If you have ever dreamed of turning your hobby into a career but have hesitated, know there are steps to take that will help you be more successful. I recommend that you decide exactly what you’d like to accomplish and how fast. Furthermore, I do warn you that you are basically starting a business, so it’s neither a game nor all fun.
For those of you who are ready and willing to take the risk and work your ass off, it can prove highly beneficial and rewarding. Let’s take a look at some important steps to turn your hobby into a career.
Plan Out Your Finances
Finances are a crucial part of any type of business, even ones that spawn from hobbies. Think about what you need to start your company the right way, such as equipment, services, inventory, supplies, and classes.
Too many businesses go broke early on because they don’t consider the money aspect seriously enough. I recommend keeping all of your business finances separate from your personal accounts. This helps to keep things straight later on. Do this even if everything isn’t official yet.
Make it Official
If you’ve been casually selling some of your crafts or home-baked goods, you have the beginning step to making it a real company. However, there are some things that will help you to create a brand and make it official. Depending on where you live, you will likely need to apply for various licenses or permits. Examples include sales tax license, business registration, federal tax ID, food sales license, insurance, etc.
Assuming you have chosen a business name and obtained your documentation, create business cards, sign up for a company email, and start thinking about branding. From there, you can create a website and social media accounts that will help you market your goods and services.
Make sure your website reflects your brand and the essence of what you do well. For example, if photography is your thing, you can use tools such as those at Best Photography Website Builder to create the most appealing site. Even if you’re not a photographer, there are plenty of similar resources for other types of businesses. If you’re not especially up for building your own site, hire a professional web or graphic designer to get you started.
It’s important to get yourself out there when you turn your hobby into a career. You can do this by going to live events like clubs, classes, and industry-related conferences. Utilize these networking opportunities to be seen as a professional businesswoman. You can also start with people you know in your personal circles in person or online.
Getting to know people will help your new business to gain momentum. If you impress the right people, they might even want to help you with your project by investing or spreading the word.
There will be times when you feel defeated or as though you’ve made a mistake. The thing is, success comes with a price of persevering through tough times. If you go into this expecting there will be challenges that press you to the wall, you will more likely come out on the other side successful.
That said, if you get to a point when you need to quit, it’s not a crime to do what you have to do for yourself and your family. I have started many businesses that stemmed from hobbies and have closed them. They served as learning stepping stones for my life and professional experience. No harm was done by trying. Do your best to succeed, and you will be a better woman for doing so.