into the dream job you always wanted? Picture yourself doing what you love all day, whether that’s baking biscuits or painting portraits. Now imagine making a living out of that -sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it might be within arms reach!
Should you start a business?
Loving what you do for a living sounds all great and dandy, but starting a business is no easy task. Building a business out of your skills is like raising a baby: your patience and perseverance will be tested, but it will also be incredibly rewarding once it stands on its own.
So seriously ponder over this question: should you really be starting a business? And I don’t mean whether you have the money or financial security here. After all, once you start working on your hobby, it’s no longer an escape for you but a job. The difference comes from necessity. Simply put, you can choose to take a break from your hobby and not be affected by that decision, but you can’t do the same when it becomes your job.
Here’s where things get tricky. Not only will you be gambling your time and money into this venture, but you will also gamble your love and drive for this hobby. Painting is a great way to release work stress and express yourself, but add deadlines and client orders to that activity, and things can change. Of course, the other side of the story is true as well. You might find yourself engrossed in your work more so because you are doing something you like and are good at.
At the end of the day, you must evaluate your passion before you take steps towards turning a hobby into a business. If you don’t think this will be good for you, then so be it! Keep enjoying your hobby on the sides. But if you think your love for your craft will persist, then take the leap!
Tips to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
If you’ve decided to take the leap and transform your past-time activity into a business, then you need to be prepared to make the most out of this. Here are some tips that are essential for starting a successful business.
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Set a goal
If you’ve only ever worked an office job or a corporate environment, chances are you’ve never really set deadlines and only ever followed them. So the supposedly free-ing environment of working for yourself at your business might disadvantage you. But there is a simple solution; set exact targets and deadlines for yourself.
Your business’s success relies primarily on your commitment to it. You need to be meeting the deadlines and doing the work punctually for Everything down the line to go as planned. But another part of this is setting realistic goals. You can’t expect yourself to make a sale two weeks into your business, so don’t hold yourself to that standard. If you aim for the moon and fall back to the stars, it’ll still break your back. Point is, unrealistic goals will dishearten you from doing the work.
Do your research
We know that this business is about you and your passion for your craft. But you can not be married to your initial idea for your hobby-turned-business. You need to conduct field research and gauge what the people are looking to buy. This may turn out to be exactly the kind of service you offer, and that’s great, but it also (probably) won’t be. So you will have to adjust what you’re selling in order for it to sell.
For instance, if you love baking pastries and you plan on turning a hobby into a business, you might have to expand to cookies and cakes as well if that’s what your target audience wants.
But rest assured, whatever you do won’t be too far off from what you enjoy doing.
Identify a business model
Working out the logistics of your business will probably be something you are least familiar with. This is the part where you figure out the nitty gritty of how your business will function, and you can’t take this for granted. Think about the big questions, like how much will each product take to make? How much will people be willing to pay for it?
Document these things in a notepad or on an app and start working towards specific questions. Things like how your customers can order stuff, what sort of subscription packages work best (lifetime subscription or monthly/ annual charges?). After you form a solid business model, you’ll see a clear path for your business.
Test your idea
It’s always great to dip your toe to test the waters before diving right in when it comes to business. You never know exactly how people will react to your product before you actually pitch it to them. But this doesn’t mean you should bake a hundred cakes and set up a stall.
There are a number of ways to assess how people will react to your product without risking too much money -there’s no need to go all in. What testing method you should go for really depends on your type of business. For instance, if you like making music and plan on recording an album, then you can start with digital ads which contain snippets of your music. Whether it’s pre-saves or page visits, what amount is a green light for your business depends on your standard of a successful business idea.
Develop a business plan
Building on the idea of identifying a business model, you need to now start properly documenting your business. And by that, we mean to take note of Everything! From production costs and profits to long-term prospects and guiding principles, Everything needs to be documented.
Build Your Brand
Building a brand identity is very important for any type of business, both in the short term and long term. It’s a crucial step in becoming a recognizable household name and developing a loyal customer base.
Building your brand essentially means forming a theme for your business and building on that. This way, every element of your business connects like a story.
Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
All good business people have an elevator pitch ready to go at all times. This pitch is basically a mini-speech you should have prepared for any conversation. It is supposed to be a few lines that describe what your business is in a concise manner. If you come up with the right elevator pitch, then your business will advertise itself through people.
Create a Web Presence
With the internet literally connecting the world through a virtual web, it’s impossible to make it big in today’s market without an online presence. All businesses, be those big conglomerates or small family startups, require a portal on the internet to connect with their target audience. Everyone uses the internet, so go ahead and make an Instagram page or build a website for your business.
Get your finances in order
A business, at the end of the day, is about making a profit off of your services. This means that you need a methodical way to keep track of your finances -and it’s not as simple as making your own excel sheet.
When it comes to a business, you need to keep track of profit margins, sales, production costs, and a million other things. Add to that list taxes and cash flow, and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. Luckily, you can either hire an accountant to do that for you!
Learn marketing basics
If you didn’t take marketing as your college major, don’t be disheartened. You can find an online crash course to familiarize yourself with the basic marketing concepts and tricks.
You might have seen this one coming. Now that you have a plan set up and a promising product in mind, you can go ahead and reach out. But getting customers isn’t as easy as you might think.
