How to Turn from a Hobbyist to a Business Owner

April 12, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

hobby to businessMaking money with your hobby is more realistic than you may realize. Many entrepreneurs started their businesses as a source of relaxation and pleasure, before turning it into a source of income and career satisfaction. They have seen that the public can enjoy their handiwork, while allowing them to take charge of their own life.

To get started in converting your hobby into a business, you need to prepare yourself for your new endeavor. Whether you are running a hobby web site or creating handiwork, successfully shift from a hobbyist to a business owner using the following seven-item checklist:

Adopt a business approach.

From personal satisfaction and the pure joy of creating your embroideries, your orientation now shifts to making a profit. You must begin to look at every aspect of the process of creating your products with an eye for earning money. This entails selling your products at a profit and minimizing your costs.

The quality of the products must be improved in order to attract customers and be made comparable (or better yet, superior) to your competitor. Your products should now be viewed as inventory that you need to sell. Purchasing supplies and materials must be made with the thought of getting the best deals for your money. You can cut down your costs by planning carefully and buying in bulk.

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Be ready to take on business oriented tasks.

As a hobbyist, you were simply concerned with producing and creating the product. As a businessperson, however, you will now be involved in various tasks needed to start, run and manage your new business.

You must create sales records, track your supplies and inventory, and keep books for your business. You will need to identify your target market, know your customers, and develop a marketing plan to push your products. You will need to patent and copyright your products, and develop licensing. You will be involved in preparing contracts with customers, and making calls to delinquent payers. If you have employees, you will need to select them, prepare the payroll, and provide them with benefits that the government mandates. All these and more await you as a business owner.

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Shift the focus from “me” to “my customers.”

With your hobby, you only have yourself to satisfy. Hence, you paint portraits or update your web site only when you are in the mood for it. You can even skip working on your hobby for months and months, and nobody would question you. Plus, you dictate what you want to produce. After all, you are accountable only to yourself.

But with a business, you now have the obligation to satisfy your customers. The whole orientation of doing your hobby changes. To generate sales, you must now find out what the customer wants. It is now the market that will dictate the kinds of products that you will produce. The customers may not like the design of your baskets, so you must explore other designs. Web visitors may not subscribe to your “for members only” offering because your copy is not compelling enough. Taking a hobby to a business means listening to your customers.

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Prepare your workspace.

Whether you are into gift basket designing or calligraphy, you need to organize your workspace to accommodate your natural workflow. Think of yourself as a production line: all your tools, materials, and equipment must be set-up for easy access. This will speed up production time, allow you to monitor the quantity of your raw materials, and tell you when to head back to your local supply store.

If you are maintaining a web site for hockey or roller coaster enthusiasts, be sure to keep all your resources such as trade magazines organized and within reach. Having everything in their proper place will save you a lot of time and cut down any disruption in your momentum.

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Plan your production.

Whereas as a hobby you were producing one finished product a week, you may need to complete five in a day now that you are operating as a business. You must develop a system that would allow you to complete orders on time and at the highest possible quality.

Some hobbyists-turned-business people suggest doing similar tasks at the same time. Forget about doing one item at a time, particularly if your product requires a lot of preparation or assembly. By pouring wax in the mold one day and painting the candles the next day, for example, you can save a lot of time and makes the process more systematic.

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Manage your time.

If you turn a hobby into a business, you lose the luxury of working only when you feel like it. Forget about creating your pottery once or twice a week. Now, you have orders to fill and customers to serve.

If you sold advertising for your newsletter in support of your web site, you better schedule your day to allow you to develop the newsletter. You need to give enough time to prepare your products and scheduling the tasks and activities that you need to do.

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Have fun.

The most important thing is to continue to have fun. After all, you are now sharing your passion with more people. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your creation being enjoyed by other people. Plus, you are embarking on a whole new adventure, and starting a business should be viewed as an exciting new phase of your life. Remember that success only will come if you manage your business well, minimize your risks, and continue to love what you are doing.

 
Read the following articles on how to turn from a hobbyist to a business owner:

 
Recommended Books on Turning from a Hobby to a Business:

 

Lyve Alexis Pleshette

Lyve Alexis Pleshette is a writer for PowerHomebiz.com. She writes on various topics pertaining home businesses, from startup to managing a home-based business. For a step-by-step guide to starting a business, order the downloadable ebook “Checklist for Starting a Small Business” from PowerHomebiz.com

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Category: Entrepreneurship

Comments (2)

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  1. Harry says:

    Lyve – These are excellent suggestions. One needs to understand that not every hobby can be translated into business and it takes lot more to run the business than having a passion for your hobby. First and foremost one needs to understand that just because you and few of your friends like what you make doesn’t mean that customers will flock to your business to buy it. Also, once your hobby turns into business it may not remain fun anymore because now you have to take care of lot more than having fun with your hobby.

  2. kanon says:

    MLM Prospecting can be fun and easy. Having a system in place, like an autoresponder is imperative, if you want to succeed at prospecting for your business.It will allow you to generate leads automatically, create a relationship with your leads, even before you begin to talk to them. Your prospects will receive automatic emails that you will designate for them, according to what their needs or requests might be.

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