Making money from something you’re passionate about sounds like an exciting opportunity — and it can be. However, turning a fun pastime into a profitable enterprise takes effort and dedication.
With proper planning and strategy, there’s no reason why anyone can’t make money from their hobbies. If you want to become an entrepreneur but need to know where to start, read on for the essential steps to turn your passion project into a viable business.
- Identify your hobby
- Conduct market research
- Create a business plan
- Obtain necessary licenses and permits
- Build a website or an e-commerce store
- Promote your business
- Be involved in a community
- Get a mentor or a coach
1. Identify your hobby
The first step is to identify what you want to do, including the skills and interests you possess. This exercise will determine whether or not your idea can become successful.
Identifying your hobby can help focus your efforts on creating a product or service that you love while assessing its marketability.
First, take some time to reflect on which hobbies you enjoy most and why. Make a list of activities that spark joy and satisfaction. Consider how you can translate those interests into an income stream.
2. Conduct market research
For many, turning their hobby into a profitable business is a dream they long to fulfill. But that can quickly become a nightmare if not backed up with research and proper preparations.
You need to understand the market and trends before you sell items and expect people to buy them immediately.
For instance, if someone wants to monetize candle making as their hobby, they must assess if there is a good demand for it, what materials are used, and who are the potential competitors.
Even if you are passionate about what you do, researching before starting your business will ensure that you hit the ground running with confidence and eliminate the possibility of making mistakes along the way.
3. Create a business plan
A business plan serves as a roadmap for your venture, with objectives, milestones, and strategies to reach them. It also helps you identify potential pitfalls and opportunities to make well-informed decisions.
A business plan is indispensable if you seek funding from investors or lenders. Fortunately, you don’t need an extensive or complex business plan when starting.
A basic business plan template can get you off on the right foot. You can download and customize it according to your business. It typically includes:
- An executive summary
- Market analysis
- Competitive landscape
- Product/service offering overviews
- Financial projections
- Strategy implementation plans
4. Obtain necessary licenses and permits
A registered business will show customers, business partners, and suppliers that you comply with local laws and regulations. It can even attract investors if you decide to expand your business.
Register your business in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) online portal. You need to fill out basic information about your company, such as name, type of ownership, products or services offered, location of operations, etc.
Settle your fees via DTI’s secure payment gateway, and upon confirmation of your transaction, DTI will send you a digital copy of your registration certificate.
Business owners can also apply for a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) through the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) New BizReg Portal.
You can now secure an eTIN online. But you still need to visit your regional district office to claim your TIN card and complete the registration process.
5. Build a website or an e-commerce store
If you’re a budding entrepreneur, creating an online presence is one of the first steps to building brand awareness. One great way to do this is to set up your website: self-hosted or build with a website builder.
A self-hosted website requires more technical skills and an understanding of web hosting maintenance. However, you have complete control over the customization of your site.
On the other hand, with a website builder platform, you get managed hosting, the convenience of drag-and-drop editors, and customer support in case you ever get stuck.
Each option has advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on where your skills are and how much time you want to invest in learning the technical bits, and your budget.
Another option is to create a Shopee or Lazada store. You may upload images of your items and their prices. You don’t have to get into the technical nitty-gritty of maintaining an online store.
The only caveat is that these e-commerce platforms charge commission fees from you since you will use their service to sell your products.
6. Promote your business
If you’re considering turning your hobby into a profitable business venture, the key to success is the ability to promote your product or service effectively. You can start with these three:
- Social media
- Email marketing
With social media, you can use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach a global audience quickly and cheaply – plus have plenty of chances to get creative with posts and stories.
Email marketing lets you get more personal with potential customers by sending them themed promotions, exclusive offers, and engaging visuals. Emails go straight to their inbox.
Blogging should be an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. It’s an effective way to gather organic traffic from search engines.
7. Be involved in a community
You can take advantage of your community’s advice, support, resources, new ideas, and mentorships.
Being part of a group with similar interests can hold you accountable, inspire you to focus on progress, and provide knowledge or insights no one can offer.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Join online forums and groups.
- Attend relevant events or workshops specifically for entrepreneurs.
- Network with other hobbyists through informal meet-ups.
Lucrative opportunities may arise from such collaborations. Always remember that two heads are often better than one.
8. Get a mentor or a coach
Having a mentor can be the catalyst to take your hobby and turn it into a successful side hustle. A mentor acts as a guide, a confidante, and an accountability partner as you navigate the choppy seas of entrepreneurship.
They’ve been there before and can help you avoid common mistakes while providing timely advice and insights. Because of their experience in this kind of undertaking, they often have excellent networks that allow them to connect you with other entrepreneurs or professionals who can assist you along the way.
Different mentors offer different things. Some provide solid business advice, while others may offer creative input or emotional support. It is worth exploring who might be able to add value to your efforts, even in subtle ways.
Having another sounding board apart from your inner thoughts can make all the difference when making decisions that affect your future endeavors.
Starting a business based on your hobby can be incredibly fulfilling and exciting, but it’s essential to have the right approach.
Before diving in blindly, carrying out market research and developing a comprehensive business plan is key. It helps you establish if your idea is viable and allows you to identify potential pitfalls.
Of course, you can’t overlook the legal aspects. Obtaining your enterprise’s licenses and permits will ensure you get off on the right foot.
Don’t forget about marketing either – building an attention-grabbing website is essential for any modern business. Don’t be shy about using traditional methods, like word of mouth or local community networks.
Finally, having access to a mentor or coach can go a long way in learning how to run your new venture successfully.
After all, experience goes much further than theory. With dedication and hard work, there’s no limit to where your hobby business can take you!