Hobbies are enjoyable and often educational ways to spend free time. During most of 2020 and 2021, hobbies became even more important as people were forced to stay home due to the pandemic.
As hobbies became a bigger part of millions of people’s lives, many might have wondered about transforming these activities from pastimes into full-fledged careers. Hobbies can be side hustles or even primary jobs, but a successful transition from hobby to income-generating profession requires some research and planning.
Conduct market research
A hobby may be fun to you and provide value, but is it a marketable venture? Determine if the hobby has potential as a business. Factors to look for include whether the hobby helps solve a problem, educates the public or produces a product someone would want to purchase, advises the career-building site Indeed. Research competitors in the area and study industry trends to analyze how well this business may perform. Look to an unbiased advisor to provide feedback on your idea.
Make a business plan
A business plan is essential for businesses big and small. A plan puts your ideas on paper and dictates how you will achieve goals and run the business. A business plan will include how you will finance start-up costs, whether you will be taking on investors, how many employees you will hire, costs like membership fees for enrollment in professional associations, advertising outlets, and much more.
Look to social media as an easy way to make connections with people who operate similar businesses or can help you with your venture. The business site The Balance: Careers notes that platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can be great places to meet others in the industry and pick their proverbial brains.
Test the waters by holding on to a current job while simultaneously seeing if your new venture can gain momentum and earn you money. A test run will help you understand if you have the finances to keep a business afloat and what kind of time commitment will go into the venture.
If the hobby-turned-business appears solid, speak with a financial planner or business consultant to firm up the details of getting this new business off the ground.