How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business Venture

Do you daydream of quitting your 9-to-5 job? A majority of Americans long to experience the fulfillment of running their own business full-time. If that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the finer points of how to turn your hobby into a business.

Is Business Ownership for You?

First and foremost, you need to be honest with yourself: Is business ownership really for you? While some people think owning their own business means getting paid to travel the world or to work from the beach with a pina colada in hand, it’s actually a lot of work. Because there are no steady paychecks and you’re doing everything yourself, especially when you’re first starting out, business ownership can get stressful.

Each situation is unique, and you are the only person who can determine if you are truly cut out for running your own business. To be successful at running your own business, you need to be tenacious, able to take risks and think on your feet, and capable of solving problems.

Does this sound like you? If so, great! Now you can move on to answering important questions as you plan for your upcoming leap into business ownership. If you’re not able to answer every question, it’s not the end of the world. You just need to find the right people to help.

Answer the BIG Questions

Although you might be eager to get started, you’ll need to slow down and answer a few key questions. Every successful business starts with a well-crafted business plan.

Your business plan should include:

  • What products and/or services will you offer?
  • Who would be interested in buying those products and/or services from you? (Hint: Don’t be vague. Get as specific as possible.)
  • What will you charge?
  • How will you spread the word about your business?
  • How will you get financing for your business? (This can include SBA loans, venture capital, and small business grants.)
  • What types of tech will you need to run your business? (You may need tech for payroll, inventory, and sales.)

Save Up a Nest Egg

A “nest egg” is a savings fund that you store for a rainy day. When launching a business, it’s recommended that you save at least three to six months of income. This will allow you to pay your bills or cover any unexpected scenarios in the event that you experience a slow period or aren’t able to find clients for a few months. If saving up six months’ worth of income sounds daunting, don’t worry; you can do it. Look up Dave Ramsey’s step-by-step guide for saving money to help you get started.

Have an Exit Strategy

Just like you need to save a nest egg before jumping into full-time business ownership, you’ll also want to create an exit strategy to leave your current job. Plan how you’ll gradually build up your business income (along with your nest egg) over the next few months. When you get to a place where your business income can sustain you for a bit, you’ll be ready to give your notice.

Building a Website

You can start selling your products and services before your website launches. However, a website is crucial to making your business look professional and not just like another “fly by night” company. If you can’t afford a web designer or web developer upfront, don’t fret. You still have plenty of options. If you’re willing to do the work on your own, you could create your own site using a free service like WordPress or Wix. To take your website to the next level, you might upgrade to an affordable paid service such as Squarespace. 

Spread the Word

Once you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to start spreading the word. Just because you build a website doesn’t mean your customers will be able to find you. Perhaps you could use word of mouth or social media to start sharing information with people you know. To reach new people, you might also consider paid ads on Google or social media, which are affordable and customizable. Just set your budget and timeframe, and you’ll be on your way to gaining new clients in no time.

With a little bit of legwork, it is entirely possible to turn your favorite hobby into a source of income. But remember, be honest with yourself, and start with a plan. This should entail everything from having emergency money in the bank to knowing how to make a clean break from your 9 to 5. And once you get started, present yourself in the most professional way possible ,and do not be afraid to promote your brand. 

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