Turning a Hobby into a Profitable Business

Most people have an activity that they love so much, that they do it even if they aren’t paid for it. But what if you can turn your hobby into a business? Isn’t this even better, getting payed for something you love? But how do you do it and what are some pitfalls?

The first critical step is to determine the commercial viability of your hobby. Yes sure, your family or friends love whatever you are doing with your hobby, but are they willing to get out the check-book to pay you to do more?

For instance: you make pie’s for your hobby. Everybody loves them. But are they willing to pay for it? Maybe you can make a batch of pie’s and try to sell them on a farmers market. This way you can determine, if people are willing to pay for them and how much a pie is worth. (Give it a go for a couple of weeks.)

After you know that a hobby is commercially viable, you can make your business plan and turning your hobby into a business.

Act Like a Business

One of the largest pitfalls of turning a hobby into a business is failing to make the complete transition from amateur to professional. Don’t play a business, but act like a business owner! You need to take care of the following tasks:

  • Open a separate bank account for the business. You need an account that is strictly for business income and expenses. This way you can determine quickly how well you are doing. Also it will make you look more professional to suppliers and other businesses.
  • Try to get a credit card for your business. Put it in your business name. If the card is in the business name, it will help you to establish business credit.
  • Maintain complete and accurate records. Start a record-keeping system right away and have the discipline to keep them up to date. Use bookkeeping software like quicken, it will help you tremendous.
  • Ask a tax advisor for specifics on how you can deduct business expenses. Sometimes it is also possible to deduct purchases that are made before you turned your hobby into a business. Just ask a tax advisor, they can help you with this.
  • If you don’t have a lot of money in the beginning of business start-up then you have to be resourceful. Try to make deals with other business, maybe they have something you want and you maybe have something that they need.
  • Listen to your customers. With a hobby, you only needed to satisfy yourself. But with a business you need to satisfy the customers. If ask them, customers will tell you what they need and want. Just ask, asking is free.
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One Response to “Turning a Hobby into a Profitable Business”

  1. paul on May 12th, 2008 10:15

    Great stuff.
    I just found your blog and love it.
    Look forward to reading more.