How to Turn your Hobby into a Legitimate Business

Mess in the the artist's studio, watercolor paints, brushes and sketches, palette and painting tools. Designer's working place, hipster style.
Desiring you could quit your day job is the first stage on your way to possessing your own business. Figuring out what kind of business to start comes next. To get new business ideas rolling, ask yourself what you are good and what you like to do.

Exactly how to monetize your hobby

Hobbies that could hypothetically be monetized and turned into businesses include painting, woodworking, baking, web design, dog training, literally anything that delivers value to others. The problem is that many of us are afraid to take action, even when we know we have a marketable skill, because we are scared of failure. We dread that if we attempt to monetize a hobby and fail, we’ll no longer feel joy or satisfaction from the activity at all or others will regard us contrarily. This can be a frightening proposition that may avert many talented individuals from pursuing their dream. Trying to monetize a hobby isn’t easy, but on the other hand, it certainly isn’t rocket science. With a little planning and strategic bookkeeping execution, you can enjoy a positive result. Listed below are a few guidelines:

Create a plan

In order to begin monetizing your hobby, you have to develop a game plan. This plan will evidently have to be tweaked along the way, but it’s valuable to have a strategy in place from the start. This may not be your particular game plan, but you need one of some kind. There’s nothing smart about diving in recklessly and hoping things work out.

Get your first sale

You don’t need to go from hobby to million-dollar business in a matter of days. Your number one objective in the beginning stages is to get your first sale. Whether that means making a $5 sale or signing a $5,000 retainer, your first sale is the toughest and most significant sale you’ll ever make.There are plenty of bookkeeping strategies for really getting your first sale, but it all depends on the merchandise you’re selling. If you’re retailing a service, you may want to start by offering a free trial and producing some word of mouth. If it’s a product, a good product placement and marketing in the right places can lead to a sale.

Maximize your time

For many people, working a full-time job and then spending extra hours pursuing a hobby isn’t practical. Between kids, a significant other, friends, and social requirements, you simply don’t have enough hours in the day. In the preliminary phases, you’ll have to get inventive about how you use your time. Maybe you need to wake up an hour earlier than you’re used to and get some stuff done before your regular job. Alternatively, it could mean including your kids in your hobby so you can spend time with them while still achieving new things.

Build an online presence

In business today, everyone needs an online presence to produce activity. This means creating and maintaining a website, social media profiles, and everything else that goes into imprinting yourself as a professional.

Network

A few people will stumble across you online, but a lot of business success happens via word of mouth and networking. You have to be ready to be active on this side of self-promotion, as well. Find clubs, conferences, and groups in your specialty that caters to other specialists in the niche. You’ll learn a lot on these occasions and get the chance to socialize with people who are at the same stage as you and preferably a little further.

Treat it like a job

The final piece of advice is to treat your hobby like a job. If you want it to become your main source of income someday or at least a maintainable second stream of income, then you have to give it the devotion it deserves. Carve out time to work on your hobby, read about the industry, learn about sales and marketing, and dedicate yourself to steady improvement. This is how to achieve positive results.

Conclusion:

There’s also something to be said for learning through trial and error. If you’re decent at what you do and there’s a market for your hobby, then there’s no reason why you can’t monetize it and earn a second stream of revenue. Plunge in and see what happens.

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