Start a Business Out of Your Hobby in 4 Simple Steps

Most children dream of having a job that they love when they grow up. Chances are when you were young you weren’t imagining “living for the weekends” or dragging yourself out of bed to go to a job that you don’t enjoy, even if it does pay well. No, you dreamed of doing something that you loved, enjoyed, and had fun doing. Many of us fall away from pursuing the career that we really wanted as a child. But that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the job you are in now if you aren’t happy. Do you have a hobby that you love doing? Something like photography, graphic design work, woodworking or beekeeping? What if you could make a full time living from doing that work? What if every day you woke up and got paid to do your hobby? You can and these four steps will help you get there.
  1. Find a mentor

You want to avoid getting advice from your friends and family when you start a business, unless they are business experts in the industry you are looking to jump into. To turn your hobby into a profitable business you need real and honest feedback. Friends and family tend to tell you what you want to hear because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But, in the long run that isn’t going to help you on your venture. Look for a mentor who can provide you with constructive criticism and advice that will help you improve along the way. LinkedIn is a great resource for this, along with groups like SCORE.
  1. Find out if there is a demand for what you have

When entrepreneurs are looking for funding to start a business, lenders will want to see “proof of concept.” This is simply proof that there is a market for whatever it is that you want to sell. Even if you don’t need funding for your venture you should still check to see what the market is like. This can be accomplished through sites like Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns. Spend some time putting together a strong presentation to stand apart from the crowd and then see if there are consumers that will pay for your product or service.
  1. Start it as a side hustle

Before you quit your job and lose the security of a steady paycheck, turn your hobby into a side hustle. Work your full-time job and then spend time when you aren’t working on building a business out of what you enjoy doing. If you work 9-5 during the work week but love photography you could start doing wedding photography on the weekends. Or, if you love crafting find something to make and start selling on Etsy.
  1. Write a business plan

If you want to make a business out of your hobby you need to treat it like a real business. That means creating a business plan. There are many websites that will help get you started for free. This is the step where many people decide to just leave it as a hobby because they get overwhelmed. Take your time to do the research you need to and ask your mentor for help. With proper planning, sound mentorship and passionate approach, you can turn your hobby into a full-time opportunity. It will not be easy, but in the end, it can be worth every struggle.
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