By Jasmine Anderson
If you have a hobby that you are very good at, you might be considering turning it into a full-time job. We all know that saying that we will never work a day in our lives if we love what we do. However, there are many things to consider before you jump into this endeavour. Whether it’s teaching, painting, or woodworking, you have to think about whether you can actually find an audience and earn enough money by doing this. Before you hand in your resignation letter, read on to learn more about turning your hobby into a career.
Research the market
The first step in this undertaking is market research. Once you decide what you have to offer, you have to see how much other companies or individuals charge for the same product or service. Some businesses display their prices online, so that is easy to find. What is more, you need to see what else they offer. Is there something you don’t offer or something that you can include in your offer that is not in theirs? That can help you differentiate yourself from your rivals. Plus, you have to ensure there is an audience for what you do. Are you planning on staying local or reaching an audience in other countries? For instance, teaching English online to students from Asia can bring in a good salary. However, not all hobbies are profitable, which is why properly doing your homework before you jump into this is of the essence.
Start making a plan
Once you’ve done your research and found your audience, you should start crafting your business plan. This might seem tedious but it will help you out a lot in the long run. First of all, you will need to register your business. Keep in mind that this process will depend on where you live, as it’s not the same if you are in Australia and if you’re in the USA. Consult with a local lawyer to see how to proceed. Then, you can write down where you see yourself and your business in a year, five, and ten. Are you going to do this on your own or do you have some friends with similar interests who are willing to join you? Would you like to expand the business in time? What will your marketing strategy be for reaching new audiences? Answer all these questions to have a better idea of what it is that you want exactly.
Figure out your finances
One big part of your business plan has to be dedicated to your finances. You need to calculate your expenses and projected income as well as see how much your startup costs are in total. While you might have some equipment already, it’s very likely that you will need to purchase more if you turn your hobby into a full-fledged business. Then, take taxes, insurance, and professional association fees into account as well. Furthermore, decide whether you will be doing your own books or outsourcing this part of your operations. Finally, if you don’t have enough funds on your own, you might have to look for a partner or someone willing to invest in your company.
Work on your education
While you do have experience thanks to your hobby, you might still want some type of formal education or a diploma in the field. This will make you more trustworthy when talking to potential clients and will help you boost your authority and reputation. However, getting a degree can also be expensive, which is why you can look into student loans. For example, if you are interested in beauty therapy and live in Australia or New Zealand, you can see whether you qualify for VET student loans. Other countries surely have similar programs that can help you reach your goal.
Spread the word and make connections
Finally, you have to spread the word about your business. Start by making social media accounts for your company and asking your friends to share your profile. In the beginning, you might have to offer discounts or even things for free to create positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Ask all your clients to leave you an online review. Finally, you can try to reach some influencers in your field to see whether they are willing to promote you in exchange for some free items seeing as how you probably can’t afford to pay them.
As you can see, turning a hobby into a business isn’t quite straightforward. However, if you are determined to do this, follow the above mentioned steps, start small, and you should be able to make a career out of what you love to do.