Being able to do something we love for a living is the ultimate dream for many people. The digital world has transformed the world of business and made it easier than ever for people to build an online business and to turn their pastime into profits. Maybe you’re a writer who currently writes reviews for personal enjoyment, but you could easily monetise your talent by writing blogs, reviews, and articles as a freelance writer. Perhaps you are a crafter who produces home décor items or clothing for friends and family, or you’re an artist with ambitions to see your work in print. Whatever your passion, here’s how to turn your hobby into a business in 6 simple steps.
- Plan Your Strategy
Stage 1 is deciding what you want your business to be. If your hobby is creating goods, then it’s probably an online retail store, but if you plan on providing services for others or businesses by writing, advising or designing then your marketing and website will need to be tailored for that market. Decide exactly what it is that you want to do so you can start the next stage: research.
- Do Your Market Research
Once you’ve identified what you want to do, you need to investigate if other businesses are already offering it. What’s your competition and is the market saturated? How much will it cost to get the business started and running from month to month? How much will you charge for your services and is it enough to make a profit? This information is the foundation of your business plan and will inform how you move forward.
- Sort the Legalities
Make sure you understand and comply with all the legal requirements for starting a business in Australia. You’ll also need a few different types of business insurance, but the exact covers you need will depend on your business.
- Build an Online Presence
Your website and ecommerce platform are your online storefront, so it’s important to ensure you get the right solution in place for your type of business. Unless you’re an experienced IT developer, you’ll probably want to opt for an ecommerce platform which is easy to use and doesn’t require lots of time to manage. This is also a good time to consider if you just want to trade in this country or if you need and international ecommerce solution so you can sell internationally. In addition to your website it’s a very good idea to create social media accounts so you can connect with a wider audience.
- Create a Marketing Strategy
Marketing your online business is crucial in order to drive customers to your website. Your business will need a logo and branding to help you stand out from the crowd. Email marketing and social media marketing are low-cost ways to get started when marketing a small business, but you should ensure you’re reaching a relevant audience and producing marketing campaigns they’ll be interested in.
- Get Professional
If you’re still holding down a job in addition to your new business, you need to ensure you’re managing your time effectively, but you should be prepared for some late nights and early mornings as you try and get your business off the ground. Divide your time as sensibly as you can. You need to approach your hobby as a business now, and that includes keeping a close eye on all your costs and to ensure you’re making a profit as soon as possible.