Turning Your Hobby Into A Business:

Lately, one of my young ones has picked drawing and coloring as their past time activity. At first I thought well, it would be one of those temporary projects where he would figure out that his artwork was lacking. To my joy though he has stuck to it and has actually improved to a level where I can say he can take it further. As a parent, I am left wondering whether it is right to take his hobby to the next level. Maybe even monetize or make a business out of it.

Should I though?

Hobbies are a part of your entertainment and relaxation system. By definition hobbies are those activities that you love and have fun while doing them. whether you can turn your hobby into a business can be affirmed albeit with some considerations. These considerations however, become even more critical when you decide to make them for someone else.

So what should we consider before taking the leap? Here is my top list.

How will the business decision impact your love of the hobby? Business are tough and without the explicit guarantee that they will work out, one needs to make “business” critical planning decisions before deciding to venture into one. In the long run the business aspects may end up killing your love of the hobby. Before taking the risk especially for someone else take time to consider/explain the possible consequences including failure.

Can I allocate the time/resources to push the hobby into a business? Any venture worth taking requires one of two things. Capital or Time. These are the two currencies you have to deploy at each stage for you to make a proper stab at a business venture. Sometimes these two are not inter changeable. You should therefore carefully consider what you are currently doing vis a vis what time/resources you can put into the business now and into the future.

Do I have the skills or do I need to hire? Most of us consider ourselves businessmen/women without having the skills and attitudes. Your skills and commitment are the lifeline of your business. Before venturing out sit down and list what skills you have and what you need. If there are gaps, determine how you will fill those.

Despite the hype it is a marathon and not a sprint? Businesses are grown and you should be willing to consider to do it as a side project as you learn. It is important to test markets slowly until you get a proper market fit. You might be surprised that most people get into one thing and along the line change into something else.

It might be what you love but it’s not what the market wants? Businesses are a death trap for needs and wants. What you want is usually sacrificed at the altar of what the market needs. My young one as I told you loves drawing action figures. The market unfortunately may need other type of art works. How then do I have him compromise without feeling he has lost? It is important to set your expectations and have these conversations before venturing out.

These are among many other considerations you might make before venturing out.

After making a judgement call and you believe you can adequately fend for yourself then go for it.

Before you take the business journey here are some “business’ considerations

First create a minimum viable product MVP.abv. This is your version 1 product with the best available features with all considerations in place. This has to take time. Market testing, iterating etc….

Second consider registering your venture. Is it a sole proprietor, a company etc.? If you can afford one, have a business lawyer explain the different aspects including liabilities beforehand.

Consider your organization chart and hire or contract those you can upfront. These should be key personnel. Develop your org chart over time.

Have your market strategies well laid out? Marketing is key and you should have a basic idea where you expect to draw you customers from.

Are you looking to create your brand? Brands resonate with people. They may not know the details of the product your selling but most will buy because they are attached to your brand.

Do you want to have an online presence? There was a time when an online presence was almost considered bourgeoisie. This however is not the case now and having one is considered a sign of stability.Many will consider your product, because of your online presence.

Well these are but a few of the strategies to get you going.

Before venturing out, consider the statement that your hobby is yours but if you share it with the world it will be theirs. All the best. Hope you get going.

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