You have a passion and you want to turn it into a business but you have no idea how and question if you actually can make it a business? This post is for you. This is the best way I can put it out to you.
Here we go.
If you want to start a new business hundreds of websites will spoil you for choices. A new business idea is born every second and a large number of these are potentially profitable ones. But on any given day, if you think of turning a hobby into a business, its chances of succeeding increase many-fold. Why? Because you are passionate about it and like to do it.
Turning your hobby into a profitable business is one of the best business opportunities you can get. Imagine doing what you like and getting paid for it! There ain't a better dream come true. I sure enjoy it. But let's be honest, if you don't keep your feet on the ground, your dream can turn a fairly frightening responsibility and such a chore. Take this reality check to see if you are ready for getting into business and if your hobby can realistically be turned into a profitable idea.
- Research your hobby: Does turning your hobby into a business fill a real need gap? Is there anyone out there who would want to buy your products? If yes, then are there enough people who can constitute a sizeable market for you to keep your business profitable? Is there an economical way to market and distribute your products or services?
- Market Research: When you ask questions like the ones above, the answers will come from some in-depth market research. Spend considerable time staking out your market. Research over the Internet. Find out if there is anyone selling your kind of products already? If yes, what has been their success rate? What kind of people would constitute your target market? Is this market big enough to keep you profitable? What are the price points for your product? What are the selling mechanics for your product on the Internet? (Since that's where you are going to base your business)
- Make a business plan: A good way to determine whether your hobby can turn into a money making proposition is to draw out a full-fledged business plan. You can get free business plan templates from www.bplans.com . Do some number crunching. This would typically include financial forecasts dealing with questions like start up capital and where can you raise it from, the gestation period for the business, income generation and forecasts.
- Are you geared up for business? Take stock of your own business sense. Are you comfortable with the risks and the cyclical nature of business? When running a business, not every day is Sunday. There can be some bad days too and they may last longer than youd expect them to. What are your managerial and administrative capabilities? Would you still love your hobby if it became you main income source?
- Decide how much time can you devote: Before you get all set for wading out into the great ocean of online business, ask yourself, how much time can you realistically spend on your business? If you think making it a full time activity would mean being away from your family more often and not acceptable to you, make it a part time venture. A fledgling business is like a small baby. It demands your complete attention all the time. Are you up to that?
- Find an innovative business angle: Just because a hobby is fun for you, doesn't mean someone will pay you to do it. You'd have to do more than just plain sell your services and hope to make enough money. The trick is finding the twist that will turn your recreation into an income.
With the Internet opening up a new marketing landscape, it has become easier for creative people to do business. So building an online business based on your hobby can provide you with a niche with a large demand and little competition to supply to it. That can make the road to success easier.
Here are some guidelines to get you started:
1. Build a professional website: Your business is based on a hobby, alright. But having a website that doesn't look professional reflects badly on your business. Unless you have the capability to build your own website, you must hire the services of a web designing company to build you a site that fulfills all your website goals and looks professional.
2. Populate the site with useful content: Content is king on the Internet. Unless you give your visitors something useful via content, they are not very likely to stick around your website, much less buy from you.
3. Use the website as an online brochure of your services and products.
4. Since you will be using the website to sell your products make sure that the pages are easily navigable and the layout is comprehensible.
5. Promote your website: Use reciprocal links, search engine optimization, viral marketing and other online marketing strategies to increase visibility and traffic to your website.
One great disadvantage of chucking it all for a new business is that if it works; great. If it crashes it takes you down with it. But with careful planning and sound judgement of your own capabilities you can make it work.