Many small businesses are the result of a hobby that in time turns into a profitable business and there are many ways that you can do it in a way that works for you. If you have a full-time job and you want to continue to excel in your designated career field, you can choose to remain part time for the foreseeable future and only take on a limited number of clientele and projects. If you want to go bigger and have a five year plan, there are still ways to do this while still maintaining balance in other areas of your life. Whether you are looking to turn the money you make on the side into something more substantial or simply transition into charging for your talents, here are some signs that it is time to turn your hobby into a money-making venture.
When it Starts to Take Up Majority of Your Time
Whether it be that you are great with managing money, braiding hair, or just naturally artistic, this can easily turn into something that you routinely do for those that are close to you. However, there are only so many hours in a day, especially while working a full-time job, raising a family, pursuing an advanced degree and a variety of other things that come with being an adult. Doing favors for your friends and family using your talent is a great way to give back but there is a difference between doing activities like planning a baby shower for your closest friends every once in a while, and being the “go to” party planner for all major milestones. Especially with your hobby being something you love, it can be difficult to draw that line because it oftentimes doesn’t feel like work. Start to track the amount of time you spend on your hobby, especially while helping others. If your friends and family are always asking you for meal plans and workout tips, opinions on decorating their homes, or help with their financial plan for the new year, consider the time it takes. Is it costing you several hours a week of your time? If so, then it is time to consider charging for your services.
When Your Product or Service is Often Recommended to Others
In business, referrals are a key method to building your client base, even more so than advertising in many cases. When someone gives a personal recommendation to a colleague that turns into a referral and eventually, new business, this shows a high regard for your talents and quality of work. When friends and family recommend you to others, that is usually a sign that it is time to start making money from your hobby. Many small businesses are born out of organic demand for their products and services which paved the way for the opportunity to make money from something that they already love doing.
When Money is Not a Driving Factor
Although this may sound counterproductive, money should not initially be the determining factor when going through the process of turning your hobby into a money-making source. Money should of course be an objective, but starting out, your passion should be the driving factor in the beginning stages of starting a business. Starting a business is hard and will take a lot of sacrifice that includes missed nights out with friends and very little sleep when you are working towards a deadline. During those initial months and possibly years where you may not be making as much money, it is essential to love what you do. When you find that you are in a place where you are making money for something you would do for free, it is a great sign that you are on the right path. Money will come eventually with patience, hard work, and diligence.
Ready to Start? Here are some easy things you can do starting out from a marketing standpoint
- Initiate a brief email campaign announcing to your friends and family that you have started a business that incorporates your hobby
- Start off by testing the willingness of others to pay for your time. This can include a low introductory cost or a free demo with the initial goal to build your portfolio.
- Start small with a social media presence such as a Facebook business page and/or Instagram account. You don’t have to go full force right away until you feel like you’ve built up your portfolio
- When relevant, consider doing “How-To” videos as another way to give your expertise some exposure
Are you feeling inspired to start making money from your hobby? Feel free to contact me on ways to get started whether it be for basic branding guidance or building a marketing plan.