3 Ways to Make A Successful Business Out of a Special Hobby


3 Ways to Make A Successful Business Out of a Special Hobby

 

You’ve heard it a thousand times— You are so creative! You should have your own business making these!— but this time something feels different. You say to yourself, “Maybe they are right…”

 

Whether your hobby is knitting, sewing, painting, woodworking, leather-making or some other craft, you’ve been wowing people with your skills for a while now and have decided to take the plunge and start your own business. It’s both an exciting and intimidating decision. It’s also one that involves more than just doing something you love everyday. You’ll have to flex your business muscles as well as your creative ones. Here are a few pointers for understanding the ins-and-outs of owning your own business.

 

Carve your own niche

You may think a shotgun approach is the ideal way to reach customers and make money— but you can’t be everything to everyone. Focus on what you know and enjoy doing. If you are a wizard with the needle and thread, find a creative niche that follows current trends, like making pillowcases with popular song quotes or quilts for baby gender reveal parties. If your hobby is more generalized such as exploring new technology, you can start with a business venture — selling wireless earphones, phone cases and backpacks for men and women— to get practice owning a business while you work on finding your own niche. As we continue consuming in the Internet age, customers have more options than ever before. If you focus your business idea on something simple and unique, you’ll have an easier time landing customers who buy rather than those who are just looking.

 

Draw in your buyers

Starting a business takes more time than just enjoying your hobby. If you’re looking to sell what you’re making, you have to put it out there for the public to see. The easiest way to do this is to set up shop through an online stores including Etsy or Craftly. If you have some tech knowhow, or are friends with someone who does, building your own website is perhaps the most effective means for offering your product online. You’ll need to spread the word— in this case the URL— so folks can find you. Share pictures of your products on Instagram, post videos of you making a new item on Facebook and announce sales and deals on Twitter to get buyers landing on your page.

 

Also, think outside the digital realm. If your city has a local farmers market, consider renting a booth for a summer to get more eyes on your products. Look for co-operative retailers in your city who offer space for local merchants.

 

Get your business ducks in a row

Nothing hits harder for small business owners than learning you missed an important legal step— especially when it comes time to file your taxes. Starting small can still be a complicated process. Be sure you take the right legal steps to ensure you are following the right rules and regulations from day on. First, be sure the name you want to use for your business isn’t trademarked (then consider trademarking it). 

 

Then, you’ll need to register your business as an LLC or a corporation, which allows you to obtain a business tax ID. You’ll also want to be sure you understand the small business laws for your city, county and state. For example, if you plan on selling goods from your home, does your city require specific zoning? Next, make sure you acquire all the necessary permits. Does this sound like a lot? It definitely is. Don’t let the business aspect keep you from pursuing your dream. Talk to a small business advisor to organize your goals, assets and plan for the next steps.

 

Starting a business based in something you love can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. When you love the work you do, your life becomes more meaningful and enjoyable.

 

 An avid quilter, Maria believes having a cherished hobby is an important part of achieving happiness. She created Hobby Jr to encourage young people to find a hobby they love. You can email her at maria@hobbyjr.org.

 

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13 Sep 2018


By Maria Cannon
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