Do you have a hobby that you do during your free time? Maybe you’ve lost your job, you’re seeking a side hustle to supplement your income, or you want to dump your day job in favor of something more fulfilling.
Well, it might be time to take that leap from doing it for fun to monetizing it and turning it into a lucrative money-making business venture.
Examples of some hobbies that are profitable are baking, hair-making, fashion designing, bead making just to mention a few.
Though it may seem scary or impossible, you can enjoy a positive result with a little preparation and strategic execution.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Set a goal
Simply deciding to turn your hobby into a business isn’t a goal. Of course, you want to be working on something you’re passionate about, but what else do you want from your business?
Do you intend to quit your day job and run it full-time? Are you just looking for a side hustle? Do you simply want a challenge or even just the freedom to make something on your own?
Ask yourself these questions and determine, outside of passion, what you expect to get out of opening your own business. Having your reasons clearly outlined can help you stay the course and remember why you decided to become an entrepreneur in the first place.
2. Do your research
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of being enamored with a product or business idea. Starting with something that you’re passionate about can be even more dangerous. That’s why you need to conduct market research to make sure your business idea isn’t just appealing to you.
This process is simply you learning more about your potential customer. You’re asking questions, looking at the available market, analyzing competitors, and identifying your target market.
Now don’t get too caught up in this stage, as it can quickly turn into a barrier to ever getting your business out of the idea stage. Just do enough to verify that your idea is well-thought-out and has potential in the market. You’ll likely come back to this step fairly often throughout the life of your business and you shouldn’t worry about perfectly researching every single possibility.
3. Test the idea
It can help to start your business as a side hustle to test it out first. When the profits start to reach a level close to your current income, it may be time to quit your day job.
before you go full steam ahead you’ll want to validate your idea. You’ve done a bit of this already when asking potential customers questions, but this is where you test if they’ll actually buy it.
Some ways to do this include: releasing a coming soon landing page, taking preorders, selling a limited run, running a crowdfunding campaign, and even running digital ads. There are plenty of ways to test and your method really depends on your business model.
4. Develop a business plan
If you find that your idea does have traction, it’s time to make things official. Writing a business plan helps you put everything you’ve done so far in order and ensures you’re covering all your bases. This is where you put together all of your market research, business goals, operational costs and think about long-term goals and milestones.
5. Build an online presence to get customers
The potential of your business can quickly die if you’re not reaching your customers. In business today, everybody needs an online presence to generate sales.
This means creating and maintaining a website, social media profiles, and everything else that goes into branding yourself as a professional. This gives potential customers an easy focal point that you can feature in both digital and physical marketing material.
That’s why it’s vital that you do some research and learn some marketing basics from the get-go. There are low-cost offline marketing methods you can consider, as well as digital marketing practices to keep in mind.
Word of mouth is also essential at this stage.
6.Find a mentor
Now that you’ve gotten your business off the ground it may be time to grow your network and find a business mentor. This is someone who’s gone through the process before and can help guide you through the startup and growth stages. They could be someone in your current network, an old business colleague, part of a local startup community, or even a well-known entrepreneur.
Having a mentor who can offer advice from personal experience is valuable. Remember ‘Experience is the best teacher’.
While your business being online is great, but a lot of business success happens via word of mouth and networking. You have to be prepared to be active on this side of self-promotion, as well.
Find clubs, conferences, and groups in your specialty that cater to other professionals in the niche. You’ll learn a lot at these events and get the chance to mingle with people who are at the same stage as you, and preferably a little further. Just be sure you have an elevator speech prepared for moments like those.