Some tips on how to turn hobby into a lucrative business
“The lucky people that end up doing what they love even find out something that they don’t love it as much as they thought.”
―E. A. Davis
Most everyone wants to work and be able to earn a living doing something they love. For some people, their work is a great burden on their shoulders. Everyone would love to turn their beloved hobby into a job, to do what they want, and also to make a living. Many people consider their hobbies to be their favorite thing to work on, the only problem is how to arrange everything and to get the money for this work?
The following is a guest post by Sandra J. Hayward for edubirdie.com
There is a category of people for whom turning a hobby into a job is especially important: the pensioners and women who stay home with their children. They probably have enough time to do whatever they want, but to get a regular job with a rigorous schedule is not always possible (especially for women with small children).
It is also important to turn a hobby into a job for those who suffer from any disease that, in general, will not interfere with the usual lifestyle, but can interfere with work and career development (like dystonia, that is characterized by frequent migraine, acute response to changes in the weather, and so on). When a person has got these health disorders, regular morning lifts and going to work (especially to the unloved one) may finally destroy the delicate balance of the body and their psyche. But a favorite hobby as a business, on the other hand, will improve the mood and the general condition.
Nowadays shops are crammed with standard products while everybody wants something original, not like a common stereotypical thing, which can be purchased at every corner. And this fashion triggers the concept of hand-made stuff. Crafts from wood, beads, plastic, papier-mache, and other materials – as long as they are original, in a single copy — are extremely popular. The knitted scarf is valued much higher than the scarf of the factory production. And many of those who had manufactured things within their own hobbies begin entering the market, offering their products to a wide consumer.
But the question is how to enter the market? You can, of course, simply pack your scarves, hats, beaded trees and matchbox palaces in the bag, and march to the nearest market. But this method is not effective at all. In addition, while you are selling the products, who will produce the new product?
The transformation of a hobby into a business must be approached with the utmost seriousness, making no discounts on the “fineness” of the goods, and even more so – to “cottage industry.” Pricing, coming up with the target audience, the study of the market structure and volume of market niches, competitors study, sales methods, and so on – that is, all that is required to start a business. If you want to turn a hobby into money you need to approach this undertaking with the seriousness.
In the first place decide who will be your target audience. The final price is actually dependent on the audience, as well as the maximum price that can be assigned to a product, and even options for product distribution system. For example, large trees of the beads are bought by people mostly with a good income, but a small tree or beaded pot of violets gladly acquire anyone who wants to decorate the house, including people with incomes below the average. Sculptures made of foam and foam are designed for owners of private houses and cottages, whereas small figurines of the same materials can buy any person regardless of whether they have a country house or not.
Market research is just one of the steps needed for the organization of business. While producing hand-made things, you need to keep abreast of developments in this area – new trends, fashion, competitors, technology, materials. This allows to rebuild the “production” in time when you need that and / or expand it in order to include additional target audience.
The best way is to visit and participate in a variety of hand-made exhibitions, especially in exhibitions and sales. Participation in the exhibition is not only an opportunity to sell a product, it is also the assertion of a certain status (buyer, buying something at the exhibition, buys not only the product but also a certain artistic value – the exhibition is also associated with the creativity and uniqueness). You can also find wholesale buyers at such exhibitions (for example, companies involved in the sale of souvenirs, or various artistic production, knitted as well).
Your own web-site will definitely give you good results: it allows you to submit showmanship (photos, videos), talk to potential buyers (online feedback should be provided, and the person leaving a review on the product should receive a reply from the author. With high probability this product will be purchased again). This is also a great possibility to organize the opportunity for your customers to make online orders. This is especially significant in the production when it comes to high-value products, the production of which requires expensive materials, and fairly a lot of time (for example, marker trees of beads and bead complex compositions, knitted products with very complicated pattern fall into this category).
In order to set oneself up as a specialist in the manufacture of any product, you can go further on the path and start writing workshops and place these workshops on your website. Availability of online workshops of handmade products with high-quality photos or even videos, not only attracts visitors of the website but also increases the confidence of potential buyers – they can see with their own eyes how to make a particular product, make sure that the work is worth the money that you ask for the product.
An extra income can be as an additional bonus for you. In fact, a widely promoted web-site is usually a target of some people who want to place their advertisements there.
The most difficult thing in handmade products is the sale. And it is not because these products have few buyers. It’s just that many beginners have the question of where to sell? In terms of the sale of the hand-made products, we can recommend not only websites and exhibitions and sales but also the usual shops. The only problem – you have to concede in price as the store makes its mark on the product and the total price may be too high for the buyer. Hand-made products are extremely popular in specialized stores (stores that sell a variety of works of art, works of authorship, and so on). You can also organize a selling spot in one of the local markets or give all your stuff to the similar spot.
All in all, there is a great opportunity for you to make your hobby the main source of income. So, go ahead and never give up!
This guest post was written by Sandra J. Hayward. Sandra is a Miami Dade college MBA graduate that is interested in academic research and writing but does not want to depend on the rigorous schedule. That is why she has been collaborating with edubirdie.com for a long time as a freelance writer and enjoys her flextime a lot.”
For more detailed information on starting your own crochet business please check out my business series “Selling Your Crochet” as well as my article on Selling in Retail Boutiques. If you are just getting started you might also want to check out How to Pick a Business Name.