Turning Fun into a Business
Hobbies are a fun way to relax and recharge, channel creativity, or pass the time evenings and weekends. Whether you’re doing your thing on the couch, in the kitchen or out in the garage, hobbies can be more than just a way to enjoy your free time. They can turn into something that can pay, and if you’re lucky, become a full-time job. Imagine that—doing what you love to do and get paid too. It’s a dream come true! Now, before you start your venture, there are a few things to consider when moving a hobby to a hustle.
1. Figure out what you want. Is your hobby something you want to do all day, every day? Or is it something you’ll do on the side? Some people use money made to buy more equipment and supplies for their hobby, and that’s it—which
is a good goal. Others may want to take their hobby to the next level. Whatever you want to do, define it. 2. Do your homework. Is there a market for what you do that is big enough
to sustain your plan? Ask questions and analyze your competition. 3. Plan your model. Once you know what you want to do, make sure it pays. You must define your business model and how it will make money. And—make sure it makes enough money. Some hustles don’t pay enough once you account for your time to make your project or do your service, the supplies you need, and the time you’ll spend on paperwork and looking for customers. Don’t sink money into something that doesn’t pay enough for your effort.
4. Test it out. Before you take the plunge, test your idea to see what the market thinks. It can be as simple as booking a table at your local craft fair, advertising on social media, or piloting your idea with your friends, family, and colleagues. 5. If your test goes well, head into formal business planning if your hobby shows the potential to become a side or full-time venture. There are many great sources for business plan templates online. Square One Saskatchewan or the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) for great business plan examples. 6. Talk money. Get your business finances in order, with a separate bank account. At a minimum, you will need a business license, and to register your name. Also, check into whether you must collect GST and PST. 7. Get your name out there. Marketing is a vital part of business success. Learn where your customers are and how to reach them.
8. Connect with your customers. Customers are the key to sales. Find them, cultivate them, and keep them coming back for more.
9. Set goals. Once you are up and running, think about the future. Will you add more products or services? Will you grow into new markets?Make plans for where you want to go next.
10. Network, network, network. Meeting mentors and entrepreneurs will help you grow and learn from others. Networking can lead you to new customers, good advice and much more.