What are some of your hobbies? Maybe you’re an experienced knitter, a skilled painter, or a dedicated home cook, or you do a bit of writing for fun, or any number of other possibilities. And, have you ever thought about turning that hobby into something a bit more? Maybe others have told you that “you ought to start a business” or “I’d pay you for this!” and it’s true – plenty of hobbies can be turned into a secondary (or even eventually a primary) source of income for lots of people around the world.
The good news is, after honing your hobby craft for this long, you’ve already got the talent and skills to introduce something really exciting and beautiful into the world. But no matter how great you are, successfully monetizing any given talent requires a totally new set of skills. Here are just a few tips on how to take your talent into the business world and start bringing in some money.
The first question you need to ask yourself when turning your hobby into a side business is “who is going to buy what I’m looking to sell?” Knowing your market is the fundamental cornerstone of any successful business, and it’s no different when you’re trying to make money off your hobby.
Your end goal with finding your market is to come up with preliminary answers to a few basic questions:
This can seem daunting at first, but fortunately, the initial steps don’t need to be that intimidating! If you’ve had friends or family tell you that you should sell your creations or your skills, try going back to them – a conversation can start by asking them questions like how much they’d hypothetically buy, how much money they think your offering is worth, who else might be interested, etc.
Once you’ve determined your market position and your target audience, your next step is to figure out how and where exactly you’ll be selling your skills. You may find that you’re satisfied just making a couple bucks from friends and family, and that word-of-mouth is all you need. But if you’re looking to really turn your hobby into a side hustle and bring in some substantial money, you’ll need to find a platform that goes beyond your immediate network.
Thankfully, all sorts of platforms – both online and in-person have popped up over the years to help smaller artisans or newer businesses get off the ground. If your hobby is arts-and-crafts, then sites like Etsy are set up to help you make an online shop and market your business to interested buyers. If you love doing DIY work around the house and want to sell your trade skills, platforms like TaskRabbit or even offering your services on neighborhood Facebook and NextDoor groups can help find clients. If you like to make and sell food, local makers markets and farmers markets often offer a much lower barrier to entry than setting up a physical storefront or food truck (although be cognizant that you may still need to be properly licensed depending on local laws).
Hopefully, now you’re “ready for business” and have the knowledge to at least start selling your hobby craft. However, just because you’ve got the nuts-and-bolts of how to start selling figured out, that doesn’t necessarily translate into immediate success. As mentioned before, actually finding your footing as a micro-business requires a whole host of new skills and talents to learn: marketing, branding, professional networking, customer relations, accounting, and so much more.
Fear not, however – with proper motivation and a willingness to continue learning, it’s never been easier to pick up these skills. Sure, you could go back to school and get a business degree, but it doesn’t need to be that intense or cost-prohibitive. A few quick Google searches will pull up countless articles, online classes, and even seminars or conferences that can give you the baseline set of business skills needed to get yours off the ground, often for free or at a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional schooling.
If you’re looking to monetize your hobby, that means you’re interested in bringing in more money – and you should expect to have more money (and more difficult financial conundrums) to manage. Spotloan’s focus on financial literacy and free financial resources can help make sure that the new income you’re bringing in is managed responsibly and that your new business is a source of inspiration and motivation, rather than merely a new headache.
While starting a micro-business has never been more accessible, that doesn’t mean start-up costs are gone completely. From website building to licensing fees, sometimes you just need a bit of money to get things going. At Spotloan, our simple online application process can help you qualify for the money you need, even if you have bad credit or need a same-day loan. All you have to do is go fill out our application to see if you qualify, and you could receive a decision within minutes. Fill out our application now!