Turning a hobby into a sustainable business is a deliberate endeavour that demands planning, commitment and a business mindset because a hobby is an unwinding preoccupation or leisure activity conducted in spare time for recreation, relaxation or pleasure.
Whether it is Writing, Illustration and design, Comedy, Cooking, Photography, DIY crafts or gardening, hobbies bring us amusement and delight. In an effort to fulfil our inner urge to be creative and innovative, we may feel the need to turn our hobbies into a business.
Here are twelve(12) tips on how to turn your hobby into a sustainable business.
1. Define your Goal.
Your goal is that idea of the future or desired result that you intend to achieve, to successfully turn your hobby into a business, you need to be specific about what you want to achieve.
Do you want a full-time business, so you can be self-employed? Or you just want to have a side hustle. What you want from your hobby-business will determine how much you need to put in.
2. Brainstorm on what you can sell from your hobby.
Business is about creating value that people are ready to pay for, in effort to turn your hobby into a business, you must think about what you can produce from that hobby that is of value to others.
To create a financially sustainable business from your hobby may require you to do more than one thing. For instance, if enjoy making your own Jewellery, you could sell the jewellery you made, teach Jewellery making, blog about Jewellery, and then you can eventually turn you jewellery blog into a membership website or an online Jewellery store.
3. Build your online reputation.
In the digital world of today, a credible online presence is everything.
Today, everyone is on social media and majority of people do online research before purchasing any product.
For entrepreneurs or small business owners having a credible online presence is very important for both you and your business. Because people will buy you before your product or service.
You can create relationships and build trust by regularly checking, updating and maintain your profiles on various social media platforms and sharing your knowledge, tips and guides on your niche.
4. Consider the difference between business and your hobby in terms of responsibilities.
When you start treating your hobby as a money-making business, the need to meet deadlines, please demanding clients, and work even when it is not convenient will arise. You’ll have to set new priorities, allocate more time, refine your skills and manage marketing, before you turn your hobby into a business, prepare to keep your passion intact while dealing with all that.
5. Switch to business mode.
A mindset shift is important when turning a hobby into a business because hobbies are more enjoyable than business.
Sustainable business is more about burning out and coping with the stress of ongoing work rather than something you do to relax or at your leisure.
If you think the enjoyment of your endeavour is more vital than the money, then there is need to work on your mind because it is still in playing mode.
6. Refine your skills.
Improved skills and persistent practice boost your earning potential and increase your chance for success. When you’re turning your hobby into business, you must be deliberate about improving your skills, learning new skills and acquiring more knowledge.
This being said, try to learn gradually and set realistic goals while gaining knowledge, because the excitement of gaining new skills and acquiring more knowledge can turn into frustration and discouragement if you force yourself to learn everything in a hurry.
You can take free and self-paced online courses to improve your skills on Life-global.org
7. Don’t quit your job in a hurry.
Trust me, turning your hobby into a new business is going to be more challenging than you expect, it may be better to test your idea before quitting your full-time job.
You can work on the hobby that is being turned into a business after work in the evening or at weekends.
Before you think about abandoning your full-time job, I suggest you brainstorm about your income and expenses and prepare a budget for yourself that covers all your bare necessities and try to live on the new business only while saving your earnings from your full-time job as a security or reserve.
8. Prepare a business plan.
Writing a business plan is not all about preparing an instrument that can be used to predicts the future of a business accurately.
The process of writing out a business plan is crucial because it serves as a road-map. Writing your plan and reviewing it at regular intervals presents you a clearer view of what to prioritise to achieve your goals and successfully turn your hobby into a sustainable business.
9. Brand the Business
Your brand comprises of the name, design, logo, colours, and other features that identifies your business as distinct from others.
branding gives your business its own personality. It’s the first thing people think of or how they feel when they see your logo, hear the name of your business or talk to someone on your team.
10. Create Awareness.
An excellent product or service that no one knows about will not enjoy patronage.
Creating awareness for your new business in today’s digital age represents something crucial. It requires deliberate and consistent effort on multiple channels to get your brand before people and get them to be interested in you and your business.
More people will get to know about your business over time. You will start gaining ground gradually, marketing is all about carefully experimenting in an effort to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
11. Try to get and satisfy the first client.
Build confidence that your business is able to solve a real problem by serving a first customer even if you have to do it for free. The review and testimony of the first customer and knowing that you now have a client has a way of enhancing your boldness and sense of responsibility
12. Set up your accounts and bookkeeping strategy
To turn your hobby into a business, you need to have basic bookkeeping and finance skills.
In business, you need to keep records transactions, send invoices, make payments, manage accounts, and prepare financial statements.
The simplest approach to this is to open a bank account for your business and separate business and personal finances.
Accounting apps and short self-paced online course can help you get started with financial management.
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