Do you dream of spending your working hours doing what you love?
Many people are tired of working day after day at a job that they’re not passionate about, and for good reason. Life is too short to spend doing something you don’t enjoy. The 9-5 might pay the bills – and that’s important – but if it’s not somewhere you can see yourself in five or ten years, then it may be time to start thinking about whether there’s a better option for you.
Thanks in large part to the global marketplace and the fact that it’s never been easier to reach your target market – which is right at your fingertips, it just might be time to turn that hobby of yours into a profitable business.
Whether you’re passionate about woodwork, gardening, or making things – chances are there’s a demand for your product or skill, or at least, some variant of it. Turning your passion into a business might seem like a daunting task – and it can be, but it’s also doable. Know that countless others have turned their passions into profit – and it’s possible for you to do it too – provided you’re willing to put in the time and work.
If you think your hobby has what it takes to make you successful, here are a few tips that will help to get you off to a great start.
1. Does It Make You Happy?
There are a lot of hobbies that people enjoy doing – but these aren’t always things that they want to do for a living. Sure it’s easy to feel like you’d rather work at your craft day in and day out rather than slogging away at a desk – but the reality is, it’s important to take an honest look at your hobby and ask yourself if it’s something you’d enjoy doing full time. Some people find that when their passion becomes their full-time job, they lose the love they initially had for it. This isn’t to say that you should give up on your idea – just that you should make sure you can envision yourself working on it around the clock – as you will be doing once it’s your business – especially in the beginning.
2. Evaluate the Market
So your hobby makes you happy, and everyone says that you should consider doing it full time. Next, it’s time to evaluate the market – to see if there’s a demand for your product or services – and to get an idea of the competition that you’ll be facing. Although well-meaning friends and family may try to encourage you to turn your hobby into a job, it’s important to ensure that you’re doing it because it’s there is a real demand.
3. Test the Waters
What better way to see if your hobby is a viable business idea then by doing a trial run? Without quitting your day job, take your hobby on a test drive to see if there is interest or demand for your products or services. See if it is something that will take off and you will enjoy once it gets going. While it will be a challenge to provide excellent service while still trying to perform your duties at your normal job – this is a good way to test the waters and see if your hobby converts well into a business. Run the numbers and see how much you need to make your business stay afloat and how much you need to make a profit.
4. Make It Real
In order to get your venture off the ground, it’s important to think of it a real business instead of just a hobby. Get your hands on every solid business book that you can. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, Rework by Jason Fried, and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries will get you off to a good start – and start learning the ins and outs of running a successful business. Next, set up the bookkeeping system, establish a checking account, and consult with a tax professional. This will not only help get your company off on the right foot, it will prove to be invaluable in the long run as well, giving you a solid foundation on which you can build your company.
5. Get Constructive Feedback
If you think that you have a product or services worth offering, try taking your idea live to see what the initial feedback is like. While friends and family may seem like great test subjects, keep in mind that they’re naturally biased when it comes to giving an opinion. Getting honest feedback from a random sampling of strangers – ideally those who are in your target demographic – can give you invaluable information and help to set you on the right course.
Finally, if you have a dream, don’t just dream about it – make it happen. Establishing a new business can be difficult at times, but success is rarely the result of taking the path of least resistance. Keep that in mind as you embark on your new adventure. Don’t let a few roadblocks hold you back. There will be setbacks – iron out the wrinkles and keep rolling! Follow those dreams!
Have you taken the leap and turned your hobby into a business? We’d love to hear how you did it! What’s one tip you can share?
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