Who said work has to be boring? If you’ve always wanted to start your own business and have a hobby you are passionate about then why not turn your hobby into a startup?
With 1 in 5 UK businesses failing within the first year, working on something you are passionate about is the first step to creating a successful business.
However, before you get too excited. You first need to need to understand that building and growing a business is a huge commitment and tons of work.
At the moment you may be happy doing your hobby in your spare time. But turning your hobby into a business is a completely different ball game.
Can you commit to working on your hobby for the long term?
If not, then the hobby you have in mind may not be the right business idea for you. Instead, you can take a look at some other business ideas you might enjoy here.
However, if your answer is a resounding “yes”, then find out exactly how to turn your passion into a business with the following 10 steps…
1. Set your goals
Setting clear goals before you begin your business will allow you to determine the direction of your business.
For example, you may decide that you want to keep your business as more of a side hustle so that you can still focus on the other areas of your life. Or you may want to work on your business full time. Whatever your goals get a notebook and write them down.
Setting goals will also avoid any confusion for your customers as they will know what to expect from your business.
2. What will your business offer?
Have a think about what your business will offer to customers?
Will you create and sell products?
Or will you offer a service to customers?
If you would love to start a business from your hobby but feel as though you don’t have an actual service or product you could offer to customers. Then you could always teach people about your hobby.
You’ll need to carry out research to determine if people will be interested in what you have to offer. Consider the following:
- Is there a demand for what you intend to sell?
- Who are your customers?
- Who are your competitors? What strategies are they using?
- What are the expenses involved in starting and running your business?
- How much will you charge customers?
4. Test your idea
It is important to test your idea before you start investing a lot of time and/or money into your business. This will give you the opportunity to change anything that may not be working before going live so that you can avoid any costly mistakes.
Ways you can test your business idea include surveying your potential customers so that you can get an idea of their preferences.
You could also go on forums where your target market may hang out and ask people what they think about your business. This is a great way to spark interest and also gain some customers along the way.
5. Write a business plan
Once you have tested your idea then it’s time to get down to business and create a business plan. You should already have some information from your research stage that you can include in your business plan. But also consider including the following:
- Executive summary
- The goals for your business
- How you will market your business
- A financial breakdown of your business
Now that you have your plan. It’s time to put your plan into action. Turn the steps in your business plan into actionable actions and schedule these into your daily routine.
6. Build your brand
Have a think about some of the most famous businesses in the world such as Nike, McDonald’s or Amazon. Despite their differences, they all have one thing in common – a distinctive brand that is instantly recognised by consumers. You need to think about how consumers are going to identify your business amongst the millions of other businesses out there. Think carefully about the name of your business and consider creating a logo.
7. Market like your business depends on it
In order for your business to be successful, you have to market as if your business depends on it, and believe me it really does! Marketing is the most crucial element for any business.
At the start of your business, you may have a lot of trial and error when it comes to marketing as you figure out what strategy works best for your business.
8. Get Online
With technology quite literally in the palm of our hands if your business is not online then you are missing out on A LOT of potential customers. In fact, depending on what kind of business you have, you could be missing out on most if not all your sales if you are not online!
9. Find your customers
Without customers, you have no business. If you are going to turn your hobby into a business you need to find your customers. You may already know people that are interested in your hobby and the product or service you have to offer. If so, then that’s great, start with these people first.
In the early stages, word of mouth is the best method of getting your business known by others. Therefore, consider offering an incentive to customers who recommend your services to others.
10. Treat your hobby as a business
You may be so accustomed to doing your hobby as a source of enjoyment that it can be easy to disregard it as work. But just remember that it is a business and you need to treat it like one. This means making sure that your paperwork is in order and keeping separate records for all of your business transactions.
Turning your hobby into a business can be an exciting prospect but it can also be daunting if you don’t know what you are doing or if the passion for your hobby quickly dies.
Following the steps within this article will help you to turn your hobby into a successful business. But remember, if you feel as though your hobby is not the best idea then don’t force it! Continue to enjoy your hobby in your spare time and instead consider another business idea.