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Last updated on: February 6th, 2020
Does clipping your dog’s nails make your heart flutter? What happens when you imagine snipping your neighbor’s rabbit’s claws or the Doberman’s down the street? If your heart melted and a smile crept across your face, you may be ready to turn your personal passion into a business.
We all have hobbies, from writing to painting to woodwork. Our hobbies reflect who we are and what makes us unique. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t spread that passion into a career and share your talent with a broader audience.
If you’ve considered starting a business or becoming a self-employed contractor, there are some things to consider to make your transition easier.
Research the Industry and Decide If It’s Profitable
One way to figure out if your hobby is profitable is if other people are doing it professionally. You will also want to discover how much people are getting paid for these activities before you commit.
For example, there are professional crafters. While this sounds thrilling to many of us, many crafts require quite a bit of time investment without seeing an exceptional level of return. A sweater may take you twenty hours to knit, but if you can only sell that sweater for $100, then your time is only worth $5 per hour, before factoring in the cost of materials.
Decide how much you think your time is worth then research the market. Check Etsy and Amazon Handmade, then figure out if you can reconcile the cost of your time to the cost of the product.
Decide if You Want Your Hobby to Become a Career
When you consider why we turn to hobbies at the end of the day, you may reconsider wanting to turn your relaxing free time activity into a 40+ hour work week.
Professional gaming sounds fun. In fact, it sounds like the work day would fly by. But you have to completely dedicate your entire day (and life) to mastering one game, and it can take years before you get recognized for your ability. Even then, is the pay enough to live off of? And would you still enjoy playing?
You need to figure out if your hobby is a hobby because you don’t do it all day, every day, before you put all of your crocheted eggs into one basket.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
It’s not surprising that the most successful businesses began with a plan. From Microsoft to Wag! to Uber, they all had visionary founders that saw not only what they cared about, but how to transform their passions into a profitable business.
When developing a business plan, you want to think about the process, time, and money. How long does it take you to trim your Yorkie’s coat? How long would it take to trim a Chow Chow? How would you charge differently for one versus the other?
You will want to make sure your process is scalable for when your business begins to grow. Write your plan down and ask for advice from a professional if you need to.
Be Your Own Marketing Team
Social media has become a platform where people share pictures of their hobbies, links to their favorite recipes, and adorable photos they took of their cats. Use this to your advantage. If you’re a great photographer, show off your skills on Instagram and include a call to action for your followers to book a photo shoot.
Maybe you can create the best blog on umpiring. If you can, you’ll be a content marketing wizard! Content marketing includes writing blogs, creating content to be displayed on your webpage, even crafting the “About Our Product” tags you can put on the goods you sell at the local arts fair. Express yourself and your passion through these means, and customers will happily learn more and buy more.
Find Solutions to Low Funds
Most hobbies require creativity and ingenuity. Use these skills to help you cut costs when you first start out. Many hopeful entrepreneurs give up when they realize how costly starting a business can be.
Don’t fall into this trap. There are always solutions for funding. Try soliciting investments from your friends, family, or most loyal customers. Crowdfunding like Kickstarter is another great option.
Rent instead of own while your business is beginning. If your small business requires equipment, you can often find a way to rent it. Most woodworking tools are rentable. So are most construction tools.
If you need a delivery vehicle or a truck, renting is a great way to save you money. You can rent a fleet truck or passenger van instead of investing money upfront in a purchase.
Love what you do. Do what you love. If you’ve thought it through and you’re ready to commit to becoming self-employed, and even a business owner, take the first step. Don’t be afraid to ditch your mundane career for a hobby you’re passionate about!
And if you’re looking into opening a puppy boutique, make sure you check out these Simple Tips for Cleaning Up Dog Hair.