If you’re anything like most people, chances are you’ve got a hobby that you dedicate a part of your day – or even a whole weekend – in a regular basis.
Be it photography, gardening, playing a musical instrument or perhaps brewing craft beer, having a hobby doesn’t just help relieve stress and promote happiness, but also boosts your technical know-how of a particular interest the more you immerse yourself in it.
Now here’s a tricky question that I’m pretty sure you’ve pondered once or twice already: how do you transform your hobby into an income-generating venture?
Although deciding to quit your job to focus on your hobby full-time is definitely out of the picture, there are key steps that you should consider to get you on the right track. Make sure you follow along to find out what these are.
Set up a business plan.
Let’s kick things off with something a lot of people tend to overlook. Turning a pastime into something that generates money isn’t as simple as deciding to do so. You’d have to set up a thorough business plan to find out if your hobby can really become an actual business.
Apart from conducting a feasibility study to determine how to effectively capture your target market, having a foolproof marketing plan, a strong social media presence as well as a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system also should be in your checklist for starters.
Do it slowly, but surely.
A lot of people inadvertently put themselves in a really tight spot when trying to transform a hobby into a business because they tend to go for it in a large-scale setting almost immediately. Rather than going all in as soon as you get the chance, keep in mind to consider the transition as a “side hustle.”
So when is the right time to take it up a notch, you ask? It is when the income you earn from your “side hustle” gets equal to or even surpasses what you normally earn from your job. When this happens, you can already consider making the whole thing a full time affair.
Seek for ways to raise funds.
A critical component of transforming a hobby into a business is knowing if people will actually pay good money to avail of your service or product. This is also referred to as getting a “proof of concept.” And one way to pull this off is selling your potential business idea using a crowd-funding campaign.
There are actually a lot of platforms that you can use to achieve this, like Indiegogo, GoFundMe and Kickstarter. A word of caution, though. Successfully getting funding for your idea can be very tricky and even brutal.
However, chances are you’re guaranteed to receive seed money to green light your business if the marketability factor is highly stable and if you managed to arouse the interest of a potential customer base in your pitch.
Let honest feedback be your best guide.
Sure this may sound rather exhausting, but you’d have to ask a lot of people if the hobby that you’re trying to transform into a business is really worth the time and effort. Getting honest feedback is critical if you’re looking to make your business idea take off.
You can look at it this way. You may think that your idea of a product or a service may already be 100% ready for business mode, but the target market you’re hoping to capture may think otherwise. Forcing it will just lead to disaster.
You should do this to gauge the quality of your product or service from another person’s perspective. On the other hand, it is also a nice way of getting a more concrete idea if the same is more than just novelty and will really take off when you do decide to launch it.