Your hobbies might be something you start out doing for fun, but they can quickly evolve into something that helps you pay the bills. Cooking, designing, and photography are just a few of those hobbies that can help you earn money. They say that work becomes easier when you are passionate with what you are doing, which isn’t a problem if you’re doing something that started out as a hobby for you. But setting up a business requires a lot of time, effort, and planning. Investing in a business entails responsibilities.
So, before you turn that hobby into a business, we’ve listed seven things you need to consider, the better to prepare yourself and ensure your success should you decide to venture into the world of self-employment.
1. You will need money.
Before you can earn, you will probably have to shell out an ample amount of money to initially fund your business. Money will be used to pay for startup supplies, advertisements, business/license permits, rent for property, and other unforeseen expenses in launching the business. The amount of money will vary depending on the kind of business you’re looking into. Think of it as an investment that will help the business grow.
2. You must be good with customers.
When starting your business, keep in mind that the customers are your priority, not yourself. Not all customers will like the products that you think are your best works. They have the right to inquire about your product, demand adjustments, or ask for changes when necessary. You must learn how to deal with them, so better sharpen up those PR skills. Customer satisfaction is essential for any business to survive. It may sound clichèd, but it’s true—the customers are always right.
3. Where you set up shop matters.
Whether the business will be through an online or a physical store, you need to think of the perfect place for your business. If would like to open a physical store, search for a place that is accessible to your target customers. Do you love cooking and baking? Consider opening a resto cafe near offices, schools, or where a lot of people look for places to hang out. If you plan to have it online, search for websites that have minimal to no web hosting fees and are easily visited by your target customers. You may also want to look into online marketplaces. However, in online business, you must be on point when it comes to tracking and shipping the orders to your customers.
4. You will need suppliers.
Unless you’re offering a service that involves no exchange of goods, the materials you usually need in your hobby will not be enough once you start the business. As the demands of buyers rise, you will need to create more items and therefore need more supplies than might be readily available in your average hobby store. You must have a supplier who can give you the needed materials and equipment and can easily adapt to your time table especially in times of rush and big orders. You must look for a supplier you can definitely trust in providing both good quality and quantity of supplies.
5. You should be able to meet deadlines.
Hobbies are done whenever you want and feel like doing it. But once you become an entrepreneur, you won’t have the luxury of waiting until you feel like working on a project. You must be able to do the tasks on a regular basis. The customers do not only look for good-quality products, but they also trust businesses who keep their word—who keep up with their orders. Time management is the key! Learn to devote time to talking to suppliers, taking orders, creating your items, etc., and keep a record to track your progress.
6. You must know how to sell your product.
The first step is to know your target market. If your hobby is making charms and trinkets, who do you think use them often and will be attracted to your items? Middle aged women, yuppies or teenage girls? Once you determine your target market, it will be easier to come up with marketing strategies to make your products more salable. You will need to make use of advertisements, to get the word out through social media, at the very least, but perhaps also streamers, leaflets, over the radio, event sponsorship, etc. This way, people will get to know your product and they’ll come looking for you!
7. Competition is everywhere.
There are probably going to be people who have the same hobby or business as yours. To distinguish yourself from your competitors, you’ll have to come up with the freshest ideas. Show how your business differs from other businesses through your offers, products, guarantees, customer service, and so forth. But more importantly, show them how committed you are to your passion.
Think you have the guts to turn your hobby into a business? A great start would be to offer your products and/or services to your family members and closest friends. Who knows? They might not only be your first customers, but they can also give feedback, suggestions, and advice before starting your own business.