Think Outside the Box
Now that you know that there is potential demand from your target customer group who are willing and able to pay you, it is time to think about monetizing what you know.
Design a sales funnel to up-sell your offerings.
The aim here is to provide a low priced service or product to entice your target customers to buy from you. By doing so, they get to know you and what you can do for them.
A $20 eBook on the subject could be your first enticement.
When someone purchases from you, you will have their email or contact details.
They will sample your offering.
If they liked it, then they are going to want more of what you can offer them. You can regularly promote your other services and products to your customers.
In marketing terms, this is called up-selling. For example, McDonald’s staff will ask whether you want fries with your burger.
There is where a well-structured sales funnel comes in.
You offer a more expensive online course at $99 and then a $200 group coaching product and maybe one-to-one personal coaching at $1,000.
Roadmap to your future earnings.
Always plan your sales funnel early so that you have a solid roadmap to success.
By understanding what you are going to build in the future, you are able to forecast your future earnings.
This product roadmap to success will be the key to sustaining a long-term hobby business.
Create a sales funnel that maximizes your profit.
You must be thinking outside the box when you are thinking about what you are going to sell.
If you love playing the piano, you can potentially monetize your hobby by:
- Coaching one-to-one or in a group.
- Recording videos on the quickest way for adults to learn the piano.
- Writing original piano pieces.
- Writing reviews of different pianos.
If you love writing, then you could be earning money from at least seven different income streams:
- Online courses
- Paid posts/articles say on Medium
- Coaching packages
- Affiliate links say with Amazon
- Third-party affiliate links say with email and online course providers
- eBook book sales
- Speaking engagements
If you love drawing or graphic design, then here are some possible ways to make money:
- Designing logos or materials for businesses
- Printing off digital art to sell at local art shows or e-commerce websites
- Selling designs to other companies who might be interested in using your artwork on a t-shirt or skateboard design
- Starting a graphic design website and monetizing your blog
- Teaching classes on sites like Udemy
The possibility to monetize your skills, passion, and hobby is endless.
Create Systems to Make Life Easier for You
You must develop systems and processes that would allow you to complete customer orders on time at the highest possible quality and at the lowest possible cost.
Whereas as a hobby you were producing one finished product a week, you may need to complete five in a day now that you are operating as a business.
Do similar tasks at the same time. Forget about producing one item at a time, particularly if your product requires a lot of preparation or assembly. For example, by pouring wax in the mold one day and painting the candles the next day, you can save a lot of time. It makes the process more systematic.
Expand Your Hobby into a Business
Be passionate about your hobby and in wanting to teach others about it; you may not be thinking about going beyond your small community. You may be happy where you are.
Ambitions can fuel your hobby business.
But if you are ambitious and want to expand beyond your current boundary, you need to be thinking about several things.
Do you have:
- Additional energy and stamina to crank out your hobby in large enough volume to take it into a bigger or viable business?
- Additional time to do this considering other personal commitments and work-life balance?
- Something else to bring you joy?
Are you thinking about retiring from your current job to do this hobby or business full-time?
Meeting customer deadlines to make money.
Making money from your hobby will inevitably mean meeting customer deadlines, pleasing unreasonable customers, and pursuing your hobby business even on days when you don’t feel like it.
In addition, you’ll have to do things like marketing and finances. Then there is the boring administration stuff like compliance, reporting, and taxes.
Be sure that you’re willing to juggle all these balls before you turn your hobby into a business.
Don’t add unnecessary pressure on yourself.
People generally pursue hobbies to blow off steam or just to relax.
In starting a hobby business, you may be adding a lot more pressure on yourself to make money.
As successful businesses require dedicated work and responsibility, it’s easy to take the fun out of your hobby.
Therefore, plan well.
Don’t be pressured to make things work if you are not ready.
Will I enjoy doing my hobby on a tight deadline?
You may love baking the occasional cupcake for friends and family.
But will you enjoy turning them out day in and day out, under time pressure for months (or even years) on end?
You’re probably going to be making or doing things faster than you previously would have.
Is this right for you?
Will I enjoy doing this with financial pressures to pay my rent?
There’s a huge difference between doing something for fun and doing it because you need the money to pay the rent.
If you want to turn your hobby into a business because you think it’s going to be as much fun as it was when it was only a hobby, you must think deeply about it.
You could be in for a surprise!
Is this hobby my outlet for relaxation?
If it is, then you would need to find something else to do to unwind because your hobby will no longer have that effect.
Am I up for a challenge?
Starting a business based on your hobby may be deeply fulfilling. But it won’t be easy.
Entrepreneurs or CEOs of start-ups usually exchange their 40-hour jobs for a 60-hour workweek. They enjoy working on something exciting. They have the freedom to do so without earning as much.
Starting a Business is Tough
Starting up a business will be tough especially if this is your first business.
There will be lots of things that you will need to do to support your business. Some of the work you may not enjoy doing.
It’s a good time to think about what it takes to be an entrepreneur or small business owner.
Am I willing to sell myself?
Here’s a myth you need to overcome – If you build it, they will definitely come.
To make money for yourself, you must market yourself and your products and services.
There are lots of people wanting free stuff. They will take advantage of you to get things for free.
Do I know the local laws and regulations?
They may even ask for a refund for whatever reason.
Depending on the local consumer laws, you need to know your customers’ rights and what you need to do to avoid regulatory non-compliance.
Will I get paid?
The reality is that freelancers and small business owners are struggling with collecting their payments on time from customers.
Unfortunately, they are small. People just take advantage of them. It will most likely happen to you if you don’t manage debtors well.
Can I manage my cash flow?
Managing your cash flow, any potential bad debts or even accounts receivable must be your top priority. This is more so when your livelihood depends on it.
If possible, collect the payment before you provide your service or product.
Start your business as a side hustle first, at your own pace.
Perhaps you need to first test the waters while you are still working in a nine-to-five job to make sure that you have a viable revenue model and income streams for your hobby business.
The important thing to note is that you don’t mess around. You don’t want to lose your day job before you are ready to leave it to pursue your hobby business full-time.
This try-before-you-buy approach can fully test your desire and long-term commitment to start a hobby business. It gives you insights into your ability and desire to continue.
Everything is a learning experience.
Even if it does not work out, you have learned something about yourself. You have given this a try, and it did not work out. That’s OK!
Never beat yourself up for failing this ‘experimentation.’ It’s just part of life.
Starting out small, on a part-time basis, is the key to ensuring that you are ready and prepared for what is to come.
Think of your hobby as your second job.
Give your hobby business the respect it deserves. It’s not something you can take lightly.
Start slow but be consistent and committed. You must show up to do the work regularly.
Because it’s a side hustle or hobby, you don’t have to rely on it as your sole source of income yet. You can put as much or little time into as you want, at least for now.
Remember that a hobby is something you do at your leisure. When you make it a business, you must show up to work. You need to meet customer deadlines.
Think of your hobby as your second job if you are serious about it. Make it a priority in your life.
Make serious money first.
Take baby steps. Constantly set goals and milestones to ensure traction.
Take your time to grow your side hustle. Focus on making serious money first. Then think about quitting your job or scaling your business.
Constantly reinvest any money you earn from your side business to grow your business.
Invest in yourself so that you can acquire new skills and knowledge that will help you with your hobby and growing the business.
This is Part Three of a five-part series. Find Part Four here.
Part Two- Build Interest in Your Hobby Business