When you’re not working your 40-hour a week job, you retreat to your spare bedroom, your garage, or your backyard shed. There you indulge in pursuing a hobby that probably has nothing to do with how you’re earning your living. Then comes that day when you realize that maybe instead of spending your energy working for someone else, you should put it towards working for yourself.
First Things to Consider
Before simply quitting your day job and working in your hobby, consider whether your skill level is up to making it a full-time job. Your business has a better chance of succeeding if it revolves around a special skill you can bring to the market.
Be ready to accept criticism of your work. There’s always a nay-sayer in the bunch. Along with this, ask yourself if you’re ready to do your hobby every day, with all of the deadlines and expectations of a full-time job. If you took up the hobby for relaxation, it might not be so relaxing to be trying to run it as a business.
Develop a Business Plan
As with any business, you’ll have to spend time on the not-so-fun stuff: working out a business plan, setting sales goals, and setting aside enough money to see you through the first few years before the profits can start to roll in. You’ll also want to consider whether or not to hire employees.
Let’s say, for instance, you decide to start your own clothing line since you enjoy making clothes and you always get compliments on the outfits you create. You’re going to have to figure things out like how much will you need to spend on materials, what type of clothes you want to make, and how much you need to sell your pieces for to make a profit.
Every detail of your business will need to be included in your business plan… even down to the clothing label vendor you choose. Nonetheless, you want quality at a reasonable price, and that’s why you may choose to go with Wunderlabel for your clothing tags.
Another thing to take into account is whether working out of your home will be feasible once you’re working 40 or more hours a week. Do you want employees coming to your home to work? Are you ready to take on renting or owning a business location in addition to your home expenses? These are a couple of the realities of running a business.
Get to Know Someone Already in Your Field of Interest
Consider taking some time to meet with a financial advisor or accountant about potential expenses you may not have thought about. Even better, meet with someone already working in the field. Learn if there’s even a demand for your product. Your friends and neighbors might promise to buy from you, but many won’t come through when the time comes.
The number of newly established businesses grew this past year while people were isolated and out of work. They saw turning their pastimes and hobbies into work as a means to bring in income.
When Can a Hobby Become Your Work?
Keep in mind that in the majority of these cases, the people who succeed at turning a hobby into a business were usually already working their hobby as a second job before making the switch. Doing this lets you develop the contacts and publicity you’ll need to succeed when you start to work your hobby full time.
Just because you have a quality product doesn’t mean you’ll succeed immediately. The reality is that the majority of new businesses fold within the first two years. This usually happens because not enough money is set aside to cover living expenses and potential emergencies to allow for the time it can take to start seeing a profit.
Average Lifespan of a Business
If they make it past the two-year barrier, most businesses still shut down after five years. Many people are simply not ready for the responsibilities of running their own business. It might be that you’re more suited to being a loyal employee for someone else as opposed to being an entrepreneur. Owning and running a business is not for everyone.
You Have to Be Accessible Online
Another consideration for modern businesses is developing your online presence. Today people expect a business to have a website with options to see a map and get directions to a physical location if you have one. They expect to see a blog with current posts and a place to read any reviews you’ve received.
Turning your hobby into a business can be rewarding. It can be a way to break out of the routine 9 to 5 office environment into one where you are your own boss and set your own hours. But it is a responsibility and not a decision you want to take lightly. Take some time out of your day to sit down and really think through what all is entailed in running a business. In the end, it could be that making your hobby your job is the right option for you.