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12 Entrepreneurs Share Tips on How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

If your hobby has the potential to become a lucrative business opportunity, take note of these twelve tips on how to turn your passion into profit.

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7. Research the process.

“Turning your hobby into a business can be extremely rewarding because you never feel like you are [actually] working.  Find someone who is doing [your] hobby as a living. Discuss the pros and cons about the vocation you are considering with them.  Ask them or someone else in the field to mentor you.  Join industry and trade associations that can assist you in going from a hobbyist to professional in that particular field.”

Master Ed Samane, President and CEO of PRO Martial Arts @PROMartialArt

 

8. Build industry credibility.

“Become a true thought leader and build your credibility and expertise by writing, speaking, networking and doing media so that you become the go-to person for your marketplace. [For example], if you want to start a scrapbooking company, then get yourself a blog and start attending every conference you can and speaking to groups about it. If you want to open a car repair shop, start a Facebook page with car maintenance and repair tips and begin pitching yourself to the media to help people have a better experience when they need car repairs.”

Kristen Brown, Founder of Happy Hour Effect @HappyHourEffect

 

9. Test the market.

“Before you invest your life savings into it, perform market research and test the market.  By performing market research you can ascertain who your competitors are, the price points of products, what keywords and markets they are targeting. Analyze your competition and develop a plan to market the advantages of your company. Testing the market can be easily done by the various sales channels on the internet: eBay, Amazon, Etsy, to name a few.  Opening a small storefront though one of these channels will help you develop your policies, test your customer service and see if there really is a market for your hobby.”

Erica Tevis, Founder of Little Things Favors @lilthingsfavors

 

10. Choose a good network of peers.

“Surround yourself with talented people that you trust to give you good advice and solid feedback. This includes financial advisers  support for your e-commerce site (if you run an online company) and other technology, business mentors, creative geniuses and more. A good team equals a great company.”

Jason R. W. Bolt, Founder and CEO of Society43 @Society43

 

11. Get feedback from friends and family.

“I made it a point to listen with an open mind when a friend of family member had an idea or suggestion. If I had a question or needed a problem solved, I didn’t try to solve it myself. Why would I when I had an awesome support team right at my fingertips? There are talented people all around you.”

Tracy Sanders, Founder and CEO of SassaB @SassaBLLC

 

12. Treat your hobby like a business.

“Treat your hobby like it is a business, even if you haven’t made the full transition yet. That means being professional, responding to calls and emails promptly, treating deadlines with respect, and learning the art and science of customer service. Too many hobbyists think that the product or service should sell itself and that their own attitude towards the work shouldn’t matter. But if you want to make any money out of your business you have to recognize that it does require real, hard work and catering to your customers’ needs, not your own whims.”

Marjorie R. Asturias, President and CSO of Blue Volcano Media @marj_asturias

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