You can reach out to people and pitch them your product, but you have to lure them in with promotional deals and exciting discounts. It’s incentives like these that make your target audience leave their current provider and take a chance on your product.
As the gears start turning and the returns start flowing in, you might get excited. But the job has just begun. No business can be successful on autopilot mode. You need to keep setting milestones and targets for your company to keep yourself and your employees motivated.
Find a mentor
As your business grows, you’ll find yourself learning about new strategies and ideas every day. That’s because business comes from experience. So it can make a huge difference if you can find yourself a seniors business mentor. This is someone who has overseen many business projects like yours rise and fall, and they can give you quite useful insight.
Our Top Picks for Hobbies that Make You Money
While any activity that boosts your morale and keeps you happy makes for a great hobby, not all hobbies make for great businesses. Here are some solid hobbies that you can transform into profitable businesses.
Car repair work is one of the best freelance-style businesses out there. A number of things make this such a profitable business. First of all, there are many customers. Car problems are very common, and so you have a great demand. Second off, not a lot of people know their way around a car. So if you have the skills of repairing cars at your disposal, then my friend, you are sitting on a golden egg.
If you are a person of perspective, passion, and opinion, then blogging can be a profitable outlet for your thoughts. Pick your niche subject, one you have extensive knowledge on, and write blog posts on it. There are many great places to start, but WordPress is most suitable for new users.
If you have carpentry skills, particularly ones that deal with building or repairing household furniture, then you can make some hefty cash on the side. The best part about this field of business is that there is high demand but very little competition because few people have carpentry skills.
Creating and/or Editing Videos
There’s a big wave of online advertising that is changing the game: video marketing. All big companies realize that every other person spends a good amount of their screen time on video streaming sites like YouTube and Daily motion. This means that anyone with video editing and creating an experience can get a job by making an online profile.
If the quarantine lockdowns have taught us anything, it is that staying fit can be a difficult thing to do on your own. Having a personal trainer or a coach to guide you not only makes exercising more effective but also keeps you motivated. If you are passionate about health and fitness, start a fitness center.
As the digital world advances and becomes a greater part of our lives, the demand for people who have those skills is increasing. If you love graphic designing as a creative outlet, you can make quick cash by doing projects in your spare hours.
Photography is one of the more high-investment, high-competition fields out there. But if you are really passionate about it, and have enough faith in your skills, then grab a camera, make a portfolio, and make a LinkedIn profile.
Sports – Refereeing
From schools and colleges to small, local league football communities, there is a decent demand for referees. If you have some sports accolades and awards under your belt and were an athlete in college, then you can start a business offering services for refereeing in whatever sport you specialize in.
Take Online Surveys
This is by far the easiest way to make money. Not only are you putting in minimal effort, but you aren’t spending any money either. Just head over to Survey Junkie and fill out some forms to make quick and easy money.
Writing is a broad field and covers many job descriptions, from authors and publishers to editors. This is certainly one of the most demanding options on our list in terms of time consumption, but if you enjoy writing, then it’ll be worth the effort. Besides, it pays well too!
Every company today must have a website online because that’s where people google you for information. With web design skills, you can offer freelance services to companies looking for an effective online presence.
Another form of online advertisement that is really taking off is social media. From what and when to post to captions and themes, companies pay big money for someone who can run an effective social media page.
People can have brilliant ideas, but voicing them convincingly is its own ballgame. If you amassed public speaking skills from high school debates, then you can offer services to companies in search of public speakers.
Proofreading and Editing
As subcategories of writing, these skills can also be marketed to authors looking for someone proficient in grammar and storytelling.
Music – Teaching and Tutoring
If you have an ear for music, then you can set up a lucrative freelance business offering a range of services. Musicians entering the teaching sector can make a lot of money working as private vocal coaches.
Music – Become a Session Musician
If you’ve mastered an instrument but rarely get a chance to showcase your skills, then it’s time to become a session musician. This entails filling in as the instrument player for different bands with whichever instrument you specialize in.
The crafts industry’s boom really happened as a result of Etsy. Here you can sell your homemade crafty stuff like printed t-shirts online.
Comedy is a gift not many people have but one that everyone enjoys. If you’re the ‘funny friend’ of your group, then you can make quite a lot of money with standup gigs.
For anyone with a sports background, coaching is a great money-making opportunity. Just send in your CV to local leagues and schools and work as a personal trainer till you get a response.
Buying and Selling
As someone who’s always looking for sales, I can tell that there is a money-making opportunity hidden in there. If you can keep track of garage sales and swap meets, then make money with a buy-low, sell-high strategy.
Pursuing Credit Card Rewards
Credit cards might be a weird place to look for business opportunities, but you’d be surprised to know how people are making “free money” from this gig. With enough research, you can make money on the side for free!
As a dog-lover myself, the idea of turning a hobby into a business seems ideal. From pet-walking to pet-grooming, you can earn money while taking care of a lovable creature. Sounds perfect!
Small baking startups have boomed in times of lockdown. So if you love to bake and find it therapeutic, you can start your own business for homemade baked goods.
While you’re applying the same buy-low, the sell-high technique above, there is room for much more profit here. If you know your way around antiques (And many don’t), then you can put that knowledge to use in buying and selling antiques.
For many people, a job is a means of making a living, and a hobby is a fun activity. But why not merge the two? If you have a creative side-hobby that you are good at, then you can certainly monetize it.
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