After two years of working from home, shutdowns and more, there’s a growing number of people who want to make a change. Some call it the “great resignation.” Others simply recognize that now that we’ve all had more of a taste of being in control of our time and better work-life balance, we want to keep it that way.
Many people have dreamed about turning their hobbies into a business for years. Maybe it’s time to do just that. If you’re considering making your hobby a small business, here’s how.
Understand the Market
The first thing you need to do is figure out if your hobby can support you financially. Sure, you might love knitting fluffy sweaters for cats, but are there enough people out there who want them? That will decide if you can pay your bills from your new business. Find out before you take any giant leaps!
Start As a Side Hustle
The next thing you should probably do if you want to turn your hobby into a small business is get started while you’re still working.
Unless you have six months or more of your salary saved up in the bank to support yourself while trying your business idea, you don’t want to quit before you know you can replace your salary. Start working on your idea after hours and on weekends, and when it’s clear that you can earn a living from it, that’s the time to give up your day job. Not before.
Spread the Word
Most people who start a small business sell to people they know first. Maybe your family and friends already know that you bake amazing cakes, or build great websites, or can teach anyone how to do algebra. Ask them to spread the word to their networks.
You should also get active on social media and revamp your LinkedIn profile and even try business cards to give them to everyone you know. Certainly build a website as it takes a while to get traction for a new business, but marketing is crucial while you’re getting started.
Think Outside the Box
Okay, so maybe there aren’t enough people who want to buy kitty sweaters. But maybe there are enough who want to learn how to do it themselves.
If you can’t turn your hobby into a business directly, consider other ways you could turn it into an income. Start a YouTube channel or publish a book of kitty sweater patterns. Or, if you have always wanted to start a restaurant but don’t have the capital, start by offering a home chef service, where you go to people’s houses and prepare a meal in their kitchen.
There’s always a way to get where you want to be. You just have to be prepared to find it!
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
We’ve all got skills and talents, and unless you’re already a bookkeeper or accountant, yours probably don’t include keeping accurate financial records. If you know nothing about accounting reporting (but want to learn) in Google Sheets, have no idea how to connect QuickBooks to Google Sheets (or why you would want to) or how to manage QuickBooks data, you’re going to need help.
Fortunately, many professionals outsource their time. You could pay by the hour or put them on a retainer like your lawyer. If you want to find a bookkeeping or accounting service (and other professionals!) that uses the latest technology, you can find one on our website here.
Trying to master things like this, if you’re not really interested in them, will only be frustrating and could make you give up before you reach your goals.
Also, always remember to learn from other small business owners. Check our post with 10 productivity tips from them here.
There’s Never Been a Better Time
Many of us dream about starting a small business for years, but we’re too scared to take the leap. If you’re still wondering if you should try, you should know that there’s never been a better time than right now.
With the tools and technology available to us today, it’s easier than ever to create a business, whether you make products and sell them on a marketplace like Etsy, start an online travel business, or turn your passion for dog walking into your day job.
You’ll never know unless you try, and once you have and succeed, you’ll never look back again.
So start that small business. Test your business idea. Put yourself out there and take control of your time and earning potential. It’s scary, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, and with the right idea and a little bit of support, you can do it.