We always put extra energy and passion into the hobbies we love – but is it possible to turn these pastimes into a business?
A lot of changes have taken place in the work place over the last few years, and more and more people are looking at how they can make money from their passion by converting their hobbies into a career. However we know it’s not always that straight forward, so we have provided you with some simple steps to get started with.
Set out a clear strategy
Making a strategy for you plan to do is the first (and a vital) step to achieving your goal. Think about your hobby and outline a plan as to how you can transform this into a business. Concentrate on the business first and work back to your hobby and prepare the strategy accordingly. There are a range of options to choose from: –
- You may teach a developed skill to other people.
- You might manufacture and sell physical products.
- You might transform your hobby into a service business to help solve clients/customer’s needs.
Do the research
Analyse the market to estimate the demand for your hobby. There are many factors which you need to consider while researching the market: –
- Is there any demand for the hobby which you are transforming into a profit-making business?
- Is there any opening for your business in the market you plan to operate in?
- Who are your competitors and how are they developing and progressing in their businesses?
- Understand the major start-up costs required as well as on-going costs price when getting into your chosen industry.
Researching these questions you will help with preparing business plan mentioned above, which if done correctly, will serve as a blueprint on which you will base your activities on for the future. After completing the research, analyse it through a SWOT analysis, Check the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the business plan and estimate how successful you will be or how much time it may take to accomplish your goals.
If you are confident about your idea and you’re all set up to sell it, you must ensure it reaches your desired audience through marketing. Give it a unique name, think about branding, develop an aesthetic look so that your product stands out from the crowd.
Also think about what platform you plan to use to grow your business – you may start with your family, friends, relatives. Local directories can also be a good place to begin with as can some e-commerce sites (e.g. Etsy). Have a look at what other established businesses use within your industry and see if you could use the same.
Build an online presence
The Internet is a vast network and provides various ways by which young businesses can display their skills/talents. Setting up your presence online may take a bit of time, but it will pay you dividends later. There are a wide range of tools which can make the presence of your online business stronger: –
- List your business on Google my business.
- Go for social media marketing across various channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Understand your legal responsibilities
You be aware of legal obligations before starting a business.
- If you are planning to set up a Limited company, you have to go through Companies House or use an intermediary.
- If you want to set up as Sole Trader, you will need to inform HMRC, and you will need to complete an annual Self-Assessment tax return.
- You also need to apply for insurance depending upon your business nature. There are lots of insurance plans available to choose from so it is worth spending some time researching this.
Be creative with your time
Time is your most valuable commodity so make sure you use it wisely. Divide your time sensibly; give your business admin the attention it deserves don’t just focus on your product/service, but make sure you leave some time for yourself. You may have to sacrifice your early morning or late nights to get the business off the ground but hopefully it will pay off as, you transform your hobby into profitable career.
Think like a business owner
Finally, if you really want to make your hobby profitable, change your mindset and start thinking like a business owner. Try to represent yourself professionally in every activity of your business. Self-belief should not be underestimated. If you are confident and good at what you are selling, your halfway to succeeding already.
How can Limelight help?
Limelight Accountancy was started in 1993 and become a subsidiary of DNS Accountants in 2016. We started as a spare-room business and have grown into the company we are today, so we know what you are going through. We specialised in dealing with small owner-managed businesses like sole traders, Freelancers, partnerships, or small limited companies and offer a comprehensive range of accountancy and tax services tailored to your needs – from start-up to final accounts, including bookkeeping, payroll, VAT, and tax returns. Give us a call and let us help you get off to the right start.