So you have a hobby that you’re really good at. All your friends and family think you should turn that hobby into a business. In fact, you’ve probably heard all over social media how you need a side hustle and “multiple streams of income”. But you genuinely don’t know the first thing about running a business or if what you’re doing makes a good business idea. There are (obviously) differences between running a business and having a hobby. And truthfully speaking, not every hobby needs to be a business – despite what your family and friends may think. So if you’re trying to figure out whether you should turn that hobby of yours into a money-making empire, here are some things to think about.
What’s the cost?
Ask any hobbyist and they’ll tell you that what they do probably isn’t cheap. Most hobbies, especially creative ones, are expensive to keep up with, especially if the plan is to do them full time. Scaling a hobby into a business have cost that many people don’t think about. When you start charging for a product those retail costs that you paid as a hobbyist start cutting into your profit margin now that you’ve got a business. Outside of the cost of making a business official (which you definitely should be doing if you’re starting a business), you’ll probably need to start buying items in bulk and probably more than you need when you’re getting started. Those upfront costs can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a tested product or service that you know you can sell.
How Much Do You Really Know?
When it comes to turning your hobby into a business – it’s more than just being good at your craft. Head on over to Etsy and you’ll find literally thousands of people making the same types of things. There are thousands of photographers, coaches, designers, and yes, even business strategists. What sets you apart? Do you know how to correctly market your skills? Are you priced correctly? Are you good at customer service? What you’re marketing plan? Having a business means you not only need to be a master in your craft but that you need to be able to sell it as well.
Can You Teach?
One of the ways to scale any business is to become a coach or teacher in that field. Essentially teaching others how to run your type of business. But most people aren’t good at teaching others their craft. There are countless coaches out there who have been able to scale their business but have yet to help a client scale theirs. Teaching requires a completely different skillset. And takes you further away from the actual thing you liked doing so much in the first place.
Are You Ready to be the boss?
Even if you aren’t taking your business full-time, running one means being the boss. Are you ready to do everything that comes with running a business? Like I mentioned earlier, having a business means selling, marketing, competitor researching, business planning, goal setting, accounting, and more – and that’s on top of doing the actual business itself. For some people, this is an easy transition. For others, and especially creatives, the not-fun parts of having a business can translate into a business that isn’t successful.
Are You Prepared to Hate Your Hobby?
For many of us, we get into our hobbies as a way to relax, express ourselves, and enjoy life. We aren’t meant to turn them into businesses. One big possibility of turning your hobby into a business is losing the joy you once had for your hobby. Or even worst, hating the thing you once loved. Having a business is hard. The pressure to meet deadlines, make more products or meet more clients, and do it all while trying to make a profit, can overtake the love that the hobby use to bring. Make sure you love your hobby enough to ride the waves of entrepreneurship.