Do you have a hobby, craft or skill that you do well? Do friends and family tell you to sell your products or services? Have you been thinking about turning your hobby into a business but not sure how to go about it?
Since you are here reading this post I will assume that you want to start making money from your hobby and have started researching how to start. You have probably discovered the seemingly endless things you “must” do to start your business.
It doesn’t matter so much where you start, what matters most is that you start.
Starting a business from your hobby can be the most rewarding venture you can begin. Let me say this, starting a business is going to take time, consistent work and money.
If you are ready to start a business from your hobbies, I have some tips that will help you get started.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure here for more information.
Are You Able To Create A Want, Need & Interest.
First and foremost is there an audience or market for your products, services or information? Is this audience willing to spend money for your product, service or information? Are other hobbyists out there creating an income from your subject?
It's important that you take the time now to complete your research for your hobby’s marketability. It takes time, effort and money to start a business, you don't want to waste any of those on something that has no audience.
Once you feel confident that you have an audience for your hobby / subject matter, it’s time to move on to step two.
Choose Your Business Name
This can be a very fun exercise, the three key things to remember when creating a business name are:
- Is it relevant to your hobby/craft/product/subject?
- Does it give you confidence to talk about your business?
- Can you see yourself using it for the life of your business?
My two cents: Please don’t use your favourite beverage in your name unless your hobby is beverages. There are enough businesses + blog names with that beverage in their names.
Whilst it works great for them and their business, you don't want to be competing with them for recognisability. You want to stand out and show the world what you've got.
The next step is very important no matter how you decide to make money from your hobby business.
Purchase Your Domain Name ASAP
You will need to secure your business on as many social platforms that you will use to promote your handmade/hobby/craft business. But most importantly you need to obtain your business domain name with the dot com ending.
Purchasing your domain name is the most important thing you need to do in the early stages. Even if you don’t plan to start a website just yet, it's a small price to secure your business name and brand.
Check the availability of your desired business name as a .com before you start branding and marketing your business. I used GoDaddy to check availability and buy my domain names.
You don’t want to spend all that time and effort creating a business and brand around a name that isn’t available. And if it is available now it doesn’t mean it will be available when you decide you are ready to set up your website.
If you have been promoting your hobby business on social media and using free marketplace platforms to grow your business without securing your dot com domain, you may find that domain flippers have purchased your domain and will be all too happy to sell it to you for a very marked up price.
If this were to happen, you have two options, you will either have to find an alternative domain name for your website (not ideal) or purchase the domain name from the owner at their asking price (costly).
Spend the $10 - $20 now and save yourself thousands of dollars later.
Set Up A Business Pinterest Account
Setting up a business Pinterest account or converting your personal account to a Business Account is a fairly simple process. Go to the Pinterest Business page and follow the steps.
Pinterest is where your target audience hangs out and it is their number one go to site to search for all things hobby, craft, and handmade. Pinterest is a visual search engine, which lends perfectly for hobby businesses.
Spend some time and money learning how to use pinterest effectively to reach your audience and potential customers.
I have recently started a trial with tailwind while continuing to pin manually. I am also working on creating better boards for my pins.
Learn To Take Beautiful & Informative Photographs
Your photos are what customers use to determine whether or not they want, need or like your product/s.
Your blog images also need to be beautifully styled and informative. You should start to establish a brand / theme for your business to create a cohesive and professional appearance. Your brand and theme will help customers recognise you on different platforms.
Your product photographs need to convince people to part with their hard earned cash. Don’t slack on learning to take good photographs. If you don't have the time to learn the necessary skills, include hiring a professional into your budget to handle this important aspect of your business.
I am still learning this step myself, it can be challenging at times but I am already looking back at older images and I can see small improvement.
Price Your Products for Profitability.
Never, ever compete on price, value yourself and your products. Your time, skills, knowledge and materials went into creating it; you deserve to be fairly compensated for it.
You started your business to create value and quality, price for it. There is no point trying to create cheap.
In saying that you also want to keep in mind how much your customer is willing to pay for your item. Is the price you are asking what your customers are expecting to pay?
Find a price that values your time + efforts and also gives your customers value for their money.
Remember you want to work for cooperative money not competitive money. Cooperative money is were each party benefits from the sale. Happy people are the best people.
Create Your Website
Even if you want to start selling at your local markets or online marketplaces, having a website to direct potential customers to find out more about you, your product and how to contact you when the markets are finished is invaluable.
Once you have your domain name you can get some business cards printed to direct people to your site.
Start building your website as early as you can. Be sure to have your contact me and about me pages to start with. Next steps would be to set up a blog for your site and an online store.
If you want a very user friendly all in one system I highly recommend shopify. I am using shopify for this site that you are reading on right now.
I have been using Shopify for a year now and even though learning to blog has been a huge learning curve Shopify has not. I have just recently started to fill up my shop with products and listing them is so easy and I can't believe how professional it all looks.
I have a tutorial for how to start a business and blog with shopify, if you are ready to get your online journey started.
Invest Dollars and Knowledge In Your Education
- Learn how to create optimised Pinterest images
- Learn about alternative ways to create income from your hobby (affiliate marketing)
- Learn about how to write product descriptions that sell
- Learn photography and what makes a good photograph
- Learn how to maximise the social media of your choice to promote your business
- Pay for other peoples knowledge so you don't have to learn the long way
Network and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and tell people about your business. Be proud of your journey where ever you are, no one has ever started at the end.
Trust that your family and friends will want to help and support you and your business. At least give them the chance to love it or hate it.
It’s not the end of the world if they don’t get it. Find people who do get it and talk to them about your plans.