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How are hobbies turned into successful businesses?

Many people dream of quitting the 9-5 and turning their hobby into sustainable income or career.

But it often feels like there’s too much of a learning curve and too many barriers in the way.

They often don’t know much about running or marketing a business, they’re not sure their ideas would ever work, and they’re worried that they just couldn’t earn enough money to make ends meet.

However, this needn’t be the case. With some focus and dedication, you can start making money from doing what you love and become like the one in six small businesses in the UK that are hobbies turned into successful businesses.

Here are some tips on how you can do the same, plus some encouraging success stories along the way.

Don't quit the day job

1. Don’t quit the day job just yet

Make sure you give your new business the opportunity to grow before you make the leap and hand in your notice on your day job.

Do this and you’ll save yourself stress and worry about how you're going to pay your bills at the end of the month, and you’ll save valuable energy that would be better spent working on your business. Yes, this will mean long hours and sacrifice in the beginning, but it will be worth it.

This approach meant that professional photographer Ben Costigan was able to transition stress-free from his previous career as an IT manager.

I gave my company 6 months to find a suitable replacement so that training could be given and knowledge could be transferred. Eight months later I finally left the practice and could begin my new career as a father and a part time photographer.”

business mindset

2. Adopt a business mindset

Creating a business from doing something that you’re passionate about is very different from enjoying your hobby whenever you have an hour or two to spare.

You need to make it your priority, even if you’re feeling tired, you’re stressed or overwhelmed or you’re just not in the mood and would rather curl up on the sofa in front of Netflix.

This is exactly what famous writers from Ernest Hemingway to Haruki Murakami have done over the years to turn their hobbies into memorable careers (not the Netflix bit of course!).

If they can do it, you can too.

Running a Business

3. Find out more about running a business

Having incredible skills and enviable talent might be great when you want to enjoy your hobby, but it won’t be enough by itself if you want to run a successful business.

Start learning more about how to run a business, the ins and outs of becoming self-employed and how to market your products or services so that you can achieve the success you deserve. This will help you get off on the right foot and help avoid hiccups along the way.

Do your research, talk to other people who know and have a read of our useful guide to setting up an e-commerce business for extra help and ideas.

Online Presence

4. Build your online presence

When you’re growing your business, it’s vital to have a strong online presence that allows you to reach potential customers, showcase your work, grow your brand, spread the word and be your virtual sales team 24-7.

This includes building a website and using social media sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to grow your business.

Believe in Yourself

5. Believe in yourself

Starting your own business can be extremely stressful and it does take time to get started. That’s why it’s so important that you believe in your skills and talents and have faith that you can make it work.

In the words of the great Richard Branson, “Believe in yourself and back yourself to come out on top. A fulfilling career is waiting for those brave enough to find it.

Start Now

5. Start now

There’s no time like the present to turn your hobby into a successful business. Learn what you need to, build that fantastic website and believe in your ability to grow a successful business and you’ll soon turn your pleasure into profit.

“I first started making cakes over twenty years ago when I began making birthday cakes for my children’s birthday parties. I am proud to have now turned what was once a hobby into my full-time profession. It is my pleasure to put just as much care and attention into the cakes I make today, just as I did all those years ago!”- Penny Bakes.

No one ever said that turning your hobby into a business was going to be an easy ride. But if you learn everything you can about business, grow an online presence, believe in yourself and don’t quit the day job too soon, you can start that thriving business sooner than you think.

If you’d like to know more about how to turn your hobby into a business and start selling online, come over and read our free guide to starting an e-commerce business or contact us today to find out how we can help.