Earning money doing what you love doesn’t have to be a pipe-dream. One of the most powerful reasons why startups are successful is because their owners are passionate about the service they provide. If you find yourself sat at your desk dreaming you were making money from your hobby, it could be the right moment to make it full-time.
Almost all hobbies have a business side to them. If you've bought products or services to fuel your hobby, then there's definitely scope to make money in the industry. You may have to think outside the box at more creative ways to ensure your hobby actually makes money, however, with the right strategy and acumen, anything is possible.
A mix of talent, determination, and sound business planning are the ingredients which make a successful entrepreneur in any industry. If you're seriously thinking about becoming a professional, read through our 6 step guide and get set to turn your hobby into a business.
1. Make Sure You'll Still Enjoy It Under Pressure
Most people enjoy hobbies because they're a relaxing escape from their working life. Like any business, you will face deadlines and financial pressures, but if you are committed enough to your hobby to work through the stress then the motivation to succeed will get you through. If you end up resenting your business it defeats the point of following your passion in the first place!
2. Research The Earning Potential Of Your Hobby
The best way to ensure there’s a viable market for your hobby is to start small and test the waters of earning potential. Alice Burrow and Tom Green began making luxury candles from their kitchen table in their spare time, and soon realised how well they were selling. To solve the dilemma of going candle-making full time, they started selling from a market stall in London. Once they saw the business potential they started to grow, outsourcing production and securing contracts with major retailers!
Open a pop-up shop before investing in a permanent location, or take your product to local weekend markets to analyse its popularity. Selling online through Amazon Marketplace or eBay is another low-cost way to judge the profitability of your business idea with minimal initial risk. Conducting market research is a crucial stage of the business planning process, so do the maths thoroughly to make sure you can actually make money.
3. Teach Your Hobby
Turn your hobby into a rewarding business by selling your expertise to others. Whether its music lessons, drawing classes or sports instruction, people will pay for your knowledge and you’ll be motivated to know you’re fuelling interest in the pastime you love. There is an array of online courses in almost any subject available online, or you can enrol in a college course to gain the necessary qualification.
4. Write Or Blog About Your Hobby
The internet has opened a whole new portal for budding business owners to earn from their hobby. Blogging about your interests will gain readership from others interested in the same thing, so once you gain enough readers or social media followers you can earn money from sponsorship and marketing partnerships.
Food, fitness and travel are the most popular blogs, however, don’t be put off if your hobby sits on the niche side of the fence. Fern Richardson writes the successful ‘Life on the Balcony’ blog dedicated entirely to Container Gardens, and has since gone on to publish books on the subject!
5. Create Accessories Or Services Around Your Hobby
Enthusiasts are likely to spend money on things related to their hobby, automatically creating a lucrative market ready to be tapped into. If you’re an animal lover with a creative flair, you could design fun pet collars, or pressing on with the gardening theme, create personalised gardening tool kits. Be imaginative and brainstorm business ideas surrounding your interest!
Sandrine Zhang Ferron had a passion for high-end pre-owned furniture but struggled to find somewhere to buy and sell hers. Thus Vinterior was born; an online marketplace for high-end home accessories. She told Startups that by interviewing others in her situation, she realised furniture antique and vintage enthusiasts would be willing to pay a commission to buy and sell furniture easily and for a fair price online.
6. Sell Your Skill Freelance
Businesses are outsourcing a huge variety of professions. If you love to write, consider lending your hand to copywriting, or if you’re shutter-happy then photographers are needed within all situations, from weddings to retail products for eCommerce websites.
You can start to build your portfolio in your spare time so you have an archive of work to present when you think it’s time to start putting yourself out there for contract work. The best thing about the transition from hobby to business is that it can be gradual. Slowly build up your experience, start collecting clients and soon you’ll be well on your way to owning a full-time business.2
In need of some extra inspiration? Here are 6 entrepreneurs who turned their hobbies into successful businesses.
Making money from something you love can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. Just be sure to plan carefully, ensure there's scope to make a profit, and that you have the determination to work through difficult times. If so, there's no reason why you can't make the transition from amateur to professional.