What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? Most people have a hobby or something that they are particularly good at and passionate about. What if I told you that your hobby could be turned into a profitable business venture? These days everyone has a side hustle. Whether it’s delivering food for Doordash or driving Uber, there are all kinds of side jobs you can take on to make extra money when you’re not working your 9-5. But if being an Uber driver isn’t something you’re interested in, consider monetizing your hobby.
You’ve read the success stories of people turning they’re crafts into a full time possible. (Etsy stores, Amazon stores, Shopify stores, drop-shipping, affiliate marketing, etc.) Know that it’s possible for you. Here’s how you can turn something you’re passionate about into full-time business.
Determine Whether A Market Exists
While passion and love for your hobby is a major drive in a successful side hustle or business, you have to be realistic. Is there a potential need for your product or service? After all, you don’t want to invest time and money into something that most people are not interested in. Just because you have a love for something doesn’t mean you’ll have an audience that will be just as vested into what you have to offer. You’ll need to do your research and reach out to people who has experienced some success in your target market.
Experts recommend testing your products with the public first before you go full-fledged. You can offer your service or product online to see if it generates any interest. If you have a product you’re trying to market, consider getting a table at a fair or opening an Etsy store.
For instance, I invented Chapfloss. Before I dove into patents and Kickstarter campaigns, I went around to friends, family and even strangers and asked them what they thought of my idea. The idea being one device that carries both lip balm and floss. 95% of people liked the idea. It’s two products most people use almost every day. Then the Kickstarter campaign was fully funded so I had a good idea that the market was there, and people were definitely on board.
Create A Plan
If you decide to explore your hobby as a business venture, it’s important to come up with a plan. Of course, as you go alone, you’ll tweak your strategy as you learn what works for the business and what doesn’t. Devising a strategy for turning your passion into a moneymaker is essential because there’s nothing worse than diving in blindly. Your initial plan should include how much money you’re going to need to invest in your business to startup and your plan for meeting product or customer demand.
Spend some time mapping out how you’re going to accomplish all the goals you’ve established for your business. Whether it’s nights or weekends, fill up all your available time focusing on your craft.
Get Your First Few Sales
Be patient and trust the process. It takes time to build a millionaire dollar business and it won’t happen overnight. In the beginning stages, you should focus on getting your first few sales. Whether it’s signing your first $100 retainer or making a sale for $5, it all counts because the first sale is the hardest one you’ll ever make.
If you’re offering a service, consider encouraging customers to sign up for a free trial or use social media to generate interest. If it’s a product that you are marketing, advertising in the right places can lead to a sale. It’s important to remember, while you may strongly believe in what you’re offering, you must convince the masses to believe in it too.
Start Slow But Remain Consistent
In the initial stages of turning a hobby into a profitable venture you should view it simply as a side hustle. That means that it doesn’t have to be your primary source of income. You can put in as little or much time as your schedule allows. However, it’s imperative to stay consistent if you want a steady stream of clientele. Once you begin turning over a profit, you can start dedicating more time to your craft so that you’re continually growing. To ensure that you’re making traction, create milestones you want to reach and plan out how you are going to reach them. If you hate your full-time job save up your money and work hard so that your side hustle can replace your job.
Build an Online Presence
Running a successful business in this era requires that you leverage the internet to generate activity and create a name for yourself. There’s just no way around it. You can build an online presence by creating a website for your business and social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social media channels.
I used Wealthy Affiliate to learn to build websites, learn SEO, online advertising, etc. I highly recommend them. Be consistent on social media so that you can build a following to sell to and brand yourself as a professional. If you don’t have to focus on posting and maintaining your social media channels, you should think about hiring a social media writer who can capture the voice of your brand.
Use Your Time Wisely
Between the kids, your full time job and social requirements, it can feel like you don’t have enough time in a single day. As you startup, you’ll definitely have to get creative about how you’re allocating the little time that you do have. Maybe you’ll need to wake up an hour or two earlier every day to dedicate some time to your craft and business. You could also get your family involved in the business; this can be a good way to spend time with them as well.
Utilize technology to manage your time. Software like Basecamp, Trello and Asana can be useful for mapping out the things you have to do during the week and helps you keep up with your to-do list.
Treat Your Venture Like A Job
Perhaps the best advice I can give is to treat your business like it’s your regular job. Especially if you’re hoping that it becomes your primary source of income one day. The best way to do this is by giving your craft the attention it deserves. Fine-tune it by continually working on your hobby so that you become better at it. Learn to be disciplined and avoid laziness. Regularly read up on the industry, become a sales and marketing expert. As you become a better businessman or businesswoman you can expect to see positive results.
What do you like to do? Please reach out if you have any questions or curiosities.