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Want to turn a hobby into a business? Some Questions you should ask yourself first…

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Confucius

I imagine for many of us that would be the dream. And one way that many people are doing just that is by turning their hobbies into jobs. Whether it’s photography or baking, there are people out there, just like you and me, who are now making a living from doing the jobs that they genuinely love. Of course if you would like to turn your hobby or passion into a business, there are several things you need to consider. We have put together a list of some of the questions that you should ask yourself before taking the plunge from turning a hobby into a business…

Is there a market for your hobby?

If you are genuinely looking to this hobby as being your main source of income, you need to establish if people will pay for it. Just like any new business starting out, you need to check out if there would be sufficient demand to keep you in business. Look at other people who have the same or similar businesses and work out how much they are charging and if that would be feasible for you too. Would you be competitive in terms of pricing? Try and establish where your market would be. Is it a local business only? Could you sell or market your product or service online?

Could you cope with demand?

Most of us undertake our hobbies in our spare time, generally at a leisurely pace that is right for us. But if you suddenly had customers who wanted your product or service, you would have to supply it within a specific time-frame. Could you realistically cope with having that pressure? And would all the time you would be putting in, be worth it in terms of what you would be paid?
The thing to ask yourself then is would it still be a pleasure or would you find your hobby becoming more of a chore?

Do you have the business skills?

If you are seriously thinking about making your hobby your job, then you need to think about practicalities too. Everything from marketing, advertising and promotion through to managing the accounts will be your responsibility. Would you be competent enough to manage these areas as well as doing the main “hobby-work”? If the thought of this is daunting, then before you make the leap, do some research. Check out what courses are available, where you can develop or learn those skills. Since most businesses these days undertake their promotion and marketing online, brush up on your Social Media networking skills.

Can you afford it?

If you are currently employed, it is probably best not to take the leap until you have “tested the water.” You need to establish if the income that you generate is going to be sufficient to meet your financial obligations. If it won’t then the pressure you would be putting on yourself may outweigh the pleasure that your “hobby” gives you. Much better to start out slowly or on a part-time basis and then perhaps as demand and hopefully revenue starts to increase, make the decision about your “main” job. If however you are not working at the moment, then there can be no better time to develop your hobby into a job for yourself. And as we all know the jobs market is particularly tough at the moment, so being entrepreneurial and creating your own job from a hobby can be one of the most positive steps you can take. The key thing to remember though, no matter what your circumstances are, is that having a hobby as a business is not all about the money. It’s about turning your part-time passion into a full time dream.

At TheEmployable we love to hear about people doing their own thing, and we especially love hearing about people that have managed to turn their passion for a hobby into a business. If that is you, or you know someone who has done just that, then feel free to let us know via the comments section below.

Please also check out Startacus.net our new platform for the self starter that will be launching very soon!


Discussion

4 Responses to “Want to turn a hobby into a business? Some Questions you should ask yourself first…”

  1. I’m an artist and article writer on lifestyle, art and professional photography. I was a professional photographer until recently, but following back problems, lugging heavy camera kit around is no longer an option.
    I was told recently that you can’t make a living from art. When someone says I can’t do something, I just HAVE to do it!
    The same applied to my photography. I left the rat race and the “M25 merry-go-round” and turned my hobby, photography into a full time job, after being told it was “almost impossible” to make a good living from photography.
    I had masses of contracts and managed a couple of big awards on the way. My background in sales and marketing have gone a long way in helping me be a business person, not just someone with a hobby hoping for some customers.
    I’ve launched a Facebook page for my art in the last couple of weeks and have already sold 10 paintings.
    I have an offer there where anyone can post a photo they might like to see as a painting – without obligation. Once painted, the owner of the photo can buy it if they wish, or I’ll just offer it for general sale. Prices start from just £15.95! It’s risk free for everyone.
    I’ve discovered your facebook page – great and looking forward to following your comments on there.
    My facebook page is at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Closet-Painter/344134012263287
    and if you feel so inclined, please “like” the page and feel free to post a photo up and I’ll have a go at a painting.

    Posted by denisehammondwebb | January 18, 2012, 2:57 pm
    • Hi there

      Thank you very much for posting this – a good empowering story!

      I have liked your facebook page and will keep an eye out for your work –

      Perhaps we can help – if you fancy you can tell your story on theemployable in the form of a guest blog – highlighting the highs and lows / advantages and disadvantages of doing something yourself and for yourself

      Fine for you to add some links at the end to your work and include some examples of your work in the post

      Our guest posts are around 500 – 700 words usually – let me know if that interests you

      Cheers

      Alastair @theemployable

      Posted by theemployable | January 18, 2012, 3:42 pm
  2. Turning a hobby into a business can be a challenge, if the potential earnings are relatively small. However, there are other rewards than earnings. It can be very satisfying, even if you don’t get any money.

    Posted by LC Jackson | January 18, 2012, 3:32 pm

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