All the Research & Planning you will need to make it happen !!!
Should I, Spare time, Nurture your Network, Low $$ + Online Resources, Library & Legal, STanD OuT and more.
Do you have a Hobby that people want to buy your craft from you? If so, you really could create a profitable business. If you can do something you love and get paid for it, that’s not really work is it? But before you go and quit your Day job, I want to encourage & caution you at the same time. There is a big difference between making some extra pocket $$$ and starting & running a small business full-time. Here are six steps to turn a hobby into a small business part or full time by “Starting a Business.
1. Should I turn my Hobby into a Business? Do you have the passion & energy to crank out your hobby product in volume – enough to make it a viable business? Make sure you don’t ruin something that brings you joy & relaxation. People pursue hobbies to reduce stress. If you add all the pressure of having your own business (ie, meeting deadlines), you could give yourself a lot of stress. Do your research to make sure you can find paying customers, before you bet your life on your hobby. Successful businesses require dedicated work & responsibility. It’s easy to take the fun out of your hobby if you do not plan well and there’s more pain than pleasure.
2. Starting your Business in your Spare time. You need to first test the waters while you are still working full-time, to make sure you have a viable Revenue Model for starting a business. You don’t take the risk of losing your Day job before you are ready to leave to pursue your business full-time. That’s why it’s so much better to try it part-time – so see if there’s enough interest – before you dive in all the way.
3, Nurture your Network to “verify” your Product. Start networking like you’re looking for a new job. Reach out to all your contacts from HS, college & business to update your contact database. Spend time on a couple Social Media sites to gain insights about your target customer to confirm it presence & potential. Use your spare time to do Internet Research for sourcing suppliers for materials & vendors for process you cant do – to determine the cost of producing your product.
4. Use Low $$$ Business Resources to help you plan. Once you decide that starting a business is for you, there are many books that you can read to develop your plan, including my book, “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months”. This book gives a comprehensive look at starting a business. It takes you month-by-month through a planning system to help you transition from having a job to starting a business. You should also make an appointment with your local SCORE chapter, which can provide online and face-to-face Starting up counseling. Score also has online learning, how-to articles, business templates, low-cost workshops & an extensive resource library. Also check out Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – An expansive network of some 1,100 branch offices, delivering counseling, training & technical assistance in all aspects of small-business management.
5. Other Online Resources for Starting up.
a) HubSpot Academy, offers courses on inbound marketing, including website optimization, landing pages & lead nurturing. These skills are a must for business owners as they try to grow their business & online presence
b) Moz. If you want to learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure your website is as visible as possible, check out this treasure trove of resources from Moz. Besides having the free Moz Academy, there are also webinars (live & recorded), and beginner’s guides to SEO, social media & link building.
c) OpenCulture. This site isn’t an educational platform on its own, but rather collects and shares free resources from around the web. It is a great resource, because it offers classes from iTunes U & other lessons on Video & Audio. The site also has lists of free Audio Books, Certificate courses & other Online courses
6. Check Out your Library & Legal. You can get plenty of market research data help from the business librarian at your (major) local branch. Also, find out information on legal entities, sales taxes, business insurance & small business accounting systems. There is also opportunity to learn about any business licenses or regulations that you will need to comply with – to start your business.
7. Figure out how to STanD OuT.It is very difficult for small businesses to compete on price. You must clearly identify your niche customer, then spend some time developing a unique product or services. Anyone will buy something once. How will you get them to buy it over & over again from you + recommend you to family & friends?
Conclusion. Turning your hobby into a full-time business is a great way to become your own boss. Why not work at something you love to do? Just do your research before you start your business. Take the time to write Business Plan. It’ll help you define your approach & determine what you’ll need to do – to make it happen. Contact Peter.Cikalo@Gmail.com (CXO, Wiz4biz) for help starting (ie, writing your Executive Summary & Business Plan). You’ll need a lot more customers than the few people that buy your crafty hobby product to replace your full-time salary. Make sure there’s a market for your goods & services, then start saving $$$ and/or asking for $$$. Have persistence & patience. It takes many months and sometimes a few years for starting & growing your business – until it can support you.
Comments: Can you share some of your experiences for Starting your Business from a Hobbit, er, Hobby?
from “Succeed as your own Boss” 6/16 significantly enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz