It’s natural to daydream about turning a hobby into a full-time gig, but you need more than skills and passion to create a successful business. Building a sustainable business takes planning, commitment, and much more.
1. Get good at what you do
before you quit your job. To make money from your hobby, you’ve got to be good at it. If your skills aren’t as tuned as you’d like, make a plan for improving them (maybe take a course, etc) and put off your business idea until you’re confident that you’re ready.
2. Be sure you’ll enjoy your hobby if you’re doing it a lot.
Making money with your hobby may mean meeting deadlines, pleasing demanding customers, and doing it even on days when you don’t feel like it. You’ll need to manage marketing and finances. Be sure you’re willing to juggle all these balls before you turn your hobby into a business. For example, if you love arranging flowers, maybe work a busy day at a florist and experience the inside of the job
3. Know Your Goal.
Ask yourself why you want a full-time business. Is it so you can quit your day job? Are you looking for a little extra cash to cover expenses? The more you will depend on the income for your livelihood, the harder you’ll need to work at it.
4. Brainstorm ways you could make money from your hobby.
You may need to do more than one thing to create a financially sustainable business. For example, if you’re a flower arranger, you could sell arrangements, but you also could teach classes, open a florist shop, or work with events, weddings, etc.
5. Adopt a business mindset.
A hobby is something you do at your leisure. Once you make it a business, you must show up to work. Think of your hobby as a REAL job and make it a priority in your life.
6.Create a business plan.
With a business plan, you evaluate the market for your hobby/business and prove to yourself that it’s viable. You’ll research your competition, learn how much money you need to get started and stay afloat. You’ll set goals, and you’ll plan how you’ll market the business to your customers.
7. Create a brand and stick to it.
Your brand is your business identity and what you’ll be known for. A strong brand helps your loyal customers recognise you. Decide on a business name, logo, font, and/or color scheme that reflect your business’s “personality” and use them consistently in your website, social media, and marketing.
8. Learn about marketing.
You can be the best at what you do, but if you don’t market your business, you’ll never get customers. Read up and observe how similar businesses promote themselves. Set up a website for your business and get comfortable using social media. Make connections online and in your community.
9. Get your first customer
Even if you have to work for free, your first customer will give you confidence in your business idea and will make it easier to market yourself. If necessary, do your first job for free in exchange for a nice review or testimonial.
10. Put your finances in order.
If you are a legitimate business, you need a Tax ID number from the government. You must report your business income and expenses on your tax return and pay quarterly estimated taxes. You may also be required to collect sales tax. The easiest way to keep your business and personal finances straight is to set up a separate bank account for your business. Meeting with an accountant and investing in accounting software is a great way to start.