From my post on How To Convert Your Hobby Into Business, recall that I told you that in converting your hobby or hobbies to business you have to address few details that would go a long way to determine your success. These details are questions you need to ask yourself and carefully answer. If you are able to answer the questions sincerely your hobby will survive as a business.
Now before you take decisive step of converting your hobby to business, please answer the following questions to best of your ability:
WHAT YOUR MOTIVATION?
Behind every successful business is a story. What’s yours? Bill Gates started Microsoft because he saw a world in which every home had a computer system that runs on Windows. He pursued the vision earnestly and today the rest is history. Your vision or goal that influences your decision to start a business will go a long way to keep you in the business when all odds are against you. Without vision or goal you will not be motivated to achieve anything. Visualize a football match without goal posts; it would be a pointless match. All players will be tired at the end of the match due to inability to score goals. Money should not be your main goal of starting a business because if it does you will be distracted and might not even achieve that goal. If money is the main purpose of starting a business, it is just going to be like your day job that you hate so much but cannot stop doing because of the pay it gives.
CAN YOU COMBINE YOUR HOBBY WITH YOUR DAY JOB?
Before conversion you have to decide if you are going to combine your day job with your hobby or if you are going to quit your day job to focus on your business. If you are to combine, you should be able to manage your time properly so that one does not clash with the other. What good will it be if you get fired from your day job because of low productivity while your business is yet to yield profit?
The following points will determine if you are to combine your day job you’re your business:
- The type of business – will it require 100% of your time for it to survive? If it does then you have to quit your job. However, quitting your job must be done with caution. Before you quit your job you have to consider your savings. Do you have money enough to last you for a year while your hobby-converted-business is still struggling to survive? If no, then you might want to postpone quitting your job until you have enough in your account.
- Potential Turnover – some businesses yield income fast while others takes time. After doing the cash-flow analyses you should be able to discover if the income from the business will make you enough money that your day job will not make you in the same time span. So if you spend more time on the business and be committed to it you will make more money within a year than ever. Do your math and decide.
- Meeting Deadline – you should be able to meet deadlines if you start running your hobby as business. It is a different ball game now because you have to be effective and efficient. Time is of essence if you are to make an impact. Do not forget to still enjoy doing it as a business so that you can deliver high quality products at all times.
WILL THE HOBBY BE PROFITABLE ENOUGH
Your hobby as a pastime is different from it as a business. You will be required to invest more money, time and yourself because you are going to be servicing paying customers. So choose the hobby that is profitable enough to pay the bills. You are not a philanthropist but a businessman, in that wise you should make returns for every penny spent. Whether you are combining it with your day job or not it must cover the expenses incurred on it.
CAN YOU SELL YOURSELF OR YOUR CREATIONS?
Whatever your hobby-converted-business is you have to be able to sell it to people. Master the art of selling because that knowledge is the link between your business and the world. You have to sell your products or yourself to win customers. A bad selling technique will ruin your business. Read How To Market Your Small Business Successfully.
CAN YOU MANAGE YOUR RESOURCE PROPERLY?
Economists say resources are scarce. If you have to run your business you have to become a manager and have the mindset of an entrepreneur. You should learn to manage your resources properly. Budget before you spend and do not spend unnecessarily. Your income or profit is not to be eaten but to be re-invested.
DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN YOU?
Businesses need additional investments for it to grow. Before converting your hobby to business or quitting your job and pursuing it, you need to check to be sure that have enough to sustain you and the business.
DO YOU HAVE A BACKUP PLAN?
You need a backup plan even if you are going to combine your day job and your hobby-converted-business together. Your backup plan is your survival strategy. It is your road map when things take another turn. It helps you cope with external challenges. For example you need a plan to survive if a new competitor that offers what you offer enters the market.
Once you are sincere in answering the questions you are good to go with your business. Most of the answers to the questions will assist you in writing your Business Plan, Business Proposal, Vision, Objective and Mission Statement.
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