Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make some side income with a skill or hobby that you already have and enjoy doing?
During COVID-19, many of us have the privilege to work from home and not commute to work anymore—perhaps you’ve thought if you should start a side business with the extra time you’ve found.
Whether it’s a crafty skill like jewelry making, or a more digital skill like graphic design, there are many ways to monetize the skills we already know.
Here are 5 tips on how to jumpstart your creative business!
Get in the Right Mindset
You might have all the skill and talent in the world, but if you don’t believe in yourself or have many doubts about starting a business, you’ll stay stuck! Most often than not, people don’t start their businesses because of a limiting mindset.
Before you start working on your new business, ask yourself how you feel about starting a business. Are you scared of what other people will think of you? Are you worried about trying something and “failing” at it? Ask yourself why you feel this way and see if you can come up with an alternative belief that will help you get into a healthier mindset.
Do Market Research Before You Go All In
If you have a business idea, that’s great! But how can you test out the idea with as little risk as possible before you commit fully to it? All savvy business owners will do some market research before starting their business to validate their idea.
Who else is operating a similar business? You can start by Googling how big the market is and figuring out who your main competitors are. Is there a market need for this kind of service in the market segment that you want to serve? Many new business owners create a survey and send it out to a dozen or so people to collect some preliminary market research.
In this digital age, resources on how to start a business are plentiful: You could do a simple Google search on any business topic and find thousands of articles. You could also consume some YouTube content to learn more about starting a business. If you want to learn how to start a calligraphy business, check out my 6,000-word blog post on how to start a calligraphy business from scratch.
Locally, there are incredibly helpful organizations like Small Business BC that that can help you jumpstart your business journey. When I got started in my business, I took advantage of Small Business BC’s 30-minute advisory appointment and found the advice invaluable.
Market Within Your Network on Social Media
With limited networking events these days, social media is probably your best bet when it comes to marketing your new business. When I first started my calligraphy business in 2018, I promoted my holiday greeting cards on my own Instagram and Facebook and got 20 orders from friends. As business owners, we often underestimate the power of using your own network!
To start, decide which social media network you’ll focus on. Many creative businesses start building a portfolio on Instagram because it’s a platform that heavily emphasizes the visual. If you’re feeling stuck with growing an Instagram profile, check out the 6 strategies I came up with to grow your Instagram.
Do a Little Every Day
Starting a business is overwhelming. Starting small and doing a little every day will help you build your business in the long run. Even as little as 30 minutes a day can add up over time.
If you want to integrate your business more seamlessly into your life, you can listen to a business podcast while exercising, connect with other creative business owners on Instagram instead of looking at memes, or brainstorm business ideas while you’re showering. They say that we overestimate how much we can do in a day, but we underestimate how much we can accomplish in a year. What’s something today that you can do to start your creative business?
Starting a business can be very rewarding and fun. If you enjoy your hobby and have some extra time, why not try to make some cash on the side during quarantine?
Some people think you need something very special to run a successful business—maybe being born into a family of business owners or some incredible natural talent—but I’d disagree with that.
Have courage, do a little every day, and take advantage of resources like those offered by Small Business BC. Good luck!