The Chinese philosopher Confucius once famously said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” These ancient words of wisdom are probably more relevant today than in the time they were first ushered in.
In this day and age, most people need to tackle more than one job to get to the end of the month. With the things as they are, why wouldn’t you try to monetize hobbies you hold dear and try to make your passion a source of income?
Here, we are going to quickly go through a couple of steps that will get you to the finish line.
Test the concept
Although most hobbies like cooking, art, and artisanship can be monetized in one way or another, not every business idea is equally viable. So, use your friends and family to test whatever may be crossing your mind at the moment. This “soft launch” will help you to learn more about your professional weaknesses, iron out some of the wrinkles from your business model, develop ideas even further, and hit the market confident in what you are doing. Of course, all these efforts should be performed as a side-gig. A full-scale launch should be postponed until you are sure of the concept and have solid two years of savings put on the side.
Write a thorough business plan
Essentially, the business plan is a blueprint for your future business. This document outlines your company’s short-term and long-term goals, business structure, sources of income, expenses, market projections, and other topics vital for the development of one company. Although it requires a great deal of effort, a business plan is an excellent reference point for all of your future efforts, as well as a tool you will use to pitch your idea to potential investors. Starting a company requires a lot of money, and no one will be willing to buy into your ideas if they are not backed up by some data.
Get yourself a domain
We are living in a digital age, so earning any kind of money off your hobby can’t be imagined without registering an appealing website that will serve as the launching pad for your marketing efforts. Hobbies and artisanship are inherently interesting, attractive, and passion-driven, so you can only benefit by blogging about your personal experiences and what made you fall in love with the hobby in the first place. Of course, you can always go one step further and get yourself a .me personal domain that will double down on that unique experience. People are emotional beings, and they beg for a good story behind their products.
Set up the business for growth
Who knows, maybe you are going to experience a real boom much sooner than you expected. So, be prepared to use opportunities as they come with as little growing pains as possible. For a start, use business tools that allow scalability. Do you want to get some new features? Just subscribe for a service. Don’t need it anymore? Unsubscribe. Also, be sure to always have access to drop-in workers. For instance, you may get some huge catering gig, and you don’t want to keep additional workers full-time. See if you can cut a deal with some local restaurant to “borrow” an extra pair of hands when you need them the most.
Infographic created by Clover Network, a retail POS company
Develop a focused marketing plan
No matter whether you want to become a successful blogger or get into aromatherapy, your goal is the same – offer the product to the people who need it. So, stop knocking on the doors that will never be opened. Instead, you should have a very clear idea about the people who need your product and focus all of your efforts on them. Do your homework, perform thorough market research and see what channels work best for the people you want to win over. The same goes for the voice you are going to use. Corporate events and birthday parties may use the same food, but we are talking about two completely different audiences.
Measure your progress
Making progress is hard if you don’t know the direction in which you are heading. Roughly translated to the business lingo – you should really find some way to measure how well you are doing at the moment. You will do that by identifying some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) relevant for your company and trying to learn as much as possible about them before you finally launch the business. Granted, this can be pretty exhausting and tiresome, but great companies are built on hard work and compromises. Hitting the market without the tools to measure if you are actually doing well is a far, far worse outcome.
We hope these few suggestions gave you some general idea about the steps you need to take to turn your hobby into a full-scale profitable venture. We are living in a time when earning enough is hard, and time for doing the things you actually like is few and far between. Why wouldn’t you then try to earn by doing the things you like? Give it a shot – you have very little to lose and very much to gain.