hobby into businessOne way for you to get your dream job is to create it yourself. This is more than possible when you know the steps you need to take. Here are the key steps I took to create my own business.

Know your Goals

The first thing that you need to do is plan out the personal goals that you have. Think about it, do you want to work from home? Quit your job? Earn extra money? By doing this, you can then begin to work out the business structure that you need to have in order to achieve those goals.

Brainstorm

Brainstorming is a fantastic way for you to find out how much income your hobby could generate. For example, if you love making quilts and bedding, you can make money selling your quilts, but you could also make money by teaching others how to do it through classes. You could also open up your own shop, and sell unique patterns or patches that people can add to their pillows.

Set a timer for two minutes and race yourself to write up the biggest list you can during this “possibility thinking” session. This is a fantastic way for you to really find out how far you can take your idea and it also gives you a fall back if one of your ideas happens to make less money than you thought.

When I started ThriftyMum, I didn’t have much of a plan other than knowing I wanted to reach out to help people. I’ve since held brainstorming sessions by myself to stretch my thinking and reach. When I hold brainstorming sessions in collaboration with other we get creative in a completely different way. This resulted in me creating some YouTube content last year, writing for other people, filming documentaries and having a regular appearance on local radio.

Enjoy your Hobby

When you start making money from your hobby, you will have to start meeting deadlines and you will also have to meet customers who are somewhat demanding. You may also have to do your hobby at times when you just don’t feel like it. This, combined with managing marketing and finances can be stressful so you have to make sure that you are passionate enough to go all the way. Only then will you truly know if you are able to turn your hobby into a fully-fledged business.

One way to ensure this is to not try to be every role in your business. This is a key mistake that many business owners make is trying to be the creative, the manager and the salesman. If you don’t enjoy the negotiations then pay someone else to do this part. If you need a strategy but that’s not your forte, contract this out and if you don’t like being creative, even this could be farmed out to freelancers.

Get Good

If you want to make some serious money, then you need to make sure that you are good at what you do. If your skills are just not up to par, then try and make a plan and improve them. There is nothing wrong with putting off your business idea until you are truly ready, and there is nothing wrong with trying to perfect your idea either. Doing all of this is very important if you should ever decide to quit your day job. 

This is why I feel maternity leave is such a great opportunity for women. It’s normally a long period of time that you get to be home, reflect on what’s important to you and trial and error business ideas without the risk as you will likely still have a job to return to post-mat leave.

Business Plan

When you write your own business plan, you then need to evaluate the market, and you also need to prove that you have a viable idea. You will then be able to find out how much money you need to make in order to get started. It’s at this point where you can begin to incorporate the goals that you have in mind, and how you are going to achieve them from a financial point of view.

Business Mindset

It’s so important to know that a hobby is something that you do at your own leisure. When you make it into a business, you need to be professional and you also need to see it as being your job. Taking yourself seriously really is so important and you would be surprised at how much it could make a difference to your life.

There’s lots of colleges and universities which offer free adult education taster sessions or business advice where you can develop these business skills.

Marketing

You can be the best at what you do, but if nobody knows about it, then you won’t get very far. Marketing your business really is so important because if you don’t, then you will never be able to connect with your customers. Consider setting up a website, take photos of what you have made or even what you do, and launch a social media profile. Now is the best time for you to start making connections too, so don’t be afraid to talk to other people who are in the same business as you and also really become part of the online community. I’m proud to be a part of the UK Money Bloggers community and its done me the world of good to be a part of something bigger than my own business. Their around the clock support and advice is so helpful. I really do consider them my colleagues and I feel they know they could come to me for help on anything too. Getting to conferences is really key too and make sure you take your business cards!

Create a Brand

At the end of the day, your brand is your business identity and it is also what you will be known for. A strong brand will help your customers to recognise you and it will also stay in their mind long after they make their purchase. When creating your brand, it’s important to look at the business name that you want, the logo, font and even colour scheme too. This will help you to reflect your hard work, personality and ethics. You need to stand out when you create your own design, so make sure that you put the work in to truly make the most out of what you have. Check that there aren’t any businesses with a too similar name – you don’t want to be accused of copying anyone! Make sure you cover your own bases to prevent others stealing your brand too.

Insurance

Sometimes you will need to take out insurance, depending on the type of business that you want to run. If you want to help yourself here, then you need to try and research what you legally need first. From there, you can then explore any optional policies that you should be taking out too. So search “what type of insurance do personal trainers need?” if you are planning on getting into the fitness business, or even look up what building policies are available. When you do this, you will soon get a good idea of what the industry standard is.

Finances

You need to report your expenses and your financial income in general on your tax return. You also need to collect sales tax in some instances too. If you want to stop yourself from getting too overwhelmed here, then it is always a good idea for you to set up a bank account for your business. This will help you to keep all of your finances separate and it will also help you to make sure that your business is being profitable.

A lot of business bank accounts charge a fee, even if they offer an initial free period. If you close the account after the free period, make sure you invoices are updated and you get another separate bak account rather than using your normal current account. This is particularly important if your current account is a joint account. If you were to separate then this can cause real issues in separating out what’s what.

If you are concerned about not being able to keep track of everything or if you don’t want the additional stress, then it is always worth chatting with an accountant to see if they can help you to get everything on track. They can also be invaluable when it comes to your business expansion too, so that’s worth keeping in mind.

hobby into business