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10 Tips To Help Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

 

When you have a passion for your hobby, you might decide that you want to do it all the time. Turning your hobby into a business could be your chance to do it more often, and to make money from it too. If you want to take your hobby further, starting a small business might be easier than you think. It will still be a lot of work, but anyone can start a business if they want to. You might decide to start a business on the side, or you could choose to eventually run your business full-time. But how can you get started?

 

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1. Get a Business Education

You might know all about how your hobby works, but that doesn't mean that you can automatically turn it into a business. You need to know something about smart business practices if you want to be even mildly successful with your new business venture. Fortunately, you don't need an MBA to run a successful business. You can learn about business in many different ways, so choose the methods that work for you. You can read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts and read blogs. Watching successful business people and learning from what they do can help you too.

2. Create a Business Plan

Whatever you do, don't go into your new business without a plan. You shouldn't just get started without knowing what your goals are and how you're going to achieve them. A business plan sets out the structure of your business and helps you to decide on important factors, from the products you're going to sell to how you're going to obtain any funding you need. Don't worry, though - your business plan doesn't have to be set in stone. You can change it as your business grows. Before you write your business plan, do plenty of research into your industry.

3. Design a Business Identity

Your business's brand is its identity. It helps your business to stand out among all of the other businesses that might be similar to yours. It's unlikely that your business is entirely unique, so what makes it different? You might specialize in a certain type of product or service, or service a particular community. You might focus on delivering incredible customer service or putting extra special care into making your products. When you're designing your brand, you also need to think about the name of your business and its visual image. Its image should reflect the "personality" that you want it to have.

4. Begin Part-time

Some people might jump into running a business full-time all at once. However, if your aim is to make a business from your hobby, you might not want to be so hasty. Slowly building your business over time could be the better option, particularly if you're not going to have any funding behind your business. As you start to pick up more business, you might decide to take it full-time or perhaps decide that you're happy keeping it small. It can be tiring to try and grow your business in your spare time, but it's a good test of whether you're passionate enough about it to keep going.

5. Start Building a Business Presence

To get going with your business, you have to let people know that it exists. Whether you do this online, offline or most will depend on your business model. You need to start growing a business presence, which means it's time to start marketing. You might start off small, telling your friends and family and asking them to spread the word. Growing your online presence can involve a number of different techniques, from building a website to using social media. While you can use some free methods to boost your business reputation, paying for advertising will help you too.

6. Outsource for Affordable Growth

Growing a small business can be hard, especially if it's based on your hobby. You might want to continue to do what you love, rather than have to bother with all the admin and business related tasks. If this is your aim, you should consider outsourcing to help you grow your business. It can allow you to concentrate on what you love doing, while other people do the rest. You can outsource things like answering phones, fulfilling orders, doing your accounts, and more. It can save you money compared to hiring staff, and could mean you can keep working at home or from a small office space.

7. Network with Other Business People

Knowing the right people in business is essential. By making the right connections, you can take your business far. It could help you to learn a lot about doing business, get your foot in the door in important places, and source the services and products that you need. You can network online or offline. Offline networking events could range from trade shows to community business organization events. Online, you can network with people on social media, forums and even blogs.

8. Stop Treating It Like a Hobby

If you want to find success with your new small business, you need to make sure you don't just treat it like a hobby anymore. You can still enjoy it, but you also have to take it seriously. If you treat it like a job, you can make sure that you always deliver quality to your customers. Even if you're running your business part-time, make sure that you set aside plenty of time to dedicate to all the tasks that you need to complete and the growth of your business.

9. Make Sure You Get the Legal Stuff Right

You might be having fun with your new business, but you still need to take it seriously. Just because you start it off the back of your hobby, it doesn't mean that it's not a proper business. Even if you're not making much money out of it or you're only running it part-time, you still need to get the legal stuff right. Make sure you register your business properly and pay your taxes.

10. Keep Your Passion Alive

Many people who decide to turn a hobby into a business can suffer from a negative effect. The more they work on their business, the less they enjoy the hobby. It's no longer enjoyable to do because you have to do it to keep your business alive. But you can avoid this if you make an effort to keep your passion alive and make sure your business adds to your enjoyment.


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