A lot of people nowadays have a hobby they like to do in their spare time.
This is something people do for themselves because they enjoy doing it. However, at a certain point, you have to ask yourself whether or not you can make money out of it.
After all, if you like doing something, why not make it a full-time commitment you can monetize? Whenever you hear people say that they love their job, you can't help but wonder if these are the people who turned their hobby into a business. That said, turning a hobby into a venture is not just possible but it's also a good idea.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, indeed, but it's well worth the effort if you end up doing what you love and make money out of it in the process. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to turn your hobby into a profitable business venture.
The first step in your journey would be to conduct a thorough market analysis. To succeed as a business owner, you have to identify your target audience and create buyer personas that will help you reach out to your potential customers, as well as encourage them to buy from you.
Moreover, you have to determine the product/market fit or the demand for your products, if you will. As a matter of fact, 42% of startups ultimately fail because there was no market need for their products or services. Fortunately, there is a high demand for hobby-related products and services lately so you shouldn't have too many problems. A good example would be the guys from modelbuildings.org - who turned their very niche hobby of railroading into a thriving business.
Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. In any event, without market research, you have no idea what you're getting yourself into and you have to know what you're up against if you want to run a successful business.
The next step is to determine who your main competitors are. As you may already know, the market is highly competitive and you're not the first to come up with an idea to turn your hobby into a business.
However, this fact shouldn't discourage you from moving forward. By conducting a competitive analysis, you can determine how your competitors operate, how they communicate with customers, which marketing strategies they use, and so on. The point of this analysis is not to copy your competitors but to find a way to outrun them.
At the end of the day, you have to create something unique and the best way to do that is to know what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrong so that you can find a way to gain a competitive advantage.
Turning your hobby into a business requires capital. You're no longer doing it for yourself and now you have to start your business, promote it, and sustain it until it becomes profitable enough. Depending on the size and nature of your business, this can require a lot of funds.
Therefore, if you don't have the money to fund your business, you'll have to find the means elsewhere. For instance, you can always go to a bank to apply for a loan but banks can take longer to approve it and they will take your personal finances into consideration before they make the decision.
Instead, Better Times Financial suggests the following: “We recommend applying for more suitable personal loans from alternative lenders that offer more favorable conditions to entrepreneurs and hobbyists. There are other funding options you can explore and it's best to consider them all before you decide which option to go for. “
Here are a few other funding options you can explore.
Finally, it's time to get down to marketing and to promote your business efficiently. You have to build awareness for your newly-found business and create visibility, exposure, and credibility for it so that it can become a profitable venture over time.
Effective marketing will make that happen for you. The best way to start is to create your website and build your online presence from there. You can even add a blog to help engage with your target audience and share content with them.
Marketing is an ongoing process that you'll have to commit to every day if you want your business to reach success. With that in mind, here are a few marketing strategies that you should strongly consider.
Determine what works best for your hobby business and don't be afraid to explore various methods of promoting your business.
Turning a hobby into a profitable venture won't happen overnight. However, with the right strategy and a good plan, you can easily monetize something you love doing and start your entrepreneurial journey as seamlessly and as efficiently as possible.
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.