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The 5 Best Things About Turning a Hobby Into a Business
This is a guest post from Julie Morris, a Life and Career Coach. Ms. Morris also blogs at www.juliemorris.org.
If you’re among the 85 percent of Americans who hate their job, perhaps this is the time to consider turning a hobby into a business. You may be wondering how to turn a hobby into a business! Now, before you go into your boss’s office and give your notice, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the entrepreneurial backbone to stick with the process from start to finish. Before explaining all the reasons why starting your own venture is a good idea, it’s important to discuss the reasons why it can be risky. If you’re going to run your own business, you need to be a tenacious risk taker who is willing to adapt and problem solve at a moment’s notice.
Approximately 20 percent of small businesses survive their first year, and around a half the remaining ones don’t make it past five years, and only one-third surpass a decade. While these statistics haven’t deviated over the years despite changes in the economy, the sunnier side is that businesses that do hang in there are likely to last for the long haul. So, if you think you’ve got what it takes, and you’ve got a product or business idea that can stand out from the competition, then get ready to enjoy some of these benefits that come with business ownership.
1. More spare time—at least, eventually
Make no mistake. You’ll be logging some serious hours when you are in startup mode, but once you get in the groove, you’ll be able to create a doable schedule without your boss being upset that you have to leave a bit early to pick up the kids from school.
2. Tax benefits
Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll be able to write off expenses such as phone bills, office equipment and space, mileage, travel, business-related meals, and much more. Just make sure you speak with your accountant about what you can and cannot write off so you’re not surprised when you’re doing your taxes.
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3. You’ll build your skill-set
It’s unlikely that you’ll know everything there is about starting a business, but when you’re first starting out with a staff of one (you), you’ve got to dive in. While it’s best to leave legal and financial aspects to a pro, issues like leases, overseas shipping costs, product storage, building codes, and liability insurance (the list goes on) require you to educate yourself on finding the best solutions and answers. Owning your own venture is a perpetual learning process, and you’ll be able to build your skills.
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4. Financial independence
While it can be difficult to determine exactly how long it takes to turn a profit—the average time is around two to three years—this is not to say you can’t take a salary depending on the situation. Regardless of the timeframe or what you hope to make for the long term, knowing that your income has the potential to be as great as your efforts is an incomparable—and non-claustrophobic—feeling.
5. You could be responsible for creating jobs
While you’re liable to be running the show in the beginning, if your business is successful, there’s going to come a point where you’re going to need to hire employees to help you manage the growth of your company while making it operate more efficiently in the process. You can also look at it as an opportunity to be the boss you always wanted to have.
While you may enjoy various hobbies, make sure that you can produce a product or service that can grow legs beyond a recreational activity. It’s important to be able to project the future in a business plan so that you establish realistic goals so you stay on track and grow your business. It won’t be easy, but once you establish the momentum, you’ll realize that the risk is worth the reward.
A note from Amy
Thanks, Julie for writing this great post about the best things about turning a hobby into a business. If you’ve been wondering how to turn a hobby into a side business, I hope it helped you! Have you taken a hobby to the next level? Created a side hustle, a business? I have, twice! Several years ago I took a lifelong live a photography and built a successful business around it. Last year, I built a social media management company based on my love for Pinterest! I’d love to hear about it in the comments!