How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business
There’s an old saying: If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Many successful, well-known businesses began as hobbies or passion projects. Maybe your passion has the potential to become a lucrative brand, too. If you’ve been considering whether to transform your hobby into a money-making business, there are many things to take into account. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Test the Market
For a hobby or skill to be translated into a profitable business, you need an enthusiastic market. Determine whether there are viable customers who would be interested in buying your product or service. You might begin by testing on small groups such as family and friends. Conduct online research to see if there are similar businesses or products. Visit a local craft fair or farmer’s market to observe what others are doing and selling. When testing the waters, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start small (i.e. part time) to see how things go before deciding to go all-in.
Determine Your Business Model
You should ask yourself what type of business you want to run and how customers are going to find you. Are you going to sell online, in-person, or both? To increase your chance of success and the legitimacy of your business, you will want to develop a formal business plan. A business plan is especially important if you plan to get funding from a bank or other investors. Your business will likely start out as a sole proprietorship or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Although it could change down the road, the type of business you form will affect the financial and legal decisions you make at the beginning.
Develop Your Brand
Developing your brand can be a fun exercise in creativity. You will want to choose a unique name and logo to represent your new company. Depending on what you are producing or selling, you might seek out a reputable graphic designer or marketing firm. If you are planning to do any part of your business online, you will want to secure a domain for your website. Using the name of your company for the domain will make it easier for customers to find you. If you plan to be on social media, you will want to create accounts with your business’s name.
Strike a Balance
Hobbies are meant to be fun, but running and operating a small business requires patience and determination. It could take years for your business to become profitable. These things do not happen overnight. Decide at the beginning how much of your time and resources you are willing to commit to your business, because like many endeavors, what you put into your business will determine what you get out of it. Turning a hobby into a business does not have to be a full-time project to be successful. But be willing to go through trial and error to find a balance that works for you.
There are many tools and resources available that make starting a new business easier. If you’re considering turning your hobby into a business, visit PlainsCapital.com to learn how our business services, from financing options to commercial real estate to merchant services, can help you make a strong start.