Turning your Hobby into a Business

Crafting Knit HobbyThere is nothing to suggest that you can’t make your favourite interest or passion into a profitable business. There are very few hobbies that can’t be monetised in some way or another and it just takes a little research and time to get yourself out there onto the work at home mum’s market.

Within weeks of having a baby many mothers and fathers find themselves looking for alternatives to the return to work. It can be hard if you don’t already have a business idea in mind but looking towards your hobbies and interests could be key. ONS statistics from 2013 showed that there were 367,000 more people in self-employment than there were in 2008 and this figure is growing. Self-employed mums and dads are becoming even more integral to the economy so why don’t you join them?

First things first

The first step in turning your hobby into a business is brainstorming. If you’re a skilled crafter do you want to sell your wares or your expertise? Jotting down everything you could do is that start and from there you can pick out which you believe will be most effective and put together your business plan.

Your business plan will be the key document in your business success. It should include everything from where you plan to go with your business to the costs involved and the support you may need. As a self-employed mum or dad you know it won’t be easy but working with something you’re passionate about should make it feel worthwhile.

Ask questions. Is your idea viable? Is there a market for it? Remember the more you factor in to begin with the more chance of success you’ll have. Holding back because you’re not sure is never a good thing either. If there are low start-up costs then it’s worth testing the water.

Make it Official

Before you even begin trading you need to set things up legally. Registering as self-employed is the best option when you’re turning a hobby into a business rather than a limited company or partnership. You need to register with the HMRC so you can complete your tax return when required.

Health and Safety

Many businesses, especially if you’re planning to sell food or drinks products, need to comply with specific health and safety regulations. You can visit the Food Standards Agency for all the information you need in this respect.

Build your Online Presence

There is nowhere better to shout about your business than online. It’s likely you already have a network of friends and followers on social media and in all likelihood this can be your first market. Of course you don’t want to turn into a promotional spam machine but you certainly can begin promoting your new business here. You’ll also need to setup your own website (keeping our tips in mind) and look into selling via other platforms such as Etsy and Folksy for craft businesses.

The larger your presence online the better chance you have of sticking in people’s minds.

There is no reason your hobby can’t become your job. If you’re passionate about history consider tutoring or providing guided tours. If you’re a crafter then surely you can develop a line of wares that appeals to others. There is scope if you’re keen to become a WAHM and our resources are hopefully here to support you on your way.

Image Credit:  Attribution Some rights reserved by elitatt (http://www.flickr.com/photos/elitatt/6058689991/sizes/m/)