How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business | Entrepreneur - Latest Global News

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business | Entrepreneur

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A few years ago, my friend Sabah turned her passion for cooking into a cooking-on-demand business. It initially served its Cleveland area, quickly expanded to cover other major cities in Ohio and plans to expand even further. She is just one of many people I know who have turned their passion project into a successful business.

We all have our passion projects. We do them because they’re fun, because we like the challenge, or because they’re our way of doing something good in the world. However, from time to time, our niche interests and hobbies lead us to marketable ideas. For many, that is everything; They don’t know how to take the next step.

Sabah had a shortcut – she is married to my friend and business partner, who knew not only the next step, but all the steps after that. If you’re not lucky enough to have a spouse or friend who can help you, here’s how to turn your passion project into a successful business.

Related: Ten tips to turn your passion project into a business

Hobbies that make great side hustles

So you have a niche hobby and you’re wondering: How can I make some money with this? It’s important to remember that not all hobbies are created equal from a financial perspective. And a niche interest that might have been profitable 20 years ago (e.g. collecting Beanie Babies) could be a financial drain today.

By keeping an eye on the zeitgeist, you can anticipate trends and hobbies that are drawing public interest – and capitalize on those trends. Some, like the ones below, are side hustle ideas that you can start at any time.

photography

Senior portraits, weddings, special occasions, professional headshots – high quality, affordable photography is always in demand. With a website that highlights your work, you can book clients and make money from your passion.

Coding

From bug bounty programs to website design, freelance programming offers great earning opportunities. Knowledge of HTML, Python, Java, C++, or a variety of other programming languages ​​can be a financial boon.

Home design

If you have designed your home to fit into a problem of Architectural Digest, others will notice. Get advice on color palettes, furniture selection, room layouts and lighting – and bring your curated aesthetic to the masses with a home design company.

Video and audio production

Whether you’re promoting a brand on social media or starting a podcast, freelance producers can bring a marketing campaign to life. Sell ​​yourself on previous work and mention your experience with Adobe Creative Suite or Pro Tools programs.

Gardening

Your green thumb could put some green in your pocket. According to Mordor Intelligence, the landscape and gardening industry was valued at more than $250 billion in 2024, and if your own garden is thriving, you can fill a niche in your own (proverbial) backyard.

Write

Can you create clear and concise copy for a wide range of customers? If so, the possibilities are as vast as your vocabulary. Wordsmiths can serve as speechwriters, copywriters, technical writers, and ghostwriters and can assist with any editing needs.

Bake

Your beautiful cakes, cookies and baked goods could be more than just delicious treats; They could be a source of income. Many entrepreneurs have found success baking at home during the pandemic, and with proper planning and consistent customers, you can join them.

See if your hobby could be a business

Before you make any hard commitments or important financial decisions, consider whether you can make consistent money from your niche hobby. Who is the target customer? How much do current practitioners charge? How much money have you saved? How much do you expect to earn?

It is important that you are clear about expectations before investing your own money in your business. The following steps can help you decide whether you should turn your passion project into a side hustle—or even a career.

Have friends run it

When we experience that aha moment, it sometimes blinds us to flaws in our logic. To get a quick overview, have a few trusted friends discuss your idea. They may be able to show you obstacles you hadn’t thought of or know how to bring your idea to life. For Sabah, that meant asking other chefs for input. Don’t rely solely on the opinions of one or two people, but judge the enthusiasm of your friends. Because close confidants have your best interests in mind.

Analyze the market

Chances are good that others have had your idea. Sabah wasn’t the first to think of a cooking-on-demand service, but as she analyzed the market, she realized her idea could still work. A market analysis requires a thorough study of consumer trends and expectations, market size and demand for your offering.

To really stand out, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors. Although they may offer a comparable product, your goal is to outdo them. Analyze your customer feedback to identify gaps. By taking a closer look at similar companies, you may find ways to fill the gaps they leave behind.

network

Networking with others who have brought their company or product to market can be invaluable. They are ahead of you on the journey and can help you avoid costly missteps. If you’re lucky, you might find someone with similar experience and a willingness to mentor you. A good mentor can help you find the way forward when you encounter a hurdle. Keep communication open with your network and your mentor. They know the twists and turns and can save you headaches and costs.

Draft a business plan

Don’t invest a lot of money in a project before you have a detailed business plan in place. Previous steps such as analyzing the market will help you write this document and you should have clear financial expectations. Do the math – calculate your startup and overhead costs, insurance, marketing budget, revenue expectations and taxes. This will give you some basic expectations and a roadmap for financing if needed.

Start your side business

You’ve done your research. You talked to friends and other entrepreneurs. You analyzed the market and created a business plan. Now it’s time to take the first big step: getting your side business off the ground.

Turning passion into profit takes work. Do not be discouraged. As your business slowly grows, there may be moments of doubt and fear. Lean on mentors and consult your business plan. Like Sabah, if you have done the right work before launching, you can remain undeterred and follow the roadmap. The following steps will help you successfully turn your niche hobby into a business.

Create an MVP

In the world of software development, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a way to test your idea with a small group of early adopters. It is essentially an early version of the product with only a few core features. For Sabah, the MVP was a limited menu with a select group of chefs — and she was one of them. After proving her idea would work, she hired more chefs and added more dishes to the menu based on feedback from her customers. Early and real feedback is the goal of an MVP. After all, it is easier and more cost-effective to make changes early in the development cycle than in the middle.

Related: 5 tips to solidify MVP and why it is the most important aspect of building a startup

Set achievable goals

Be realistic about your financial expectations for the first year. In fact, it’s common for new businesses to lose money in their first year of business as they pay back their initial investments and build a stable customer base. Sabah set financial and personal goals that she could reasonably achieve. But don’t confuse that with that simply Goals. You should be ambitious but practical when planning to achieve your goals.

get help

Sabah didn’t build her business alone. She knew she needed help building the web applications her young company needed and outsourced the work. Trying to do everything leads to stress, burnout, and costly mistakes. It also takes longer to get to market and could mean the competition beats you to the finish line. Enlist freelance help or outsource product development to a team that has the knowledge and bandwidth to quickly develop a high-quality product.

To know when you need help, you need to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you can develop the product but need help with market analysis. Or maybe you need help building a brand identity and marketing the product. Outsourcing some of the work allows you to focus on what you’re good at and takes the pressure off your shoulders.

Related: Asking for help is good for you and your business

Stay in tune with the times

Markets and trends can change quickly. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on the competition and monitor your customers’ needs. The last thing you want is a product that’s outdated by the time it’s released, or a business plan based on last year’s “it” thing. By staying on top of market and cultural trends, you can change your priorities when the time is right.

It was a joy to see my friend’s business grow. She has overcome challenges with grace and never lets setbacks slow her down. And that’s also the key to turning your passion project into a successful business: believing in your vision enough to stick with it no matter what.

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