A hobby is something or an activity one enjoys doing during their free time. People have different hobbies. Hobbies can include baking, cooking, playing football, reading books, or even traveling. For some people, their hobbies start when they are young while. Others develop their hobbies at an older age. Most of the time, hobbies are done outside of one’s regular work or occupation. Hobbies make one relax and forget their troubles.
Did you know you could turn your hobby into a profitable business? If you have a hobby, this article will help you with ways you can turn it into a profitable business. Starting a business as a hobby can be a good idea for someone who wants to earn some more money. You will make profits and perfect your hobby at the same time. There are basic things you need to do before you decide to turn your hobby into a business. Here are some of them:
Conduct a market research
Being good at your hobby does not mean you will start a successful business. Your hobby should be one that will bring you profits if turned into a business. It is essential to conduct market research before converting your hobby into a business.
Market research will help you to know if there is a demand for a particular service or good. Conducting market research will help you to avoid losses if you are to start a business from your hobby. From your market research, find out who your competitors are and what they are providing. You can also find out the prices they are offering to their customers, the quality of the goods the competitors are providing, and the location of the competitors’ business.
As an aspiring business owner, you can conduct market research using the methods below:
- By word of mouth: this can happen by talking to family and friends. Family, friends, peers, and colleagues can give ideas regarding a business you might want to start. Their honest reviews will sometimes help you when you want to start a business out of your hobby.
- Conducting surveys: surveys will help a new business owner to know what businesses are trending. The feedback gotten from surveys will help a business owner to make important decisions. In your survey, ask the right questions. You can share your surveys on your social media accounts where potential customers might be. Sharing your surveys with your family and friends and asking them to share the survey with others will help you gather the information you are looking for.
- Going for events and networking: a business owner needs to go for events and network. It will help a business owner to conduct free market research. Interacting with others can help a business owner to learn a thing or two. At events, a business owner will be able to interact with potential customers, competitors, or mentors. Interacting with other business owners who have been in the game for a long time will help a new business owner to gain insights into the way the business should be conducted for it to be successful.
- Focus groups: a focus group brings together potential and existing customers to get information about a specific product or service. Focus groups are good because a business owner will be able to gain more insights and knowledge on a product he or she wants to introduce to the market.
While conducting market research, a business owner should also conduct a SWOT analysis. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats the business owner or business will face? A business owner needs to have all these things in mind while conducting business research.
Have a business plan
For one to convert their hobby into a business, one needs to have a business plan. Business plans are a crucial part of a business. A business plan will help people know what the business is about and many other things. A business plan should have the following things
- A summary: an executive summary will help potential and existing customers to know what the business is about. A summary is a short description of what the business will be doing.
- List of goods and services the business will be providing. It is important to have a list because it will make it easier for potential customers to know what the business is providing.
- Management team: if the business will have other members, it is important to have their names and roles listed in the business plan. It will make it easier for people to know whom they are dealing with and who to reach out to in case of any issues.
- Financial plan: making a business’s financial plan visible is important for any business. It will help the consumers to know how the business intends to keep running and where it gets its funds.
- Marketing and sales plan: consumers will want to know the business’s sales and marketing plans. A business owner should state the marketing plans in place for the business. It should include the advertising strategies the business will put in place.
- Company overview: this explains what the company is about and what it will offer to the consumers when it starts.
Have a business model
Having a business model in mind is essential for any business. A business model will determine many things for the business. What kind of business do you want to have? Will your business be a sole proprietorship or a partnership? Will you need to outsource some services for your business? When choosing a business model, ask yourself some of these questions.
The business model you choose will also determine the number of things for your business. If you have to get funding for your business, the model you choose is very important.
Have a brand
Your business brand will get you noticed by potential customers. Create a brand for your business. Having a brand will define your business better making more people know about it. How can you develop a brand? Have a logo for your business. A logo will help more people identify with your business. Once you have a logo, advertise your business to people and let them know about your logo. The business logo has to be unique so that it can capture the consumers’ eyes.
Advertisement and marketing
For a business to be known, advertising and marketing have to be done. What are the advertising and marketing strategies your business will apply? If not well-marketed and advertised, your business will die. There are several ways a business owner can conduct marketing and advertising. A business owner can decide to go digital and do the advertising from the digital platforms available. Another option is using the traditional non-digital way of advertising.
Here are some ways businesses are conducting their advertising and marketing:
- By word of mouth: it happened when a business owner talks about the business venture he or she is about to start. A business owner informs family and friends about the business. They in turn tell others about the business and the business owner gets referrals and customers.
- Using brochures and pamphlets: is one of the most effective ways of advertising a business. A business owner can make brochures and distribute them at home, shopping malls, and public places. Brochures should have all the details about the business like the location, the services offered and goods sold, and contact details. They should also be well-made and decorated so that a potential customer can be attracted to what they see. Remember the gateway to the soul is through the eyes.
- Using social media platforms: using social media platforms falls under digital marketing. There are many digital platforms available today. These include Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp among others. A business owner can open a social media account and open a business page. On the page, the business owner is supposed to advertise the business. It is done by posting pictures and videos of the goods and services the business will provide. The business owner should have descriptions of the goods or services being offered. This will help potential customers know what the business is about. It is also advisable for the business owner to state the prices for the goods and services.
- Use of radio stations and televisions: A business can use this advertising method. This method can be a bit expensive compared to others. It will however reach many people since many people listen to the radio or watch TV.
Get your finances
Starting a business will require a lot of money. A business owner will be required to buy raw materials and stock. A business owner will also need to pay for operational costs, maintenance costs, and many other items. All these things will require a business owner to have some cash.
As all the transactions are happening, the business owner needs to have documents that will validate all the expenses. These documents should be included in the business plan so that investors and customers can have visibility of them. These documents include:
- Balance sheet
- Profit and loss statement
- Cash flow statement
- Sales forecast
If a business will need to seek financial help from money lending institutions, it needs to have all these documents.
A business can also ask for a loan to expand the business. Different financial institutions have different loans available for different business models. The interest rates will also depend on the type of loan a business will take and the duration of the loan repayment.
Create a website
A website is essential for any type of business. Having a website will help your business get noticed faster. As a business owner, you first need to get a name for your business. Once you have a name, create a website. Creating a website can be an easy task. If you cannot, you can get someone to make one for you. Your website should have the business name and logo seen. It will help potential and returning customers know that the website belongs to you. A website should have a description of the services you are offering in detail. It should also have pictures of the things your business is providing.
On your website, do not forget to put your contact details. Contact details are essential because this is how your current and potential customers will reach out to you. If you have a physical address, it should also be included on the website. A website is the best tool a business owner can use to advertise the business.