Turn your hobby into a business

Feb 28 22:00 2002 Gail Miller Print This Article

Many people these days would like to work from home running their own ... Plenty of these, have hobbies and skills that they could use as the basis of their ... The best way to break into

Many people these days would like to work from home running their own business. Plenty of these,Guest Posting have hobbies and skills that they could use as the basis of their business. The best way to break into self-employment at the beginning is by starting up alongside your ‘day job’. This way, you can start to make your contacts and plan for the day you will be able to kiss being an employee goodbye, without actually losing your regular income straight away, unless of course you have a chunk of capital to inject into the business at start.

The best thing you can do in this life is to get paid for doing something you would be doing anyway, so building up a small business from a hobby is the ideal way to make a living. Not only will you be your own boss, you will also be doing something you love to do anyway - work isn’t like work if you enjoy what you are doing. On top of this, if you are marketing your own products and designs you are far more likely to work harder and have a belief in your product and the love you put into producing your work will shine through, not like if you were selling or promoting someone else’s wares.

There are many ways to turn a hobby into a business. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you make to sell. If you like cooking, why not start a recipe newsletter for other like minded chefs. Or if your forte is fancy cakes or cheesecakes, why not try to get one or two regular customers, for example local coffee bars or sandwich shops, to buy your extravagant confections to sell in slices to customers. Obviously if you are going to do something like this you will have to comply with health and safety regulations, but it is definitely something which is entirely possible.

If you enjoy making crafts, why not sell them via mail order, rather than going down the usual route of selling through craft fairs. What about sewing? Are you a good quilter? Could you make exclusive cot quilts and bumpers? Cuddly toys, clothes alterations, soft furnishings? All these pastimes can be turned into lucrative businesses. By working as many hours, or taking as many or as few orders as you like, you can control how big your business grows and at what rate.

When you have decided to take the plunge, it is useful to read case studies about how other people have started up home based businesses. There are plenty of books in the library to you inspiration, tell you about tax issuesand all the necessary accounting and statutory rules and regulations you may have to comply with. Some of the business opportunity magazines are also interesting reading. In these, you will find many other home based opportunities, information and contact names and addresses which may be of help to you when you are starting up.

Your hobby might involve a very specialised product, or may even be something that relates to a locality. If you are a collector and want to start up an agency that deals with your particular obsession, then the best way to find other like minded souls, is by advertising your service or product in some of the specialist magazines that are available on the news-stands. These days, you can get magazines on almost any subject, from miniatures, through to family trees through to card making. They’re all there if you just go out and find them. Also it is worthwhile looking in trade magazines too, which refer to the field you will be entering into. Many useful contacts and associations can be found in the pages and you will need all the information and help you can get at the beginning.

The next stop is to find out if there are grants or bursaries available to the small business person. However, usually you need to put up some of the capitol yourself too to match these awards.

You will need to set up a business account, making sure the bank in question does not charge and administration fees for at least a year. ALternatively you could opt for a completely free business account. These are usually postal or internet based though. Let's face it though, you don’t want any profits made in the early days being frittered away on bank charges do you?

You also have to decide on your method of advertising. If your product or service will sell on a local level, why not try leafleting door to door in your area, posting small flyers promoting your services. Alternatively you could always use the tried and tested method of post cards in shop windows. Not very glamourous admittedly, but an effective way of advertising very cheaply.

On the other hand, if you are going to have to advertise nationally, then you will have to have at least some budget put aside for this purpose before you start. Advertising can be expensive - but doesn’t have to be. It depends on the publication. Contact magazines relevant to your product with a press release telling your story or advertising what you have to offer. You might even get a feature about you. Your story has to be unusual or different however, if you are to hit gold straight away.

In summary, turning your hobby into a part-time business is the ideal way to be your own boss, work at something you love doing and get paid for it, be in complete control of your working life and have the opportunity to possibly work from home. You have to do your research before you start though. Never jump in before you are confident that there is a market for your product and that you have enough financial reserves to keep you going during the early days of your business.

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Gail Miller
Gail Miller

Gail Miller is a UK artist and writer. View her vibrant,
contemporary artwork at her website, Gails Art Gallery

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