If you have a hobby that you do on the side, you might be tempted to make your side hustle your full-time job. Especially if your office job is starting to wear you down. With the right skills and a solid business plan, you can actually make the dream of monetizing your hobby happen.
Below, we’ll take you through the steps you can use to start making money off your hobby and create an entire business around it.
The worst thing you can do when you’re trying to create a business is by blindly quitting your 9-5 and just hoping for the best. Instead, start with a plan and structure. Save enough money so you can have a little cushion and focus on your hobby part-time before committing to full-time. This will be a trial period where you can test out whether or not your idea is profitable.
If you have a craft-based hobby, it’s a good idea to look at what kind of e-commerce shop you want to use to sell your wares. Maybe go for Etsy if you’re selling more unique, handmade goods or Shopify if you’re selling skincare. Whatever you do, don’t go overboard with your budget. Keep the design of your site simple and easy-to-navigate. You don’t want to scare customers away before they even learn about your product.
Pro tip: If you haven’t made any sales yet, that first sale is crucial to your success. You might even want to consider sending out a few free trials of your product before you start charging. This will allow you to get valuable feedback from the people that try your product. Then, you can fine-tune your product before bringing it to the masses.
Setting aside adequate time to work on your hobby goes hand-in-hand with creating a great business plan. As an adult, you have multiple responsibilities you’re juggling all the time but if you can get creative where you work on your side business, you might be surprised at just how fast it gets off the ground.
Brand awareness and brand loyalty are two huge key pieces to the success of your business. If nobody knows your business, nobody is going to care. To avoid this lack of engagement, start building up hype months before you plan on launching your business. Set up social media pages to build a web presence.
Tell your network via word-of-mouth about your plans (but maybe don’t tell your boss). Maybe even set up a countdown to launch party so your followers can have something exciting to attend when you kick off your business.
When you get to the point where you can no longer do your job by yourself, it might be time to look for help. Besides just posting the position on places like Craigslist and Indeed, use an identity verification check on prospective employees. Why? Because it’s important to know who you’re hiring before trusting him or her with the responsibilities of your business. In addition, network! Go to as many industry events as you possibly can. You never know where your next customer or employee could come from. Try meetup.com if you’re looking for professional events with like-minded people in your area.
After you take the plunge and quit your day job, your hobby obviously becomes your new day job. You’ll have to make sure that you adjust your mindset. Sure, your hobby can still be relaxing and enjoyable – but it’s important to also take it seriously since it’s now your main source of income. Don’t wear your pajamas if you work from home and if you find yourself slacking off at your house, consider renting a coworking space – this may help you develop more focus and motivation outside of the distractions of your home.
It’s a little intimidating to try and make your hobby your full-time work. After all, is it going to pay your bills? What if you have a family to take care of? But, with the right plan and strategy, you can make your dreams a reality and turn your hobby into a lucrative business.