How To Evolve From Hobbyist To Entrepreneur!

Have you ever considered taking your hobby to the next level in order to make a career out of it? Imagine how amazing your working week would be, earning money from something you love doing!

Many people are taking the plunge by promoting their skills in order create a lucrative form of income. Examples of such are web designers, game designers, florists, artists and writers. The key to success is finding your niche and unique selling point (USP). This article aims to highlight ways of evolving from hobbyist to entrepreneur.

If your hobby is involved in making products that have value to others, then you have a potentially viable business. Often it is fear that holds the hobbyist back from starting a business, it is important to gain feedback from your target market as to what they like and dislike about your product. Don’t solely rely on feedback from family and friends, as it is likely to be always positive and a little rose tinted!

If your hobby is a little unusual for example flying drones and quadcopters, you already have an identified target market and niche. You can then spend time honing your products to make them specifically appealing and useful. Businesses such as www.hobbyrc.co.uk have developed a USP by selling parts required to build drones and quadcopters, which is filling a requirement for many enthusiasts.
The remainder of this article aims to highlight the process of turning your hobby into a career option.

Market research
Before you embark on a business plan you need to find out if there is scope for your product or service to be successful in the marketplace. Are there enough potential customers out there that will buy into your product and is there scope to grow? To get a good idea on your products viability it is important to identify your target market ie who you’re aiming to target your business toward. It maybe that you feel your product will be enjoyed by parents with young children or maybe you hope that your product will appeal to the young, trendy hobbyist.

Once you know your target market, research as to what they feel about your product. This can be done by face to face interview, online surveys or in focus groups. Try to have as many examples and samples as possible to demonstrate.

Once you have gained feedback you will have a clear idea as to the viability of starting a business out of your hobby. If the feedback was negative, don’t be disheartened, it maybe that you just need to make minor adjustments to make it work.

Business plan
You probably know your product inside out, as let’s face it you have enjoyed it as a hobby for a considerable length of time. It’s very tempting to skip the business planning stage and head straight into the launch of your product. Business planning is however one of the most important steps you need to take. Your business plan will identify costs and potential profits over certain timescales. You need to be sure that you can make enough profit over time to stay afloat. Be conservative about associated costs, so that you don’t receive any unforeseen financial surprises.

Legalise your business
For your own benefit as well as members of the public you need to ensure that your products and services meet all legal requirements. If your business involves creating products for children, there are many safety aspects to comply with, this is similar in food businesses and cosmetics.

Purchase the necessary insurances and ensure that you register as being self employed with HMRC. There maybe requirements relating to working from home, it may be necessary to inform mortgage lenders and landlords of your intention to run a business from home.

Take your business to market

Once all your planning has been done you can get on with selling your products and services to members of the public. It is dependent on your type of business as to which sales method you use, but every business should consider developing a strong online presence. You can do this by creating a website and linking it to all your social media accounts, such as twitter, instagram and facebook. This will allow you to reach a wide audience and will enable you to communicate with potential customers effectively. Other sale outlets could include trade fairs, craft fayres, market stalls and renting shop premises.

To conclude there is plenty of scope to monetise a hobby. Be sure to create a strong trusted brand and enjoy a career that you love!

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