Are you thinking of turning your hobby into a business - if so, read on for some tips and hints.
Hobbies are enjoyable things to do - work, unless you're one of the lucky few, is boring and unpleasant. So what better way of earning an income by doing something you enjoy? Sounds easy doesn't it ? Well, with a bit of planning and forethought it can be.
Here are a few important tips:
Don't give up your job thinking you'll earn lots of money immediately! It's a slow process getting yourself known and established. In fact don't give up your job until you know that you can make a go of things.
Be prepared to work very hard initially - day and night!
Depending on what type of business you are considering, start off small. After the kitchen or dining room table, consider running a market stall. This can be fun and rewarding. Your customers will get to know you and you will build a rapport with your customers, who hopefully will then become "regulars".
Consider creating a web site. Give information to potential customers about your business, along with your products and contact details. Make sure you have lots of products to sell! This is where the working day and night part comes in!
Marketing yourself and your business is essential. Get yourself and your brand "out there". Try designing your own logo and get business cards printed with your webside domain. Or, depending on finances, hand make your cards. People can sometimes be influenced by the handmade touch. Of course, this will vary according to your type of business. It can be good for people who offer handmade items, but can look unprofessional for others. However, once your business takes off you won't have the time to make cards. Some people have been known to go to great lengths to get their name out there - such as getting T-shirts printed with their details on, or even getting decals made for their car! (I'm thinking of that one when finances permit!).
Well, finances have now permitted and I had 2 fantastic decals made for my ute with my website address on. Combine that with the bullet hole stickers and it really stands out!
Even if you're not generating a fantastic income initially - always keep scrupulous accounts. (Just in case the tax man catches up with you at some point!) Keep receipts and invoices and record everything in a book or on your computer as best as you can to avoid pitfalls and hassle later on.
Be very wary of inviting potential customers into your home. Apart from local council rules and regulations, which you will have to consider, you could be setting yourself up. Be very careful. Australia it seems has become a litigious society, if someone falls in your garden they'll probably sue the pants off you, so unless you want to invest in public liability insurance, its probably best to keep your home address a closely guarded secret and consider small business premises instead.
Probably the last and most important thing to remember is never lose sight of the fact that your hobby was once fun and enjoyable. Try not to make money the only issue, important though it is. Remember to HAVE FUN!