Mirriam-Webster defines hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”
Hobbies are as diverse as the people who pursue them.
Apart from keeping his day job, my friend Albert is also into mountain climbing, extreme sports and other outdoor activities that are physically challenging.
On the other hand, my friend Rex takes pride in his collection of tropical fishes that are truly a stress-reliever, which is especially helpful when coming home from work.
Most often than not, a person who is engaged in a particular hobby is doing it out of pure pleasure derived from the activity. Making money is usually out of the equation.Herein lies the rub: While pursuing a hobby is fun, it can also be a financial drain.
Now, what if you can turn your hobby into a source of extra income or even a full-pledge business? For some hobbyist, it may sound counter-intuitive; perhaps, even defeats the purpose of doing the hobby. But there are those who are thinking along this line: there’s nothing wrong about being compensated for doing something that you love to do so you can do it more.
If you belong to the latter group, the following steps help you get you on the right track:
1. Learn the Art and Science of Selling.
That’s the very first hurdle you have to overcome. You have to accept the fact that selling is an essential part of any money-making endeavor. Whether you are aware of it or not, your everyday activity already involves selling.
Convincing the kid to eat his breakfast; getting everyone in the office to agree with your idea; asking for a raise or promotion — these are all sales activities.
Even churches and non-profit organizations have to sell too in order to get some funding. So why not get comfortable with it and take your hobby to the next level?
“I’m not ashamed of selling millions of records. I’m very fortunate to be in that position.” –Chris Daughtry
2. Do your homework.
Identify your target market. Who are your prospective clients? Can you come up with a profile of a typical customer?
Research the competition. Can you identify the known market leader in your area? Competition is not entirely a bad thing. For one, it indicates there is a market to be served.
(See also: Why Start a Business?)
3. Know your price.
How much would you charge for each individual product or services that you offer? A pricing strategy could spell the difference between an amateur and a pro.
Now, this already sounds like real business. Remember that your final price should include all costs incurred, including your own labor, plus profit margin.
4. Identify the level of success that you want.
You have to be clear about the meaning of success and having it all.
Your hobby-turned business could still consume your time and energy. Do you really want to do your hobby all day, every day in order to please your customers? You should strike a balance in order to maintain your sanity and keep the same level of enjoyment you have over your hobby.
(See also: How To Start a Part-Time Business. )
5. Go online.
Having a website brings a lot of benefits for the owner of a hobby-turned business enterprise. Here is a short list:
- You can share your experiences.
- You can teach people about your hobby. This is another business opportunity apart from selling your products and services.
- It establishes you as an expert or authority in that field.
- You can reach a wider base of audience and clients, even globally.
- It’s your sales tool. Or, your sales man who never goes to sleep.
I can go on and on with the list, but the point is having a website offers a lot of advantages.
And speaking about going online, here are good articles to read to help you get going further:
- 5 easy steps to build your own WordPress-based website.
- Simple Website Building Tool that anyone can use. Highly recommended for non-technical people.
- Accepting Online Payments via PayPal.