How to Make Your Hobby a Six-Figure Business in 12 Months

Image source: Unsplash

What is your hobby?

Do you paint, bake, write, dance? Play guitar, maybe?

And now, for the most interesting question:

Have you ever thought of turning this hobby into a profitable business?

Sure, it’s not that easy: arrangements, funds, strategic realizations – all they are time- and energy-consuming steps you need to take toward the way for success. And yet, impossible is nothing for those in deed; and your hobby can bring you a six-figure income in a year since you’ve decided to launch a startup.

To be substantive, here go numbers behind some success stories:

  • Rosanna Pansino turned baking into $2.5 million of annual income.
  • Nick Palmisciano earns $20 million by putting funny words on T-shirts.
  • Jeff Goins has left his job for writing and started making six figures in less than a year.

Any more inspiration and motivation needed?

For you to follow these guys and succeed, make sure you want and know how to turn hobbies into businesses. This step-by-step guide will help.

Step 1: Define If You’re Ready

The mere desire is not enough. Before you start, make sure you understand what it takes to turn the activity you love into a principal earner:

  • Why do you think people would need it?
  • Do you have skills, experience, and resources to make it a business?
  • Are you ready to make it a full-time job, meet deadlines, deal with moody clients?

Understand that once you decide to start up – you risk losing a hobby. As my colleague Nancy Christinovich from the PlagiarismCheck website says, “your hobby is a kind of escape from a job, and turning it into business makes it a ‘jobby’.” Also, unlike with a hobby, you won’t be able to do it solo: accountants, brand ambassadors, employees, suppliers – are you ready to manage and become a good leader for them?

Estimated time spent: 1 month

Step 2: Research

Don’t quit a job once you’ve decided to start a business. What you need to do is marketing research that will allow you to learn a niche, find out who are competitors, and examine your target audience.

Answer the questions:

  • Is the market heavy? Do you have a place in the field?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What makes you exclusive? Why would people choose you?
  • Who is your target audience/buyer persona? Do you have channels to reach them?

Image source: MIG.com

The best business ideas are those solving a particular problem. What is your business idea? What is the message you are going to communicate to the world? Tell friends and professional business consultants about your plans, so they could provide a feedback and suggest enhancements.

Estimated time spent: 1 month

Step 3: Networking and Plan

Did you know that detailed planning could help a business grow 30% faster? After the marketing research, it’s time to craft a plan outlining all business aspects for you to see how to successfully implement them. This process is far from easy, so feel free to check these samples from Bplans for inspiration and better idea of what a stellar plan should look.

Long story short:

Include the following details to your business plan: analyses of your niche, company, and competitors; information about your target audience; a marketing strategy you will use to attract, engage, nurture, and convert them into clients; clear business goals and step-by-step actions you will take to achieve them; a financing plan (a startup capital, investors, alternative sources of funding).

Besides a plan, start building a personal brand and professional network:

Come up with a brand name and logo for your business, start a website, promote it online, take part in niche events, network with influencers, and build trust for people to know you and become your brand’s advocates.

One of the best ways to build awareness is blogging. So, create compelling content for better promotion and remember: brands with blogs generate 67% more leads.

Also, don’t forget about YouTube: Gen Y and Z are already there, and surveys say that 80% of all traffic will be video by 2019. Make video a part of your strategy to attract more people to your brand.

Estimated time spent: 6 months

Step 4: Funds

The advice of not quitting a job “unless you’ve saved enough money to cover four to six months of expenses” comes from successful guitar teacher Tom Hess. He recommends starting part-time and “go all-in” only with the money in your pocket.

But:

Crowd funding campaigns at Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and other corresponding sources can help you, too. Also, consider alternative ways to raise money from strangers. Get creative and don’t hurry up to take loans or look for moneybags to invest into your hobby.

Estimated time spent: 2 months

Step 5: Bring It to Life

To make six figures, forget that you work with a hobby. It’s your brand and primary source of income now, so consider self-growth and professional development to move the needle.

It’s challenging, but even if your initial business idea fails – you have many ways to monetize your hobby. As career coach Nancy Collamer claims, you can teach others, write about your passion, monetize a YouTube channel by speaking about your hobby, sell accessories related to it… You name it!

Estimated time spent: 2 months

Sure thing, it’s not that easy to stay motivated all the time. Daily routine, fatigue, productivity lack – we all experience emotional burnouts from time to time, but they are not a reason to give up.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start,” bestselling author Stephen King said. Do research, make a plan, prioritize, and just begin for things to get rolling. It’s about your passion, so you will overcome all challenges on the way to success.