Q: How can I know if my hobby would make a sustainable business?
A: The dream of earning a living doing what you love is the reason so many hobbyists enter the world of entrepreneurship. But, you'll need to shift your mindset, and operate your hobby as a serious business, viewing your hobby as something you have to do and no longer something you only do when you feel inspired.
Ask yourself these key questions:
Will you still enjoy your hobby once it becomes your job day after day?
Are you willing to become more than just a hobbyist? As a business owner you’ll likely be the accountant, salesperson, marketer and shipper.
Are you willing to put yourself out there? Many of our hobbies are reasons for us to escape the world. When your hobby is your business, you need to be shouting about it from the rooftops.
Is there a market for your product or service; and is the market large enough to sustain your business?
If you are ready to shift from hobbyist to small business owner, take the time to develop a well thought-out business plan, even if you are not seeking funding. It’s the best way to prove to yourself that there is, in fact, a strong business case for your hobby.
Here are some important components of a business plan:
Identify your target customer;
Consider the unique benefit you are providing that customer, and how you’ll communicate your value proposition to her/him; and
Determine how much your target customer is willing to pay for your product or service?
When you’re ready to make the shift from hobbyist to entrepreneur, do so with a SCORE mentor by your side.