“Legendary innovators like Ben Franklin, Edison, Bill Gates & Steve Jobs all possess common intellectual qualities—a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity—but they also share one other defining attribute. They had a lot of hobbies that they turned into a business.”
Topics: Quit your Day Job? Brain-Storm, Goals Business Plan, Marketing, Brand. Test Customer, Finances.
Whether it’s a full day or only an afternoon or evening, our hobbies bring us joy and rejuvenate us after a long work week. It’s only natural to dream about turning a hobby into a full-time business. But to create a successful business, you need more than just skills & passion. Building a sustainable business takes planning, commitment, & a business aptitude. Here are some tips on Starting a Business.
- Get “really good” at your Hobby — before you quit your Day Job.
To make money from your hobby, you’ve got to be good at it. If your skills aren’t yet up to par, make a plan for improving them and put off your business idea until you’re totally ready.
- Will you still enjoy your Hobby, if you’re doing it for $$$.
Making money from your hobby may mean meeting deadlines, pleasing demanding customers, and doing your hobby even on days when you don’t feel like it. You’ll have to manage marketing & other finances. Be sure you’re willing to handle the challenge of these items, before you decide to turn your hobby into a business.
- Brainstorm all the ways you could make $$$ from your Hobby.
You may need to do more than one thing to create a financially sustainable business. For example, if you’re an artist, you could not only sell your paintings, but also you also could teach painting classes, get your painting in a gallery to sell or open your own shop.
- Define your Goals.
Do you want a full-time business, so you can quit your day job? Or are you just looking for a little extra cash to cover expenses? The more you’ll depend on the income from your hobby-business, the harder you’ll need to work at it.
- Write a Business Plan.
I know this sounds big league, but when you write a business plan, you’ll evaluate the market for your hobby-business and prove to yourself that it’s a “viable” business idea. You’ll learn how much money you need to get started, you’ll set goals, and you’ll plan how you’ll market the business to your customers. Share your plan with knowledge-able friends or contacts to evaluate the probability of success and help at fine-tuning your plan to increase the odds of success.
- Learn about Marketing.
You can be the best in the world at your hubby (er, hobby), but if you don’t market your business, you’ll never get customers. Research & study small business marketing and observe how similar businesses promote themselves. Set up a Website for your new business to see what kind of interest you get. Also get comfortable using Social Media for promoting your business. If you’re not sufficiently knowledge-able in this area, ask friends for help. Start making more connections online (ie, LinkedIN) to grow your network – which you can use for advice & support when you need them.
- Create a good Brand and promote it.
Your brand is your business identity and what you’ll be known for. A strong brand helps your loyal customers recognize you, just as people instantly know that golden arches mean McDonald’s. 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, & other marketing strategy.
- Adopt a Business Mindset.
A hobby is something you do at your leisure. When you make it a business, you make a commitment to deliver your product or service on a timely basis. Think of your hobby as your second job and make it a high priority in your life.
- Get your first Customer to get Test your Product or Service.
Your first customer will enable you to get valuable feedback on the “value” of your product or services. You may need to do a few modifications to make it more appealing. Once you have satisfied Customers, that will give you confidence in your business idea and will make it psychologically easier to market yourself. If necessary, do your first job for free in exchange for the valuable feedback.
- Get your Finances in order.
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 finances straight is to set up a Bank Account for your business, to you’re your business and personal finances separate. Periodic meetings with an Accountant, and investing in Accounting software can help you manage your finances, so you’ll know where you stand.
Conclusion: Do you have any other Advice on the considerations for “turning a Hobby into a Business?
from Legal Zoom.com 2/17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, click on Starting a Business.
Turning a Hobby to a Business
“I do what I did as a hobby as a kid, you know, and make a living at it. And I just feel like I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world ‘cuz I get paid to make toys and play with them. – Rick Baker
“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity. – Julia Cameron
“If I’m going through a hard part of my life, I just think about the fact I am living a dream. Alot of people aren’t as fortunate to have their hobby-the thing they love to do most-as their job. I just think about that and I feel better. – Mats Sundin
“I’m the proverbial kid in the candy store. I’m a guy who is lucky enough to have been chosen to turn his compulsive hobby into a profession. If I didn’t have my job, I’d be doing almost the same thing for free”. – Dick Larvala
“In entrepreneurship, you decide to give up your day job at the point where either (A) the hobby/new business is at least making some form of ends meet, or (B) you feel that you need to dedicate yourself for a certain amount of time to it and give yourself the last hoorah. – Daymond John
“History shows a typical progression of information technologies: from somebody’s hobby to somebody’s industry; from jury-rigged contraption to slick production marvel; from a freely accessible channel to one strictly controlled by a single corporation or cartel-from open to closed system. – Tim Wu