Turning a Hobby into a Small Business
Everyone’s got something they’re good at—and there might be a way for you to turn your weekend hobby into pocket money. More and more people are starting their own businesses from scratch, with some hard work and just a little help from the Internet. Wondering how to get your own skills out on the market? Here are some things to consider.
First of all, think about what you have to offer. Once you’ve pinned down a unique (and marketable) talent, you can brainstorm ways to apply it in order to win over your customers. This is a good opportunity to combine your interests with your skills: if you’re into fashion and you’re good with your hands, for example, jewelry-making, sewing or dyeing might be a good place to start. The best part about launching your own business is that no talent is too “out there”. In fact, having an original, unconventional talent can make you stand out in a positive way.
By connecting to your audience early on, you can quickly think of ways to adapt your concept to fit your potential clients. Don’t shy away from networking tools like YouTube, Instagram or Etsy: the Internet is a great way to connect supply to demand. Considering you’re taking on a new initiative, though, the support (and probably help) of your family, friends and community is invaluable to get the word out about your new idea. You might want to start locally and branch out from there.
If your idea gets off the ground, building a team is a fantastic way to expand your franchise. Recruiting friends (AKA newfound business partners) to take over branches of your small business has great potential for new epiphanies. Plus, there undoubtedly will be ways that a talented friend or two could take your business to the next level—a people-person (to network, find opportunities and spread the word), a graphic designer (to promote you with posters and flyers), or an organizer (to make sure you’re staying on top of things and under budget) are just some examples of teamwork at its finest.
If you’re serious about turning your hobby into a small business, take it from someone who’s been there: seek more advice from business professionals, whether they’re individuals in your community or those who have managed to make it big (if you can get a hold of them!). They were once in your shoes, and they’ll definitely have some insight to offer.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take a risk. Many successful businesses started very small (and took ages to get off the ground), so don’t get discouraged if your idea doesn’t stick right away. Reflect, revise and reinvent your initiative as time goes on, and keep a positive attitude throughout. Think of it this way: if you don’t keep trying, you’re definitely not going to succeed. You can do it!