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4 step plan to turn a hobby into a business
We all have a hobby and I'm sure we've thought about trying to make money off of it one way or another but never followed up on it because we either thought it wasn't going to work or we simply forgot about it. You could be knitting blankets or making 1/8 replica models of a show you like, I'm sure there is someone out there that will purchase what you're making. There are actually a lot of people out there that turned their hobbies into full time jobs, and now love every minute of work that they put in. There are things you need to do before you start out turning your hobby into a full fledged business, such as getting feedback and doing actual market research in order to know if what you're doing will sell.
Think about it, how many times have you heard of a friend who has their own photography business and are doing well? Usually that was a hobby that turned into a profession, even if they did go to college for it, they loved it prior and took pictures of everything without getting paid for it Now, we're talking about people out of college who are turning a hobby into a profession, and the first few steps to doing that are as follows:
Ask for feedback from family and friends
When you're asking for feedback, your family and friends will likely tell you that anything is possible and that you have a great idea. This is why you need to tell them to be honest, even if they think it will hurt your feelings, because you need to know if it's a waste of time or if it's worth pursuing. When you tell them that, they will likely tell you what they're really think, and you will have a different point of view telling you if it's possible.
You can also go on public forums of Facebook groups and ask for honest feedback, and since these people don't know you at all, they'll be brutally honest with you. Even if they tell you it's a waste of time because the market is saturated, that doesn't mean it's actually a bad idea, it just means it will be more difficult to make a lot of money since there are other people out there doing the same thing in a smaller area. Don't let competition scare you off of your dreams, there's competition everywhere and you will always be dealing with it regardless of what industry you're in.
Get a concept up and running
If you're doing something you love, you shouldn't have a problem getting a concept up and running. This isn't your business plan, this is what you'll be selling or doing for others in order to make a profit. Think of a photographer, they will have the concept of taking pictures for clients at weddings, showers, baby photos, etc. and they will think of how they want it all to look before they even click the camera a single time.
A good concept goes a long way, and can even get you some funding if that's what you're trying to obtain. You can launch your concept on something like Kickstarter to see if it actually has people gravitate towards it. If you have a successful campaign, or an almost successful one, you will be able to judge the success you'll have in the long run. If you're successful with your campaign, you will be able to use that funding to get the equipment or materials you need in order to run your business and even do some marketing to get more sales rolling in
Make money on the side
If you work a normal 9 to 5 job, you'll need to work a side hustle in order to make some money with your hobby. Of course, you won't want to quit your job right away because you never know if your hobby will pan out into a full time paying career, so just be patient in the beginning and work longer hours. This will entail getting a website up and running, making the product at home, promoting your business on Facebook to get some sales coming in, building up your community, etc.
When your side hustle is starting to be a burden, because you're working it all the time to fulfill orders, you know for sure that you can expand on it and make even more money. You can now go two different paths, you can either take a chance and quit your job to work your hobby full time or you can play it safe and work more hours while keeping your job and security. I would highly suggest working while having your side hustle so you always have your job to fall back on. You never know if your hobby will pan out long enough to make you money for the rest of your life, so keep working.
Write up a detailed business plan
If you're going to take this seriously, you'll need someone to help you out with your business. If you're hiring a friend or family member, you usually don't need to show them your business plan since they will already trust you and your vision since you likely talk their ear off about it lol. If you're looking to bring on an industry leader, as your partner, you will need a detailed business plan in order to convince them to invest their time and money into your business in order to push it towards success.
Write up a great business plan then get it reviewed by your friends and family that actually own their own businesses or are higher ups who run a company. Don't ask your grandma, or someone that will always tell you it looks great, because that will never actually help you out with business.
You can most definitely turn a hobby into a profession, there are plenty of web designers out there that were making websites for fun when they were kids and it turned into a business. There are people out there that make handmade scarfs, hats, gloves, etc. and make hundreds of thousands each year because of the products they create So get out there and try turning your hobby into a profession
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