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How To Turn Your Hobby into a Successful Business

Many of us have hobbies that we love to spend our spare time on. We might be skilled knitters, talented artists, or exceptional bakers. We invest our time, resources and energy into these pursuits because they bring us joy and fulfillment. However, with the right approach, we could potentially turn our hobbies into successful business ventures. This might seem like a daunting task, but it can become a reality with some careful planning and hard work. Here are some tips on how to go from hobby to business.

I was prompted to write about this from a recent Seth Godin blog post: He writes:

Seth Godin’s Blog Post

All too common are ‘fun’ businesses where someone finds a hobby they like and tries to turn it into a gig. While the work may be fun, the uphill grind of this sort of project is exhausting. If it’s something that lots of people can do and that customers don’t value that much, it might not be worth your time. Taking pictures, singing songs or playing the flute are fine hobbies, but hard to turn into paying jobs.

On the other hand, in the top right quadrant, there’s endless opportunity and plenty of work for people who can do difficult (unpopular) work that is highly valued by customers who are ready to pay to solve their problems. A forensic accountant gets more paid gigs than a bagpipe player.

When you choose to take on a real problem that involves difficult work, but you’re serving a customer base that has few resources, thank you. Your quest is going to be a long one, but if you believe in the impact you’re creating, this can be a useful way forward.

And in the bottom right quadrant is a professional athlete or another gig where if you actually are the best in the world, you’ll do fine. Just know what you’re getting into before you start. The Dip is real.

Seth Godin


Identify the Problem You Are Solving

The first step in turning your hobby into a business is to identify the problem or need you are solving for your customers. Ask yourself what unique value your hobby can offer to others. For instance, if you enjoy knitting, you could be solving the problem of not having enough stylish and affordable winter accessories. Determine what your niche is and determine how you can leverage your hobby to provide a solution.

Determine If There’s A Market for Your Hobby

Once you have identified a problem you can solve for your target audience, you will need to determine whether there is a viable customer base who will pay for your product or service. Research the potential demand for your product or service. Ask yourself if there’s a market for your business and if customers will be willing to pay for it.

Determine If You Can Charge Premium Prices for Your Service or Product

If you have determined that there is a market for your product or service, the next step is to see if you can charge premium prices. Just because you are passionate about your hobby does not mean you can make a profit. Determine if your hobby is unique enough to justify a higher price point. Be honest with yourself about how you can monetize your hobby.

Consider the Cost-Benefit of Turning Your Hobby into a Business

In some cases, your hobby may be one that you love but is not profitable. Are you willing to give up your hobby for the sake of making money? Or do you want to continue your hobby but find a more profitable way to do so? Consider the cost-benefit of turning your hobby into a business. You may need to invest money to start your business, so weigh the cost of starting up your business against the potential profit.

Focus on Value

Selling your product or service on value will help you stand out and be more successful than selling solely on volume. While some businesses do well based on volume sales, focusing on the value customers get from your product allows you to set yourself apart. Ensure that the quality of your product or service is high, be transparent with your pricing, and provide exceptional customer service.

Conclusion

Turning your hobby into a business is an exciting journey that requires strategic planning, determination, and a willingness to take risks. It can be challenging, but if you do your research and take the necessary steps, you can succeed. Determine the problem you’re solving, determine if people will pay, assess if you can charge a premium for your product or service, and focus on selling on value. The process may bring challenges and setbacks, but with the right outlook and planning, the transition from hobby to business can be incredibly rewarding.

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