The idea of getting paid to do what you love sounds too good to be true. It sounds even wilder when that thing you love is actually one of your hobbies. Can people really get paid to do a leisure activity?
The short answer is yes. There are many people who have managed to turn their hobbies into a viable business. You only need to look on Instagram, eBay, and Etsy for examples of success.
Being self-employed has many advantages: you don’t get fired, you don’t have to deal with awkward office politics, and you don’t need to face the demeaning slog of hunting for work in the job market. Having your own business heightens your entrepreneurial skills and self-satisfaction. However, of course with all new enterprises, there are huge risks and considerations to factor in how to turn your hobby into a business.
Read on for some useful business advice:
1. Consider Your “enjoyment” Factor
I personally love reading. So I did a degree in English Literature. However, I soon found that studying literature at such an intense level tarnished my love for reading. Once it became a chore, my enjoyment factor lowered. This could happen to you and your hobby if you turn it into a career. Think carefully about how much you love your hobby and whether or not you could change the dynamic you have with it. Could you continue taking pleasure in it once you turn it into a commercial enterprise?
2. Is There a Gap in the Market for Your Hobby?
If your hobby is baking then, unfortunately, you’ll have to face very high competition. Find out if there are hundreds of companies who already do your hobby and have had years of perfecting their business plan, profit margins, and reputation. You’ll need to have a unique edge to your product which will grab people. If they can’t get your product from anywhere else then you’ll be in a very good stead for opening up a business based on your own hobbies.
3. What’s Your Price?
You’ll need to settle on how to price your product. You need to make a profit but not price it so ludicrously high that any prospective customers would be put off. To decide on how to price your product, you’ll have to add up your expenses and calculate how much time it takes to produce. It may also be good to appraise your work and find out what price similar items are being sold at.
4. Do Your Maths Homework
It’s important to estimate your start-up capital. Calculate roughly how much it’s going to cost to set up a business, maintain it and make a profit. Then you’ll have a rough financial guide to ensure you can become self-sustainable.
5. Write up a Marketing Strategy
Like any business, you’ll need a marketing strategy to promote your business and get it under the public eye. These strategies include digital marketing, i.e. using social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Depending on what your hobby is you can give out free samples at markets. You can then compile a mailing list of prospective customers and send them a newsletter giving them more information about your product.
6. Personalise Your Business
Think up of a strategically appealing name that encompasses your work. Keep up with current businesses too by creating your own website and build a web presence. Blog about your work or become a seller on market websites such as eBay or Amazon.