TURN YOUR HOBBY INTO MONEY
Do you love your job? Did you set out to do what you were passionate about, rather than what was lucrative or convenient? All over the professional world, surveys are discovering that only thirty to forty percent of working professionals are in their dream jobs. Right now, many of you would probably be putting on the sceptic’s hat and go, “life isn’t that black and white, it isn’t that easy to just up and leave my secure job for an unstable dream.” Well, you’re right – it isn’t easy. Hence, don’t leave your job, but take a stab at doing what you love just on the side. You can always commit full time to it later on if or when it generates enough income. Reasonable, right? Here are some tips to get you started.
Stick to what you know and love
Sounds repetitive, I know, but this point cannot be stressed enough. Don’t just be attracted to a prospect because it’s lucrative. Everyone has a hobby, and all you have to do is look within that hobby’s field and match it to a business prospect. Love gardening? How about gardening supplies, or teaching others how to do it? Love baking? You can always sell cookies and cakes to your friends and family for their birthdays or anniversaries. The reason why you should do what you love is because you’ll flourish along with all related skills because you’re naturally passionate about it.
Utilise free or cheap marketing tools
Aren’t you lucky that we live in the digital era? Marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn represent marketing channels to reach the masses at little or no charge. Provide updates, blast promotions and get new business prospects just from a computer screen. Additionally, what many budding entrepreneurs do to supplement traffic to their businesses is to make instructional videos that they share on YouTube, Vimeo and other free content sharing sites. Leave the expensive ads for when your business takes off.
Ease into the part
It’s just a side business, I know, but if you were to ever see it bloom, you have to fit the character. Inform your friends and family that you’ve started this side business, and get them to support you in any way, even if it’s just spreading the word. Get some name cards printed and give them out. Let people know that you know your business through and through. If you’re in the T-shirt business, wear them. If you’re baking, give out samples every chance you get. Live the part. However, be careful you don’t cross the line by letting it interfere with your main job.
Plan, plan, plan
This one is important, because more often than not, lack of planning allow these side businesses to go stagnant. Also, you have to plan ahead so that it doesn’t affect your day job. List out your goals, budgets, sales targets, target markets, promotions, start-up and running costs – everything you can possibly think of to make it as comprehensive and detailed as possible. Lastly, make sure you set aside time for the administrative stuff, like bookkeeping, employee records and documentation.
Get affordable working spaces
What many people find after kicking off their side businesses is that they need someone to facilitate the nitty-gritty side of their businesses – the day-to-day stuff that you simply can’t cope with during your day job. So, they hire an employee who works out of his or her home. The thing is, you simply can’t control the quality and deadlines of their work. So, since today we have shared office spaces, many turn to this option. Additionally, you get the fringe benefits of meeting room spaces, room for stocks and supplies, a virtual business address and, in some cases, legal and accounting consultation, all for a fraction of what you’d pay in should you lease a business unit.