How to Go From Hobby to Small Business
Many believe that if you truly want to be happy with your work, you have to do what you love. Often, what we love becomes our hobbies, such as crafts, golf, food, dancing, etc.
Part of the issue with trying to do what you love for an income is you may have to start your own small business. It can be hard to find someone willing to pay you to do your hobby full time. However, blogging about it or turning your hobby into an online store is very possible.
If you want to take your hobby and turn it into a business, you need a few guidelines. Here are some of the things you will need to do before you can call it a real business.
Do Your Homework
Any new business venture starts with research. You need to see what’s out there already, what you might be able to do within your hobby and how you will go about it.
Sometimes, hobbies can easily become a business through sites like eBay or Etsy. Others may take more time and you may need to create a website and blog. This is popular with those in love with fashion or food. Many hobbies can be turned into very successful blogs.
During this phase of the process, make sure you look into the costs of what you will need for marketing and for all other aspects of your business. It’s important to put together a bit of a plan to ensure you know what your business will look like and it’s potential.
Choose an Income Method
It may be rather clear how you are going to make money if your hobby includes creating items you will sell. However, you still have to choose your pricing to ensure you’re compensated fairly and can live off your business income.
Those not selling an item, whether tangible or digital, will need to figure out how they will make money. Bloggers often use things, such as affiliate programs and advertising programs to make money from their blog. You may also consider creating a guide or eBook you can sell as your own product.
Create a Business Name
You need a name for your business for branding purposes. This will become the brand people will know you from. The name should be unique and easy to remember. It should also fit your personality and make sense for your business.
Get Hosting and a Domain Name
You don’t want to go cheap here and try to do it for free. Hosting is less than $10 a month and a domain name is less than $15 a year. These are not huge expenses and shouldn’t be skipped.
You need your own website and it requires a domain name and web hosting. Make sure you take the time to compare a few choices before you buy your hosting. The domain should be your business name or something that makes sense with what you will be selling or doing as your business.
Start Building Your Site
Unless you are very tech savvy and skilled with web design, you probably want to hire someone to do this for you. You may not need a web designer for everything as WordPress and other programs will allow you to get a premium theme making it pretty easy to create a great design. However, you may still need someone to create some good graphics and images for your site.
Know Your Audience
Possibly the biggest mistake you can make is to not know your customers. You need to study their behavior to give them the experience they are looking for. Engage your customers and really get to know them.
Your content needs a purpose and that purpose should be to convert visitors into clients. You also want your content to increase and spread the word about what you are offering.
Test your content taking note of how your customers react to it and interact with it.
Create a Marketing Plan
Once you have your website up and running, you know how you will make money and you have a basic business plan, you need a marketing plan. This will help you spread the word and may include things like:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
After you have everything in place, you can start testing and growing your business. If you follow this plan and work hard at your hobby, you can turn it into a real business. Make sure you do proper research throughout the entire process so that you will have the best hosting, a great website and a good chance at achieving success.