Turning your hobby into a business - some considerations


hobby into a businessHave you ever thought about turning your hobby or interest into a business venture or ‘side-hustle’? Turning your hobby into full-time self-employment, or an extra job to create second income, can be an appealing career path. With it can come the flexibility to work whenever and wherever you want, unlimited earning potential, and the freedom and flexibility to work with the clients and projects of your choice. However, whilst working for yourself can be an empowering career decision, it can be a huge risk and proper preparation is key. Here are some key considerations:

Is it just a hobby?

One of the most appealing factors is undoubtedly the chance to make a living out of something you enjoy – it’s little surprise that many people strive to turn their hobbies into businesses. Nonetheless, it’s a serious challenge to turn your passion into a sound business strategy. You will have to carry out your hobby to meet the demands of your customers – this could include working to a very tight deadline and repeating the same processes over and over again. This is why it’s important to start small. As you begin to see demand rise, ask yourself whether you’re still enjoying your hobby. If not, you may wish to reconsider self-employment as your new career choice.

Is there a market?

The first task is to evaluate your business idea, to establish whether it has a real chance of succeeding. Ensuring that there is a viable and ongoing market for your product or service seems quite obvious, but it will require you to be objective and honest with yourself to ensure you build a realistic business plan.

  • Do you have any competition locally that would mean less market share?
  • How should you price your products or service to ensure you are competitive?
  • How will people find out about your business?
  • Where and how will you distribute and sell your products?
  • How many sales will you need to make to cover your expenses and make enough profit to make the venture worthwhile?

You need to give yourself the best chance of making a success of your hobby, writing a clear business plan and being realistic from the outset will ensure you manage your own expectations and give yourself the best chance of succeeding.

Will I be able to make money?

As you might imagine, pursuing hobbies as a means to make a living, is becoming increasingly popular. This means that you may be entering a competitive market unless you’ve mastered a unique craft or have devised innovative product ideas. Calculate your costs and margins. Write a business plan that explains how you will make money, where you will sell your products and what your targets are for the immediate future. Think about the level of savings you have accrued, and whether you will need to find part-time work to support your fledgling business. Remember that there are plenty of government loans and grants available for start-ups – Gov.uk is a good place to start.

How will I market my business?

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive these days so you may want to consider the following ways to initially market your business:

  • Social Media – they don’t cost money to maintain, but they do cost time. Consider which social networks will be the most effective at spreading the word about your business. Are you confident in posting and sharing content on these networks?
  • Word-of mouth - is equally important if you are establishing a locally run business. Think about who your intended audience/customers are and consider how you can get your message to them.
  • Research relevant events - that will allow you to exhibit or sell your products and services, or go along and network with others. Research your options and diarise events.
  • Use online forums - as a way to connect with other business owners, ask questions and share advice. Starting out on your own may feel daunting, so having people who have been in the same situation and can offer practical advice will be invaluable and will also stop you feeling isolated.

Turning your hobby into a thriving business is a huge challenge, but if you’ve carefully planned your move into self-employment and have evidence that there’s sustainable demand for your products or service, you may find that transforming your hobby into a business is a rewarding and valuable experience.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you, please email info@renovo.co.uk

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