If you enjoy something and are good at it, why not earn your living from it? Combine your passion with your day job and make a hobby-inspired businesses work for you.
Strong successful businesses tend to be run by people who enjoy doing what they do. Would it be worth the pain if they didn’t? Passion acts as fuel to stay motivated and cope with the demands of running your own business. People like to buy from people who are passionate about what they are selling and investors choose to invest in businesses that have passionate people at the helm.
Being skilled in the area in which you are starting up also gives you much-needed confidence from the outset. However, passion for and confidence in a particular pastime is merely one small requirement of building a successful enterprise. To transform a hobby into a business, you need to bring a whole host of personal and practical skills to the table.
In order to build a commercially viable business you should operate within a growing market with demonstrable demand. However, demand alone is not enough. Business owners must understand the core needs of their market and how they can satisfy those needs in order to create and sustain competitive advantage.
Importantly, you must do all you can to ensure that:
1. Competition is not too fierce, or, if it is, you have equipped yourself with enough Unique Selling Points (USPs) and a fantastic value proposition to swiftly gain competitive advantage.
2. The location and market are healthy in terms of attracting enough customers.
3. You know all you can about the existing market.
4. You are differentiated from the competition.
How to make it a success
• Build a support network. Find people in a similar situation that you can turn to for support.
• Find a mentor.
• Exceed expectations. Happy customers will spread the word and send new ones your way, reducing your own marketing investment.
• Keep your marketing simple.
• Be prepared to spend a good deal of time working on the business.
• Delegate. It’s easy to take too much in a hobby business, remember to share the burden and free yourself up for what you are passionate about.
• Partner with non-competing businesses which share your target market and refer business to each other. For example, wedding photographers could partner with florists, hairdressers, DJs, or wedding dress boutiques. If you bake cakes, do you know any hand-made card designers you could refer business to and vice versa?