When you’re aiming to start a business, sometimes the best inspiration stems from your own personal hobbies. Entrepreneurs with a deep passion for their industry have some key advantages over those who don’t. However, turning your hobby into a business isn’t for everyone.
Not every personal hobby has to become an adventure in entrepreneurship, and some are better suited to “side-hustle” opportunities. Even if you envision yourself engaging with your hobby for a living in the future, you should still consider starting it out as a part-time gig. This way, there’s significantly less risk to your full-time career and your income.
Many Americans are starting to transform hobbies into side hustle opportunities. As many as 27% of American adults have turned their hobby into a money-making side gig. Although some hobbies are more profitable than others, almost any business can become a money making venture. In this article, we’ll look at some things to consider so that you can decide whether you should turn your hobby into a business.
1. Learn Your Skill Set
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is which hobby you can realistically see becoming a business. While some personal hobbies are best enjoyed alone, others can form a great foundation for a thriving enterprise. The hobby you choose to pursue as a business should be marketable and unique.
Understanding your own experience level and skill set is critical when deciding if a hobby should evolve into a business. Sometimes the personal activities we enjoy aren’t necessarily where we excel in technical skill or know-how.
No matter which hobby you choose to invest in, you should feel confident that you can provide an expert-level experience to future customers. This will build trust between you and your target audience, and can truly set you apart from the crowd.
2. The Life/Work Balancing Act
Arguably one of the hardest things about running a hobby-based business is keeping your mental health afloat. The increasing demands of running a business can be a lot to keep up with, especially when you first start out. Making sure that you exercise self-care and take breaks can go a long way in preventing burnout.
One thing that deters some individuals from taking the leap with their hobby is the risk of enjoying it less once it becomes a job. Sometimes, just the act of doing something for “work” can make the hobby itself feel like work.
A good way to prevent this from happening is to take the time to work on your hobby for yourself, not just for your customers. Keep the spark of inspiration alive by reminding yourself of why you fell in love with this hobby in the first place.
3. How Well Do You Understand Branding
There are millions of people just like you around the world, trying to turn that same exact hobby into a profitable business. You won’t be able to rely on skill or passion alone in order to succeed. Instead, you should strive to build a recognizable, distinct brand. This sets you apart from the competition and can make it easier for customers to keep coming back.
When you’re building a hobby into a business, you want to convey authenticity and personality. The things about your work that you feel are unique to you will be the very same characteristics that leave customers craving more.
4. How’s Your Time Management?
Managing your time efficiently is a key aspect of running any business, but it goes doubly for a hobby-based business. Not only will you need ample time to work on branding, marketing, and designing your products, but you’ll also need to spend time becoming masterful at the hobby itself.
Understanding your time management capabilities is crucial. Especially, when it comes to successfully juggling a side hustle with your main job or other responsibilities. Increasing your time management skills helps you prioritize and make the most of the limited time you have available.
You want to ensure that you are making progress on your hobby-based business while still meeting your other obligations. Also, effective time management can help reduce stress and improve productivity, as you will be able to focus on one task at a time and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Another, very important, reason why you must have great time management with your hobby-based business is so that you can understand its future. Having a clear sense of how much time you are dedicating to your side hustle will give you a better idea of whether or not it is viable as a long-term business and whether it’s worth pursuing.
5. Do You Understand Pricing?
Some hobbies are particularly time-consuming, expensive, or difficult, and a big mistake beginners often make is not charging appropriately for their work. When customers pay for your product, they’re paying for something painstakingly created by human hands – something no machine process can easily mimic. When you’re calculating the prices of your products, take into account the hours you spent on them as well as the skill level required to complete them.
It’s easy to feel guilty for charging steeper prices for your products, but it’s worth it. Counterintuitively, charging appropriately for your labor and experience can draw in customers who are willing to spend more. This is because those prices reflect the quality of what they’re buying.
If your products tend to be simpler or smaller, you may want to consider increasing their perceived value. A product’s perceived value can be affected by adding extras, accessories, freebies, tools, and other unique additions which draw a customer’s interest.
6. Are You Open to Learning?
You’ll need to stay on top of the latest trends if you want your hobby-based business to grow and thrive. Consumers with similar interests will be upfront about what they want and expect within the industry. If you fail to keep up or try new things, it’s inevitable that you’ll be left behind.
Keep up with your hobby online – whether it’s watching tutorials on Youtube or attending an occasional class. Some websites and apps such as Udemy are great, affordable resources for business owners looking to expand their expertise. The more you learn about your hobby, the better experience you can in turn provide your customers.
From Passion to Profit
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you’d like to turn your hobby into a business. Some people are content keeping their hobby-based business at a side hustle level. Others, would rather see how much it can grow. Also keep in mind that if your hobby is now your business, you may need to find other hobbies that you can enjoy. Hobbies are important to entrepreneurs for many reasons. Along with simple enjoyment, hobbies help entrepreneurs detach from their business responsibilities.
Know that whichever direction you choose, with the right strategy and brand, you can achieve practically anything.