When should you consider turning your hobby into a career?

Hobby (1)

That little craft hobby you have could be the beginning of something spectacular. The lovely recipe for pesto your grandmother taught you could be the start of a line of artisanal food products. Your skills at animating funny images for your friends online might be the beginning of a great business.

Everyone has a talent, and you never know – you could be sitting on a goldmine. The prospects are really huge – but how do you actually do it. At what point do you take the leap and turn a hobby into a career?

Well, here we will explore all of the most important considerations you need to think about before forming a company and making the leap into your own business. It will hopefully make the process of doing so more manageable.

What Hobby Would Make A Good Business Idea?

Well, the short answer is pretty much any hobby. But it’s true that some ideas are a bit more practical others. Some hobbies like piloting a plane or vintage car restoration are expensive so making them into a business is going to have some costs associated with it, but there is always the potential to do so.

However, if there are more than a few obstacles – you might want to consider an idea that is a bit more viable financially or has something more of a solid foundation in terms of market potential. So let’s take a look at some business ideas that often start out as hobbies:

  • Fashion & Jewellery – Many people love to make a lot of jewellery and clothing, and they love buying it too. The website Etsy is a good example of this, with many people using it to buy homemade products from talented people in a range of sectors including fashion accessories and spa products. These are particularly good as they have very low overheads and you can start relatively simply with the right idea or design.
  • Digital Skills – If you’re a talented graphic designer, marketer or any other kind of digital whizz you can easily go into business for yourself and find that your hobby starts paying. If you’re the type of person who makes album art for your friends indie bands, or one who creates great photoshopped images for your colleagues, you might be able to have a crack at turning it into a business. Digital skills are great because they are mostly based online – which keeps costs low and means you can run a business remotely that taps into a global digital world.
  • Art – If you’re focussing your efforts into creative pursuits like artistic projects then you could quite easily find a market for your work. Whether that’s digital art or design work, painting, woodworking, metalwork, carpentry – or anything else. If it’s an original piece, you could find a buyer and keep making things in order to find an area for your business idea to flourish – who knows, it could become the next big thing.

So there you have some ideas of what hobbies might make good potential businesses, with an emphasis on the bespoke and handcrafted. However, the reality is that there is potential for a hobby to become a business no matter what it is – it’s just about finding where the hobby fits in the marketplace.

How Do I Stop Dreaming & Start Doing

Many people dream of making their hobby into a business Well, there is very little point in just dreaming. Dreaming is nice, but without output they will remain just dreams and not have the same kind of impact that you might want in your daily life. So how do you actually make the process of turning that hobby into a business a reality?

The real way to do this is by changing the way your mind is set. Writing for Lifehack, lifestyle writer Margaux Daughtry said “Dreams are like floating down a lazy river. The path to success is like riding a roller coaster. Find the courage to get on the roller coaster, and stay on the ride until you puke.” It’s an interesting way to look at it, and it might just help you change your mindset for the better.

There are several more practical ways to do this. It’s a very big challenge, but it can be done quite easily with the right motivation. Take the following steps and you might find the process a bit simpler:

  • Thought Experiments – You might be put off by the term ‘thought experiments’ but they are really just fun games to play in your head. There’s no pressure, they just get the ball rolling. A really useful one is called ‘self-actualising’. This involves writing out all of your intentions, with the idea being that once they are codified they are easier to follow and build towards. Be realistic, and try to keep it simple – a few basic aims and goals to set the ball rolling is enough. You can always go for another round of self-actualising once you’ve achieved your initial aims.
  • Trade Perfection For Completion – Writing for Huffington Post in May 2015 Daniel DiPiazza, owner of business consultancy Rich20Something, discussed this idea – which can be very helpful. He calls it the 70 percent solution and says the idea “is that you should always trade perfection for completion when you are in the beginning stages of developing your idea. It is better to have work that you are only 70 percent satisfied with as long as you are committed to putting 100% of it out there, regardless of how you feel”. This approach can help you get your website up and your marketing plans done – if not perfected.
  • Reserve A Company Name – One of our most popular services is one that allows you to reserve a company name, with all official requirements taken care of automatically for a year – with the option to renew. This is beneficial as it lays the foundations for your business, and it also gives you the time you need to prepare properly for the start of your trading.

The motivation to start doing and making it ‘real’ is a key factor for success. But keep the above tips in mind and you should find yourself much better placed to make better decisions that actually help your business not only start – but also grow.

I’m Ready! What Now?

If you’ve just formed your company, you might be raring to go – but how do you do that? Where do you even start? Well, there are plenty of ways you can start making a move in business. Take the following and remember it for a good start:

  • Expect The Unexpected – If you’re prepared, that’s a wonderful start. But one of the key preparations is getting ready for something that is totally out of the ordinary. That’s the thing about business, you can never quite be certain. So – if you can brush up on your business acumen and maybe research a few strategies for crisis management – you will be much better prepared to deal with unexpected problems.
  • Start Marketing – Your business plan should include a firm marketing strategy, so make sure you take a good hard look at your plan – or even get some outside help. There are many great ways to start this – and one of them is by using social media. If you’ve got a lot of the accounts set up you can start building followers and take your business directly to the audience that wants it. If you haven’t – do it!
  • Build Your Presence – Whether you’ve got a few thousand followers, or 10 loyal fans – or nothing – every business has to start somewhere. As a result there are plenty of opportunities to start. Once your website is up and running you could also start investing some of your marketing budget into pay-per-click advertising on Google to build your presence. It’s all about laying the foundations for a good start that you can really build on.

If you’re ready, the best approach is to dive in. This is not only the best way to see good results, but a way to make sure your commitment to making your hobby into a business is high – which also makes the likelihood for success much greater.

Recommended reading: How to write business plans and business cases

Making Hobbies Pay

It’s really quite a journey to make your hobby into a fully functioning business, but it is absolutely achievable. You can start to make your business real by forming your company or reserving a business name today – and with all the tips mentioned here, you’re much more likely to succeed.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget, our blog has a wealth of resources – so check it out. Particularly relevant to this post would be the ‘MadeSimple’ section.

By Alex Novakovic at MadeSimple – Follow Alex on Google+

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