You’ve been crafting wooden birdhouses, stitching tote bags, and hand pouring candles from scratch for as long as you can remember, simply because the act of creation brings you joy. But, over time, you’ve honed your art to the point that friends and family “ooh” and “aah” at your work and strangers scream, “Take my money!” Perhaps you’ve even tried selling, whether on a local market or to friends for cash. It’s probably time to consider turning your pastime into a business. Before taking the plunge, there are numerous considerations to consider. There are various advantages to turning your pastime into a legitimate business. We’ll go over the differences between hobbies and businesses, the legal and financial ramifications of switching, and the measures you can take right now to turn your interest into a business.
What is the best way to transform a hobby into a business?
Selling finished handmade goods, such as knit wool mittens at a craft market, is one example of a common hobby that can be monetized.
Most hobbies, on the other hand, have a marketable angle. Musicians might make money by selling samples or teaching guitar lessons. Gamers can join the creator economy and start a streaming business. Gardeners can sell seedlings grown from seeds or harvest fruit to make jams and pies for local restaurants. There are a few questions to ask yourself about your goals and the sustainability of your idea if you want to transform a hobby into a business. You may also need to alter your workspace, go through a business learning curve, and think about funding choices. We’ll talk about it later. Let’s start by distinguishing between a pastime and a company.
In just eight stages, you can go from a hobby to a business.
Let’s make it official now that you’ve either determined that you are an accidental entrepreneur or that you want to become one. Here are eight stages to turning a passion into a business:
1. Think about your business model.
If you’re at the point of turning your passion into a business, you’ve probably mastered it. Based on the nature of your craft, what kind of business may you run? Decide whether you’ll manage your business from home, solo or with a partner, and whether you’ll need to outsource or hire for any step of the process. Are you planning to sell finished items or services? Do you intend to sell your items online or in person? Or a combination of the above? A business plan will not only provide answers to these issues, but it will also assist in determining things like required capital, a launch timetable, and any other requirements. A business plan can help you outline your pitch to investors if you decide to seek outside finance.
2. Create a personal brand
Assume you’ve been experimenting in jewelry design and have given or sold some of your creations to pals. Your work should be connected to a brand as you shift from a pastime to a business. A brand encompasses everything associated with your product or service, including your values, brand voice, visual guidelines, and brand story. Your website, branding assets such as logo design, social media content, and packaging will all benefit from a strong brand.
3. Think about your financial alternatives
If your business started as a hobby, you probably already have a lot of the equipment you’ll need to make your product. However, you may need to upgrade machines, acquire materials in bulk, or even convert rooms in your home to specialized workstations in order to make the move. Consider that if you’re a fitness fanatic trying to turn your passion for movement into virtual lessons, you’ll need to invest in lighting and camera equipment up front. You may need to apply for a loan or capital offer, start a crowdfunding campaign, delve into your savings, or look for alternative sources of finance in some circumstances. Hobby enterprises, on the other hand, are usually well-suited to the bootstrapping strategy, which entails supporting the firm yourself and reinvesting profits. Profits can be used to gradually improve equipment as your sales increase.
4. Make your procedures and workspace more efficient.
It’s one thing to tinker with furniture manufacturing in your garage as a hobby, but is it set up in the most effective way to transfer to a woodworking business? As a professional, you’ll spend more time in the space than you did as a hobbyist. Consider ergonomics (a better chair, anti-fatigue mats), workplace flow (how things are organized to produce assembly-line style), and whether your space and operations meet legal ventilation and safety regulations. Melissa Butler was still working full-time on Wall Street when she started producing lipstick in her kitchen. She realized her kitchen lab was no longer sustainable when she decided to leave the financial field and pursue her tiny business full-time.
Melissa was able to develop her business and comply with beauty industry laws by moving the Lip Bar activities to a factory.
5. Select your distribution channels
Even if your marketing budget is limited, the correct sales channels can help you reach the right people. Set up your own eCommerce site by creating a Shopify store if you manufacture handmade goods so you have control over your brand and email list, but also consider selling on a marketplace like Etsy, where handcrafted shoppers may find you. Consider channels where your personality can shine if you’re a hobbyist online producer, such as a comedian, or if you sell virtual class subscriptions for DIY house renovations. With Shopify’s connection, you can now sell on TikTok, which has been a springboard for countless influencers-turned-brands.
6. Make your brand known by launching it and marketing it
It’s time to go live! Start with your dedicated followers to help promote your new brand through word of mouth if you’ve been doing your activity for a long time and have gotten support from family and friends. Treat these people as if they’re your first customers, and cultivate the relationship accordingly. To generate hype and grow your email list and followers, set up social media accounts and a ‘Coming Soon’ page ahead of time. If you don’t have much time in your hands for marketing, hire a digital marketing agency to help with it. And if you are looking to build a website, find the right web developers by first creating a well-structured website development RFP (request for proposal).
7. Set some limits
Hobbies frequently blend effortlessly into daily life—knitting in front of the TV, gaming in your bedroom—but if you’re thinking about starting a business, those areas may no longer be suitable. Keeping your professional and personal places separate will help you establish boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
8. Prepare yourself to scale
Embrace optimism and big-picture thinking: your side hustle could take off, leaving you rushing to keep up with demand. That’s the fantasy! Don’t be caught off guard and irritate your new fan base with delayed customer service and out-of-stock items. Consider how you’ll scale at each sales milestone, such as one, ten, or fifty sales per day. Get support as soon as possible, even if it’s only outsourcing your least favorite jobs to a virtual assistant or part-time employee so you can concentrate on the larger picture. The Kular family modified operations to fit their increasing business at every step of turning Jaswant’s Kitchen from a pastime and passion for cuisine into a full-fledged enterprise. Consider the following questions when you establish your own hobby business: can your business scale in two, five, or ten years, and what will you need in order for it to do so?
Create a life that is centered on your passions
Nothing beats losing yourself in your favorite hobby for relaxation and satisfaction. When you’re in the know, you’re in the know. You’ve come to an interesting crossroads if you’ve ever pondered how to harness that feeling and convert it into a source of income. As a creator or someone who is enthusiastic about and excellent at something, you already have a significant advantage. You have the product, the know-how, and the motivation. What’s holding you back from moving forward?
If you’re looking to create a Shopify store for your small business, Azency provides an all rounded digital marketing solutions to help your business grow. Contact Azency today to get a quote!