Turning Your Part-Time Hobby into a Full-Time Business
4 Key Elements of Success in Starting a Business
We’ve all got hobbies in one form or another; something we enjoy doing and that often helps eliminate stress from our everyday lives. So what would happen, then, if you took your part-time hobby and turned it into a full-time business? There are a lot of things to consider before taking the leap.
The first question —and arguably most important—you need to ask yourself is if you’re willing to “give up” your hobby. When you turn your hobby into a business it could lose its appeal, and if that hobby is your way to relax, then consider whether there’s something else that can take its place. Think about it. When you end up relying on your hobby financially, have to do it under deadlines or days when you don’t really want to, and simply have to treat it like a job, or in this case, your business. It’s quite possible that what it means to you will transform and change into something different. If this is something you can accept and move forward with, then turning what you love into a business might be the right move for you!
Make a (Business) Plan
First, clarify what your business will be.
- Are you teaching others to do something?
- Are you selling a tangible product?
- Are you offering a service for others?
Once you clarify how you’ll monetize your hobby, you need to come up with some sort of game-plan. Whether that’s starting part-time to see where it goes, or even coming up with a detailed business plan, it’s imperative that you don’t just quit your job and dive in blind! Really focus on how this thing you do for fun can be turned into something you do for money, and recognize how dedicated you’ll have to be to it. Perhaps our Intro to GROW or Start Smart Class can help you with this step.
Become Social, Network & Build Your Brand
As with all businesses, it’s important that you have an online presence. Create a website, place yourself on different social media channels where your audiences are. Focus on creating your brand. Additionally, dedicate yourself to creating and strengthening connections. Whether it’s finding people in similar areas of business, finding advice from others who have turned hobbies into businesses, or any other type of networking, you have to be willing to put in the work! Maintaining a website takes time. Seeking out help from others does, too.
Invest in Learning How to Market Your Business
Coming up with the idea for your business based on a hobby can seem easy. Selling it can be harder. This is where marketing comes in. There are several layers to marketing, from social media and advertising to listing your business in directories and other areas online, that will help you grow your business and get the word out there. Luckily, we have several workshops and classes that focus on exactly this, like our Small Business Growth and Planning Series (GPS): Marketing Cluster.
Understand the Financials
When it’s a hobby, we don’t really think about the costs involved, as it’s just something we do for fun or to relax. When it’s a business, the different costs and understanding them are essential to your success. Again, our Small Business GPS: Financial Awareness series can help with this. Learning about the financials behind business operations is an integral part of running it smoothly, and setting yourself up for success. You can also find classes about QuickBooks and other support from GROW and our mentors.
Hobbies are awesome! We are surrounded by entrepreneurs with a passion that drives them into creating their own business and controlling their own destiny. Whatever creative outlet you lean on in your life is special. If you decide that you’re ready to take the leap and turn it into a business, make sure you have a team around you for support, guidance, and motivation. Our staff is here to answer any questions you may have and shorten the learning curve in all aspects of starting and growing business. We look forward to talking with you soon.
Learn more about GROW and the services we offer by attending an Intro to GROW session. It is a prerequisite for many of our other classes and programs. You can view our events calendar here.
Not sure if you’re ready? Contact us – we’re happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.