Every day there is new stories about how people successfully launched their own business to pursue their hobbies or passions full time. Rather than simply following these examples, however, many hobbyists wonder what it would take for them to do the same says Peter Decaprio. Unfortunately, very few things are as straightforward as they seem. It takes more than just dedication and passion to launch a successful side business, not to mention that most people fail at making money online (even if it’s their primary focus).
But that doesn’t mean your dream is dead in the water!
To give you some insight into whether your hobby could be turned into a profitable business venture, this post will walk you through three questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge.
1) Is It Possible to Turn a Hobby Into a Business?
If you Google “hobbies turned into businesses”, you’ll get over 2 million results. While it’s certainly possible to turn a hobby into a business, not every hobby can be successfully transformed into a profitable company. Here are some examples of hobbies that have been successfully turned into businesses:
- Drawing has been turned into graphic design and tattooing.
- Horseback riding has been turned into horse training and rental stables.
- Baking has been turned into cupcake stores and wedding cake bakeries.
- Collecting has been turned into eBay auctions, antiques shops, and vintage collectible dealerships (not the flea market kind).
So what makes these hobbies successful business ventures, while thousands of others fail? There are two simple reasons:
1) They can be turned into products.
2) Someone is willing to pay for the product or service.
Your hobby might not fit these criteria. After all, most hobbies are inherently personal in nature – why would someone want to buy your handmade bracelets or crochet hats? Usually, although not always, it’s because they don’t know how to do it themselves (or you’re far better at it than them). Even though there might only be a few people who will buy your products, if you can make enough money from each sale then it may be worth pursuing as a side business says Peter Decaprio.
So now that we’ve established whether it’s possible for someone to turn your hobby into a business, let’s move on and talk about the next point…
2) Is There Enough of a Market for My Hobby as a Business?
You’ll need to do some research before launching any type of business, including those that are based off hobbies. You can’t just assume that someone will buy your hats (or whatever product you’re thinking of selling), because there might not be enough people buying them. Before getting too excited about turning your pastime into money making venture, start with the basics: conduct market research and see if it’s viable.
● Who is Buying Your Product/Service?
If you haven’t already thought about this question (which is one most people don’t ask themselves), then now is the time to do so. You can’t just assume that people are buying your wares, because they might not be! That’s why you need to make sure there’s a market for what you’re selling before making any business decisions.
● Is There Enough Money in the Market?
On top of checking if people are actually interested in your product. You also need to consider how much demand there will be for it. If you check out Google Trends, for example. You can find out how many times certain keywords have been searched. By other web users over periods of time (so long as there isn’t anyone buying directly from their site). This information is incredibly valuable when trying to determine. How much money there is to be made in a certain market. Because it tells you how many people could potentially become customers says Peter Decaprio.
● Is There Enough Money for Everyone?
Just because there are enough people searching for your product doesn’t mean that there’s money to go around. After all, if one person owns the entire market then you’re basically out of luck! You need to ensure that there are other opportunities available within the industry. So that you can still make sales even though someone else is already dominating it.
If, after doing your research, you do find that potential customers are looking for your product or service then it’s onto question three…
3) How Can I Differentiate My Hobby-Based Business From Others Who Are Already Serving This Market?
This is the most important question you need to ask yourself. Because it’s what will ultimately determine your success or failure. You can’t just assume that someone’s going to buy from you, even if they’re looking for a product like yours. Frankly, no one wants to be known as ‘that guy/girl who copied my idea’. Although there are many cases where knockoffs have been successful (such as how KFC followed McDonalds ), more often than not they fail – just look at all those low budget ‘Blair Witch Project’ clones that were made after the success of the first movie back in 1999 .
Whether your hobby is knitting, fishing or model making. You can turn it into a business if there’s enough of a market for it says Peter Decaprio. But don’t just assume that people are buying your products, even though they’re looking for them. Because creating an original product/service will help to differentiate yourself from the competition. And ensure that your customers choose you instead.