Through the challenging economic climate there have been many success stories relating to business. One area that has seen particular growth is where savvy people are turning their hobbies into businesses. It’s a case of looking at something that you are naturally good at or that you enjoy doing, and turning it into a viable business model that carries you through this challenging time.
For some people they’ve made such a success of making money from their hobby that this has been an inadvertent career change for life.
The question is, how do you know if the craft or hobby that you enjoy actually has business potential? And if it does, how do you turn it into a successful business?
If you think you might have a hobby you want to turn into a career, consider the following:
Are You Already A Success?
Some people don’t realise that they are already a business success in waiting. Perhaps you have already had compliments on your creations. Maybe family members and friends request your products or photographs for Christmas, or even as gifts to give to other people. It’s nice to get compliments, but could those compliments suggest you may have popular products already that would go down a storm if you sold them?
Is Your Hobby Persistent?
No start-up can be successful with fair weather, every now and again business ownership.
If you have a hobby that could really be a business it would have to be something you’re passionate about that you enjoy doing all the time. A hobby that translates to a business that you are willing to work hard at to make a success. Something you enjoy doing every now and again if you’re in the mood just won’t translate to a business.
Could You Scale Up?
Sometimes we have such limited resources it would be impossible to actually scale up.
It may be that you’d currently struggle to boost any business idea you have because there just isn’t the resources or space.
If you can get better equipment, or invest in an inexpensive self-storage unit for stock, that would be a good start. Cheap self storage units in particular are really great for start-up businesses because they’re so flexible and affordable. However, if you just don’t have the time or budget to look into any way of scaling up what you are currently doing, that might be a hurdle you need to work around.
Have You Done Any Market Research?
It’s a common mistake to believe that if something is nice then people will want to buy it. The fact is that it’s really easy to be excited by your own product, but if there aren’t enough buyers to actually buy the things that you make then your business is not going to be a success. A really good first step to looking at whether or not your hobby could be a business is to do a bit of market research, which will give you more of a concrete idea as to whether or not it is viable.
Are You Any Good With Numbers?
You don’t have to be an academic to start a business, but it does help to be pretty good at the figures. You’ll need to track data and look for flaws in your business model. It’s not about being incredible at data analytics, but you do have to have some business know-how to start a business. There are lots of free courses on YouTube and elsewhere that could give you the skills easily, so it’s not going to stop you, it just might take you some extra learning.
Are You Any Good At Tech?
These days it’s not really enough just to have a product and think that people are going to buy it. Sure, you might have limited success at Christmas markets or festivals, but if you really want a successful business you have to get yourself online. That includes selling your wares online, and also boosting your customer base with social media. Be ready to learn a lot about technology to make your business success.
Are You Patient & Polite?
This sounds really strange but realistically if you’re the kind of person who gets a hot head getting spoken to the wrong way or after criticism then you might struggle turning your hobby into a business. The same goes if you’re particularly insecure and unable to take any feedback.
Running a business, people will criticise you both constructively and otherwise. People will complain, and people will be rude. It’s just the nature of dealing with the public and it can actually be well-balanced and even useful to learn from the feedback you get, but you do have to have to have thick skin.
Turning your hobby into a business is a great idea for people making money at home but only if it’s viable. Think really carefully about your hobby, how you feel about it, your skills and your goals. If you are willing to learn a few skills and work really hard there is every chance that your hobby could turn into a great business.