Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Turning a Hobby into a Business
Many of us dream of being our own independent bosses by going into business for ourselves. And most of us would jump at the chance to do what we enjoy, as a vocation. Realizing that kind of dream may be easier than it sounds, and people do it all the time by doing to a business that keeps them involved in the hobby or pastime they are most passionate about in life. If you think this is a path you want to take, make an inventory list of your favorite hobbies and areas of interest. You may have a talent that can be sold as a service, or you may have a hobby that will allow you to turn it into a business supplying products to others who share the same hobby. For example, if you are a mountain biking enthusiast, you may notice the need for a book bike shop in your town. You could open one and put your interest in biking to good use, providing a valuable service to others who needs accessories, bikes, and bike repairs. Or if you live in a place where the biking attracts tourists and other visitors, you could start a guide service, and lead people on organized bike excursions for a fee. Many athletes parlay their talents into businesses this way, by becoming coaches, by sponsoring lines of sports products, or by participating in the sport in ways that involve the kinds of things we mentioned – opening a store, a guide service, or a repair shop. There are retired law enforcement officers who start their own private security businesses, providing services like body guard work for VIPs or security patrols for industrial facilities. Sometimes artists open art supply stores, or musicians open music shops where they also charge a fee for teaching people how to play instruments. The possibilities are endless, and are limited only by your own enthusiasm and expertise in a particular subject. Do you enjoy gardening? You may be a perfect candidate for starting a landscaping business in your community. But others make money by simply acting as consultants. For example, many retired firefighters become consultants to businesses that need advice on fire prevention, or to companies that make firefighting products. Some people who are tired of working in corporate America leave their jobs, and then consult about the same kind of work they used to do. Maybe you are tired of working as a number cruncher in the back office of a big company, but you could leave that job and make just as much or more money by helping small businesses with their accounting systems. The sky’s the limit, and if you have a hobby that you convert into a job, chances are you will enjoy a high rate of worker satisfaction. That’s a huge perk for any kind of job.