Hobbies make great businesses because they usually involve activities that we genuinely enjoy. Deriving genuine enjoyment from your vocation increases the chances of your success because you like what you’re doing and it’s usually in an area where you’re naturally talented or inclined towards.
You’ve probably been entertaining the idea of turning your hobby into a successful venture, but how do you know when you’re ready?
While gut feeling is a factor for some people, there are a few key indicators that can help you gauge if it’s time to strike out on your own.
Should You Start a Business?
If your happiness relies on the ability to do what you love every day, you should be taking strides to ensure that your efforts will help you own your own business whether it’s now or in the future.
If you think it’s time for you to start your own business, here are four key indicators to help you determine if you’re ready:
- You frequently invest in business expenses
- You have well-defined, clear price points and you stick to them.
- Your income from your hobby is significant.
- You’d rather spend time on your hobby than your day job or any other activity.
If these indicators resonate with you, it’s time to start your own business. From your business foundations to upscaling and building your brand from the ground up, it’s up to you to make sure your business succeeds.
Steps to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
Success comes easily once you’ve fallen in love with what you do. Don’t know how to start turning your hobby into a successful business? Here are four steps to help you get the ball rolling:
#1. Define Your Expectations
Intent is important. Do you plan on quitting your day job to run your own business full time or is the venture going to be more of a side hustle?
Either way, it’s important to set a goal and visualize an outcome that will help you stay on your chosen course. While many entrepreneurs get so enamored with their business idea that they forget to do their research, it’s important to get to know your target audience and conduct market studies.
2. Test Your Idea
Even after identifying your business model and mapping out your brand’s development, remember that everything is still at the hypothetical stage. Yes, there’s an opportunity at hand, but is there really a sufficient market for it?
Before you jump in with all guns blazing, validate your idea first. You can do so by taking pre-orders, releasing a “coming soon” landing page, running digital advertising campaigns, etc.
You can always adjust and adapt as you go, but it’s better to start out cautiously than circle back later on.
3. Develop a Business Plan
Once you’ve determined that there’s a market for your product or service and your idea has gained some traction, work on making things official.
It’s time to put together your market research, operational costs, personal and business goals. Even a simple and lean business plan can help grow your business.
Get your finances in order. Keep your cash flow statements and sales forecasts handy. They will help you keep track of your progress and identify areas for improvement. Learn some marketing basics to build your customer base and business.
4. Set Milestones
Milestones are vital to every business. The milestones you set should evolve as your business does. They don’t have to be set in stone but they’ll help you keep track of long-term goals and adjust your trajectory accordingly.
Examples of business milestones are having a profitable business model, getting your first repeat client, and hiring your first employee.
When in doubt, always remember Winston Churchill’s words: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Conclusion: Hustle, Hustle, Hustle
When it comes to your own business, the grind never stops. Although starting your own business is challenging, few things are as professionally fulfilling. Stay your course, work with passion, and don’t give up.