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So You Want to Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

So You Want to Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

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The 9-to-5 grind makes people hate Mondays and count down until Fridays, but it also inspires dreams of entrepreneurship. The enjoyable pastime that you can’t wait to get back to after a hectic day at the office or busy work week can be the basis for a sideline or full-time business endeavor. You can find countless success stories of people transforming what they love into a career at any age, either by happy accident or as part of a master plan. Bethany Mota is just 18 yet she’s earning big money with YouTube endorsements from advertisers who like her message, style and audience. And Alexandra Ferguson’s company is approaching the million-dollar mark.

Here are a few things you can do when you want to turn your hobby into a business: 

Make Sure It’s Your Passion

Susan Solovic, guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal, advises people to check the “joy” factor when considering making a hobby your full-time career or business. She says that too much of a good thing can ruin the love you have for it. Kristin Omdahl is a prime example of someone with a passion. She loved knitting and crocheting so much, she wanted to spend every minute at it, and couldn’t do that without turning it into a business. Does your hobby consistently fascinate, entertain and energize you, or are there times you aren’t that into it? Think about how it would feel to have to do it non-stop for 10 hours a day, six days a week, as a job or as a business. Then either go for it or let it go. 

Take Care of Business

When you decide to take your hobby to the next level, Solovic advises contemplating the money. Evaluate how your product or service would make a profit, what the prevailing prices are for your goods and if people will pay what you need to charge to come out ahead. Also think about start-up costs for inventory, advertising, shipping, raw materials and other necessities to do business in your hobby area. Consider learning more about your hobby interest by getting certified in a program through Penn Foster so you have more expertise to offer and can differentiate yourself from the competition. For example, if you've dreamed of being a wedding planner, research the time involved in attaining your certification. If you’re still feeling the green light, start treating your hobby as a business by consulting an attorney about the best way to do business, setting an opening date and preparing a business accounting system.

How to Make Money from Your Hobby

Expert business coach Joyce K. Reynolds says hobbies are clues to what would be meaningful careers because they are the things we choose to do and enjoy doing. MyLifestyleCareer.com career coach Nancy Collamer knows there are many different ways to make money from your hobby, either directly or in any number of ways related to what you love: 

  • Teach It! Do you love baking up a kitchen full of hearty, homestyle breads, rolls and other baked goods? Want to do it all day or all night long? If your family can’t eat that much and your freezer’s full, think about teaching baking or providing personal baker services, such as baking a family’s breads and desserts for the month on a Saturday while teaching them how.

  • Sell It! If your hobby requires some unique or hard-to-find materials such as the best angora or alpaca yarns for the latest infinity scarves you love to crochet, find the best sources, get them wholesale and sell them to crochet and yarn enthusiasts.

  • Write About It! If you love to write as much as you love to work at your hobby, find an audience who loves it like you do and write about it. Hobby magazines, clubs, trade shows and how-to books are just some of the avenues for hobbyists to write about the activities that stir their passions and interests.

 

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