Do you have a hobby you simply love? Knitting, cooking, baking, Fishing, Hunting, talking – whatever? Sure you do. Well how would you like to get paid for doing that?
If yes, then here is how to go about it
Step One: Find out who gets paid for this, why and how. For example, if your hobby is cooking, do you know who gets paid to cook? What types of businesses are making money from that? Lets see;
- A chef in the Meikles Hotel gets paid as an employee to cook
- Chicken Inn, Nandos and all take outs get paid to cook
- Adrienne’s restaurant in Belgravia gets paid to cook
- Amanzi restaurant in Highlands gets paid to cook
- Cafe Nush in Avondale gets paid to cook.
- Catering companies also get paid to cook
So clearly, a lot of people are getting paid for doing what you’re simply treating as a hobby. That’s a good thing. If there are other viable businesses out there getting paid for what you do as a hobby, that means there is a market (demand) out there for it. By looking at the various ways people are making money from it, you can decide on a business model for your new business.
Step Two: How Will You Be Different?
“But i can cook anything” is a bad place to start. It may be true, but it’s not going to make for an efficient and profitable small business. You must live in the tension between what the market wants, and how you’re different from your competitors serving that market. Are you going to focus on
Baking delicious cakes, snacks and little eats? Indian Food? Chinese Food? Sadza & Chicken? Pizza?
Whatever it is, be clear about what your focus is going to be and how you’re going to be different from your competitors. If you’re not different, then no one has a reason to spread the word about you, or choose you over an already known and trusted business. This is one of the things that changes when you turn a hobby into a business. When you were doing it as a habit, you didn’t have to out-perform or differentiate yourself from others, now as a business, this is a must.
Step Three: Start A Blog! Seriously.
“But Max, why should i start a blog about making Sadza and Chicken? See, starting a blog does a few things for you that you can benefit from tremendously in your transition from having a hobby to having a business.
- It can establish you as an authority, an expert in your field.
- It can get the word out about your business and attract customers
- It can differentiate you from your competitors
- It can attract the resources you need (investors, potential partners, employees etc).
- It can open up opportunities you don’t current see right now.
- It can even serve as another income stream for your new business.
There are other ways to do this besides blogging, but blogging really is the most affordable and easily one of the most effective ways to go about it. “But c’mun Max, what can someone say about Sadza and Chicken in a blog? It’s boring”. No it’s not there are no boring topics, only boring writers. Get creative and you’ll find out there is lots of stuff you can write about with in your hobby, and business that many readers will find most interesting.
Step Four: Start Talking to people:
Talk to suppliers, potential customers, competing businesses, complementary businesses, friends and relatives. Talk about it in the fuel cue, on Facebook, in the ET, at the bank. The more people you speak to, the more real the opportunity and the business is going to become for you. Ask people’s opinions, ask for prices, anything and everything. If you can, print out a business card and hand it out to all these people with your company name and your blog address.
But Be careful. Not everyone will be encouraging. Not everyone will want you to succeed and not everyone cares. Don’t let that stop you. Now that you’re starting a business, your number one job is to get people knowing about what you do, and what you can do for them, even if it’s only 3 or 6 months from now. Refer those who are interested to your blog. “Hey thanks Mike, check out my blog on Tuesday, I’m writing about “3 Diseases Eating Sadza Can Prevent – you’ll love it”.
Step Five: Legalize Your Business: Get a company registered. This allows you to trade freely and access facilities and opportunities not often available to informal businesses. If you want your business to grow and have real potential, then you can’t treat it like a hobby anymore, now it’s a business…act like it.
This of course is just the start of your journey, but if you’re serious about turning your hobby into a real viable business. Get cracking on the list above.
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