Yesterday, I explored a few questions you need to ask yourself before you decide to give it a go and turn your hobby into a small business.
You may find your hobby liberating and stimulating right now, but if you turn it into a job, you may find all the positive aspects of your hobby turning into stressful commercial baggage. Hence why I encouraged all potential entrepreneurs to do some serious reflection before making any decisions.
After answering the questions I presented yesterday, you may have decided that turning your hobby into a business sounded like a lot of work and no fun. If that’s the case, then the startup life may not be for you.
On the other hand, however, you may have found yesterday’s post exciting and energizing. If so, then turning your hobby into a business is probably a great idea.
Of course, you need a game plan if you’re going to successfully get your business off the ground. That’s why, today, I want to present three simply strategies that can help you maximize the potential of your hobby-based small business.
1. Learn to Pivot
If you are lucky, there may be very specific (and high) demand for your very specific hobby. In that scenario, you don’t have to worry to much: You’ll be able to find plenty of business for your startup if your hobby happens to be something many people are interested in.
If, however, demand is low for your hobby or the market is saturated, you may want to change your commercial direction, or “pivot,” as it is known in technology circles. Groupon, Nokia, PayPal, and Twitter have all famously pivoted out of dead-end business paths into more lucrative trajectories.
How does pivoting work?
Let’s say you want to turn your organic cooking hobby into a lovely sit-down restaurant, but you find that your area is already bursting with lovely sit-down restaurants serving organic food.
What do you do?
You could look for another way to package your offering and sell it to the market. For example, if there are too many restaurants already, there may be an opportunity for you to turn your cooking hobby into the area’s first food truck. This is a classic example of pivoting.
2. Teach Others
If you can’t do it, you can still teach it. What I mean is, the market may be saturated with regard to your hobby, but there may be demand for companies that teach your hobby.
You could offer lessons in guitar, piano, cooking, gardening, pottery, foraging, blogging, or whatever your hobby may be. You can either set yourself up independently or attach yourself to an educational institution in the area. Teaching others about your hobby is an empowering and highly rewarding way to make money without turning your passion itself into a business.
3. Become a Specialist Supplier
Let’s say you had some form of carpentry hobby, but the local market is saturated with carpenters. This means it might be difficult to turn your hobby into a business in the local area.
But perhaps you also enjoy the gadgets of carpentry. If so, you could consider becoming a specialist supplier of carpentry gadgets, which would enable you to take advantage of the many active carpenters/buyers in your area.
You could apply this same idea to pretty much any hobby. For example, lets say you are an ex-Army physical training (PT) instructor who wants to turn this particular skill into a full-time job. Let’s also say that there is an oversupply of PT instructors in your area. If you also have a knack for IT, you could develop some kind of cloud-based customer relationship management system for PT instructors and clients.
The lesson here is simple: If you can’t turn your hobby into a business thanks to over-saturation, then supply the existing businesses with related gadgets and services.
Turning your hobby into a business is a great way to earn money while doing what you love. However, if you want to be truly happy and profitable doing this kind of work, you’ll need to be flexible. Don’t get hung up on one singular vision: Keep yourself open to the realities and opportunities of the market.