Do you have a hobby which involves creating something to a high standard? Or, do you have the skills or experience to offer a service you could turn it into a potential career? As you may know, this blog started off as a side-hustle, and now is so much more. It is such joy to work on something every day that connects me with people as we help each other through the workaday world! Imagine how much joy you would get from working in an environment that you love, doing the things that you are passionate about! Take a look at your skills and consider if there is a market for them. If there is, you can get to turning that hobby into a full time career with these 4 tips.
1. Call the Experts
There are many things to consider prior to starting your own business and the thought may feel a little daunting. Anyone else become catatonic when you think of all you have to do to start a business. I have said this before, the main thing is just start! Thankfully there are many resources and support available for business startups. I firmly believe in calling in the experts if you really want to move from hobby to career. For example, I used a website developer to help me create my site. I joined Style Collective to learn how to become a successful blogger and to network. The type of business you want to start may need to be incorporated or you may want to get a copyright on your logo. If so, consider hiring a lawyer to get you set up correctly. If your business involves shipping out products to customers, learn how that process will work and ensure that your shipping costs are accurate. You can Click Here to discover how a postage meter can assist with all your shipping and postage requirements. Scale and quality matter for converting a hobby to a careerso find the tribe of folks that will help you make that a reality.
2. Write a Business Plan
After you have sourced your experts, create a business plan. A business plan will help you identify the costs associated with starting your business, including the cost of materials, website, insurances etc. This will enable you to find out whether your business is potentially profitable or not. It will be reasonable to expect a loss or to break even with profits after in the beginning, however after a certain time you need to be making a profit. A business plan will also take into account possible fluctuations in profit, for example your business may be seasonal in that it makes the highest amount of profit in the run up to Christmas.
3. Do Market Research
Before you actually launch your business you need to identify your target market. Once you know who you are aiming your business towards you can undertake market research in order to gain feedback on what your target market likes or dislikes about it. This can be done by organizing focus groups, questionnaires, surveys and getting out and about to talk to people. Social media "polling" is also a great, FREE, resource for market research. The market research focus will allow you to see if there are enough customers for your business and you will be able to make adaptations to what you offer according to customer demand.
4. Advertise and Market Your Business
Sales equal profit and there isn’t a task as more important as generating and making sales as a business owner. I had to learn to be shameless. On my personal emails, I added links to my blog. I started telling my friends and family so they could help. Ensure you tell everyone that your business exists - if you don't no one will know you are there and you will lose some of your biggest support from those who would love to support you if they knew! I will tell you this was harder than it likely should have been for me - I wanted to be successful before I told people anything about Polished Professionals - but getting the support of my friends and family was the best decision I have ever made to help me take Polished Professionals to the next level. They are my local "focus group" and always give me great advice.
If you are fed up of the 9-5 commute to a job you don’t like, you have options. Many people have developed a lucrative career from hobbies which they love. I know if you set your mind to it, you can do anything! I linked some of the business books that have most helped me. Click on the picture to be taken directly to each book. If you have some more please add that in the comments so all your fellow boss babes can check them out!
Image - Sara Coffin Photography - Style Collective Conference 2018
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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