by Jerry Mooney
According to popular wisdom, if you do what you love, then you will never work a day in your life. This sentiment is something that many people take to heart, choosing to turn a creative hobby, such as crafting, amateur photography, or candle making into a business – a situation that sounds absolutely ideal.
While there is no denying the theory behind the idea of capitalizing on an existing hobby to create a business, the reality can be a little more testing. Below, we have looked at three of the most common issues hobbyists-turned-entrepreneurs tend to face, as well as advice on how these can be overcome.
The Problem: Creating for yourself rather than your customers
Hobbies are about personal enjoyment and fulfilment, so you’ll naturally use your hobby to create the things that you like – you will, for example, create fragranced candles that appeal to your personal preferences, or take photographs you wish to display in your home. When your chosen pursuit is a hobby, focusing on your preferences is more than fine, but as a business owner, you have to appeal to an audience of many – and if you don’t, it can be difficult to generate sales.
The Solution: Staying up to date on trends
You should continue to create the things that you love; no one is saying that you have to abandon the things you love to make or do the most in order to turn your hobby into a business. However, you do need to have range, and make sure that you’re also catering to a wider market – and staying on top of trends, and then reflecting those trends in the items you produce, is by far the best way to achieve this goal.
The Problem: Being too much of a perfectionist
Hobbies provide you with time to be a perfectionist. If a candle doesn’t quite have the scent throw you hoped for or a craft piece’s color scheme doesn’t quite work, then you can start over and over again until you get it just right. In business, however, there is no such luxury: you can’t keep starting over when you have customers waiting.
The Solution: Establish firm quality control
Establish rigorous quality control guidelines that will help to objectively decide if an item is suitable for sale. If an item meets your pre-established quality control parameters, then it’s complete, and is ready to make its way to its new home.
The Problem: Relying too heavily on your established processes and methods
If you’re a crafter, you might lean towards your preferred materials, and use techniques that you have relied on for years; if you’re a photographer, you’ll have a preferred camera and angles you enjoy using, and so on. When you turn your hobby into a business, you’ll want to continue to use the same techniques and equipment that you always have – but this can hold your business back. When a hobby becomes a career, being able to offer variety is essential, as is the ability to speed up production by using high-quality tools.
The Solution: A robust investment strategy
A hobby-turned-business is still a business, which means that continuing to innovate and seek products that can improve results and offer variety is still important. This applies to any type of business; if you’re a crafter struggling cutting vinyl and similar materials by hand, then read VinylCuttingMachineGuide’s best vinyl cutting machine guide and choose an upgrade; if you’re a photographer still relying on the standard lens supplied with your camera, then look for new zoom lenses – and so on and so forth.
By focusing on the solutions presented above, you should be able to turn your hobby into a viable business that is primed for long-term success.