How To Turn a Hobby Into a Business

Young woman knitter portrait on couch with winter hats

Working from home, and being the boss, is more popular than ever, but how can you find the right type of work and business to fit your lifestyle and needs? For many people, turning to their hobbies is the answer. By scaling up a hobby into a full-time business, you can start as big or small as you want to get a feel for the market demand, your pricing, and the time you can put into the hobby.

Start With a Narrow Niche

Your first step should be to search the market for your hobby, keeping in mind that the more narrow your focus, the less likely it is to overextend yourself. If you want to sell miniatures, for example, research which scales and items are most popular.

Next, determine who your ideal customer is. Knowing whether you want to sell small items to fellow hobbyists or large projects to mega-corporations will guide you to the proper vendor forums, supplies and equipment. For example, safely building and delivering large scenes like a corporate campus requires sturdy carts with small spring loaded casters. Making miniature food items for fashion dolls, on the other hand, will only require a rolling cart if you want a mobile workstation.

Allow for Room To Grow

Even though you want to start small to keep from overextending yourself, you will want to make sure to leave enough room to grow. If you decide to rent or purchase a workshop, for instance, it is a good idea to find a space with room to expand your showroom and workspace and a shipping and receiving space. Turning an old out-building or barn into a business space will allow for that type of growth, and you may even be able to rent space to other small businesses until you are ready to use it yourself.

The prospect of working from home is appealing, but turning a hobby into a career is intimidating. If you want to start making money with a side-hustle or a startup, begin with a narrow niche and expand as time and space allow.


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