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What to Consider When Converting Your Hobby Into a Business

Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Most of us could use some extra money in our purses, whether it's for paying everyday bills or extra spending money for fun. Signing up for a second job isn't for everyone and can be difficult to fit into an already inflexible schedule. If you spend your free time engaging yourself in a hobby, why not try and turn it into a business? While turning a hobby into a business takes time and commitment, you're working around your own schedule and aren't constricted by someone else's hours. And if your business generates enough income, you may eventually be able to make it your primary job. Bankrate published this checklist of the 10 most important things to consider when thinking about taking your hobby to the next level.

  1. Determine if a market exists: Reading books, searching online, and getting involved in discussion forums can help you figure out if your hobby has a chance to make money in the real-world marketplace.
  2. Don't limit your market: Find out where your product is in demand and establish a presence there. Your product may not sell locally in a down economy, but may sell well in more affluent areas.
  3. Don't overlook mail order: If your customer base is geared toward people who may not be internet savvy, try reaching them via traditional mail.
  4. Test market your product beyond friends and family. Seek out sources that will give you honest feedback about your product or service to see how much appeal it really has.
  5. Don't waste money on high-priced marketing gimmicks. Utilize the internet and read books to acquire inexpensive marketing knowledge.

There are five more on the list so just


  1. Price it right: Account for your time and overhead when setting a price to ensure you'll have sufficient resources to grow the business.
  2. Don't overlook the tax benefits: There are plenty of tax deductions available when you're self-employed and work from home. Consult a tax professional to see if you'd benefit from forming a business entity (partnership, limited liability company, S corp, or C corp).
  3. Don't barter, even when tempted: There can be nasty tax consequences to bartering. Instead, cultivate business relationships where you refer business to one another.
  4. Find a mentor: Most successful entrepreneurs have mentors, so find someone who has been in your shoes to show you the way.
  5. Network: Talk to others who share your interests, in person or online. As you learn, you will naturally become a resource for others.


Join The Conversation
Deba22 Deba22 9 years
Thanks for this--very helpful and well-timed!! ;-)
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i always think about seeing if there's a hobby of mine that would trasfer into a business but i haven't quite gotten there yet. i think that it's a great idea if you have the time and resources to strike out on the path.
foglie foglie 9 years
"Utilize the internet and read books to acquire inexpensive marketing knowledge" Mmm would be nice to read more of this so called 'marketing knowledge' - Love
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
If anyone needs ideas on how to market, feel free to e-mail me.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
will205, don't think like that. Just think those people will not be there forever, you have no idea where your business will take you or how it will grow. It may become a store or different things, those people may find you again or refer you. I think if you have a gift, please don't be afraid to lose it.
will205 will205 9 years
i would love to turn baking into a business in college - but i have no idea where to start - i feel like i would just gain and lose customers since i wouldn't be here forever!
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
those are good tips...but sometimes its so easy to say "oh its too hard" and let your dreams die..
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
This is my dream savvy! Thank you so much for these helpful tips!
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