There are many ways a business idea can evolve, but one of the common scenario’s we see here at Small Business BC is the person who is looking to turn their hobby into a business.
Likely, they started making crafts, jewellery, cakes, etc. to give to friends and family as gifts, never with the intention of actually selling them, and of course received rapturous praise. So thrilled with the gifts, their friends and family often say “have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a business” telling the person “I know so many people who would buy these “.
While some may just brush off the suggestion, others begin to wonder “Can I really do this?”, “Will my products actually sell?” and ” Where do I start?”
The answer is simple, first you need to evaluate your business idea.
How to Evaluate Your Business Idea
Evaluating your business idea doesn’t mean determining if it is a good or bad idea, but it’s to determine if there is a market for your product, how much money you need to start-up and run the business, and who your competitors are.
A great tool to use is the Evaluate Your Business Idea information sheet. I call it the Pre-Business Plan. The questionnaire covers 20 different points that are crucial to understanding your business and industry as a whole. Topics include:
- Creating a customer profile
- How your product or service will solve a problem for your customer
- Defining how and where you are going to sell to customers in your area
- Who your competitors are and the price they charge
- Pricing and costing your product
- Identifying industry trends that can help or hamper your business
- Government laws and licensing that apply to your business
- Marketing and sales strategies
- And the required resources to make the business work and grow.
Getting the Help and Education You Need
After going through this exercise, you’ll be better prepared to create your business plan and have a better understanding of what is involved with starting a business.
But fear not! You don’t have to do it alone. There are number of tools and resources available to you to help along the way. And we’re here to help you get on your feet.
Small Business BC has a number of seminars that will help you evaluate your business. From Business Mapping and Market Research, to branding and pricing and costing your product .
If seminars aren’t your thing, our team of advisors are also here to help like our market research, business plan and trade analysts
Proof that You Can Do it Too
What I love most is seeing a fun hobby turn into a profitable small business. Some of these great hobby turned businesses I’ve seen include:
So get out there, get your hands dirty, take a leap of faith. If you are unsure where to start give us a call or pop by and talk to us.
And Don’t Worry if Your Idea Doesn’t Work, There’s Other Options
Tom Kelley, best-selling author of Creative Confidence, The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation as well as a partner at the renowned design and innovation consultancy IDEO, once said “Fail often so you can succeed sooner.” And it’s true. One of the greatest traits of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to dust themselves off and try again.
If at the end of the process, your business idea does not seem viable, why not consider a different way to monetize your hobby? For example:
- Teach others how to do what you love by providing education or training in the area
- Create an online store selling key accessories for others that share the same hobby
- Write about your hobby for magazines or for a blog
- Appraise, repair or fix items that are related to what you love
A hobby is an important part of a business idea as it will provide you a window into what you already love and value most naturally. All components to a business and career where you’ll flourish.
There can be a huge amount of joy creating income from something you might happily do for free. There are also practical benefits. You will likely already have many of the skills, experiences and personal connections needed for success. Now you just need the tools and resources to make it profitable.