Turning Your Hobby Into A Full Time Gig
The idea of being paid to do something you love is quite romantic, and as the old saying goes “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ However reality is, if you want to turn your hobby into a ‘business’, you’re going to have to learn a few things along the way. Many people make the mistake of not thinking long term about their new venture and see it as a ‘just a side hustle.’ However, if you work on the longevity of your brand now and carve out a sustainable niche in your market, you will make life easier when you decide to transition from part time to full time self employment.
6 steps to help turn your hobby into your main income stream
1. PLAN IT OUT
Planning in business is crucial to its success but is often overlooked as it is a slow process and requires a lot of detailed thought. Having a strategy in place from the start is a great way to keep you and your goals on track. It’s important to remember this plan is not set in concrete and can be tweaked along the way as your business develops and grows. If you’re stuck and unsure where to begin, try this user friendly business planner to help you get started.
2. MAKE TIME
If you are still working a 9-5 job, chances are you don’t have a lot of spare time but it is so important to put aside time each week to work on your business. Remember you reap what you sow. Nobody said it was easy…but it WILL be worth it! This may mean getting up an hour earlier each morning during the week or spending your weekends working on your business but be sure to make time for yourself.
3. BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Here it is. Online presence is so important in today’s market. Your website is the front cover to your book and while our parents told us never to judge a book by its cover, I hate to break it to you, people are judging your business by your website. You need to brand yourself as a professional and this means your website and social media pages need to reflect that.
4. OFFER YOUR SERVICES
Making your first sale can be hard but you need to start somewhere. You already believe in your product/services, you just need to get it out there. Whether you make a $5 sale or $5000 sale, you will never forget making your first dollar. As tempting as it is to keep this money- try to save it for further reinvestment into your business. This is also a great time to be asking for feedback…what can you improve on from the customers viewpoint.
5. TALK ABOUT IT
You’ve been walking the walk for a while and now it’s time to talk the talk. Shout it from the rooftops if you have to. Be confident about your new ventures and don’t be afraid to bring it up in conversations (be careful telling people in your current workplace- some employees have strict policies in regards to this especially if there is a chance you could take clients with you) Create an elevator pitch- this is a brief description that basically sums up who you are and what your business is about in the time it would take to ride an elevator…basically keep it short but punchy and don’t forget to practice this so it doesn’t come off as awkward. You need to be confident when you talk about where your business is at and where it is going.
6. TREAT IT LIKE A BUSINESS
Although it may still be just a hobby or side hustle, there is no harm taking some steps now to future proof your business…because that’s what it is no matter how small it is. Get an ABN, set up a separate bank account so you know what money is going in and out. Have business cards and always keep some on you…you just never know when you will need them! Have a designated space and designated hours for your business- give it the time and effort it deserves.
My Stepdad once told me that he worked under the 5 P’s philosophy, and it’s something that stuck. PRIOR. PREPARATION. PREVENTS. POOR. PERFORMANCE. It’s true in all aspects of life and it’s something to remember often in business. So whether you are ready to take that leap of faith today, tomorrow or in two years time, remember that taking those extra steps in the beginning will help better prepare you and your business for success.