Tips and tools to turn your hobby into a profitable business

Tips and tools to turn your hobby into a profitable business

Financial problems and poor management decisions are the main reasons why start-ups fail, but some strategies can avoid this happening to yours. Follow these tips and increase your chances of success.

Go From Hobbyist to Entrepreneur

You may have a hobby that people are always saying you should be selling. It may be your birthday cakes,  the sweaters you knit, the web pages you help friends design, or the way you can fix your own car. If this is the case, maybe you should consider taking their advice and turning it into a business. 

Doing something you love, is the best secret to enjoy your work. You already have expertise in your field of choice, which is a necessary ingredient for success. So, whether it’s an on-the-side job or your new regular job, all you need to do is to start thinking like a successful entrepreneur.

Create a Business Plan

Create a business plan that includes details about your company’s product line, organizational structure, marketing strategies, and goals. This provides an entrepreneur such as yourself with an agenda for reaching your objectives. A well-developed business plan can also help you get financial help if necessary.

Know Your Target Audience

Identifying your customers will help you determine what the best sales strategy is.  If you know who you are aiming at with your business, promotions, advertising, and communication plannings become a lot easier. Basing your target customers on age, sex, income, or lifestyle are some of the possible options.

Study Your Competition

Once you have decided what you are going to offer, and who you are going to offer it to, you need to look into your competitors. Finding out what customers think, at what things they are good at, and at what things they are not, will help you work on what your target audience is needing. It can also give you an idea of how to price your products or services. 

Any of these strategies can help you launch a successful business. But make sure you enjoy what you’re doing because you’ll likely work a lot of hours till you get your business running.

How to become an entrepreneur later in life

There is really no age limit for financial success, but trying to become a businessman when you are older may have challenges of its own. Here are some tips you should take into account.

Ignore your age

It could sound silly, but ignoring how old you are is the first step. Becoming an entrepreneur may seem like something that is only for young people, but it’s not. If you feel like putting up a business, that’s all you need to get started. 

Other people, people who love you and care about you, could try to talk you out of it. And they surely have the best intentions, but you shouldn’t let them limit your dreams. It is true that, with age, come more responsibilities (children, aging parents), but being aware of this will help you think of contingency plans in case you need them.

Learn from others

All entrepreneurs, of all ages, are open to learning new ideas. You need to be up to date with new advancements in your field. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone who will do it for you. Finding a mentor who is successful in your field will also help you see profits quickly.

Get your family involved

If the other members of the family get involved, this could make it all an amazing experience besides becoming a successful business. Your children can help you out and your wife may be happy to feel a part of it too. Children today, know a lot about things that are not so familiar to adults. Social media, YouTube, or the Internet may be useful for your business and they can help you with these things, for example.

Also, feeling it is a family business, will make it easier for them to not hate your job if it takes up part of the time you used to dedícate to doing things together.

Consider your personal finances

Starting a new business will, of course, have an impact on your economic situation. You should analyze this before you get started. If you need a loan, and that will change the lifestyle of your family, it is something to evaluate before you start. You could, otherwise, be using savings that were meant for a family trip, or you could have to eat out less to pay for the costs of starting your business, and these are things you should talk over as a family.

Overcoming the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur at an older age is not that difficult if you follow these tips. Preparing yourself and your family for it is the key to success.

How to use Instagram to build your brand

Instagram is one of the most popular social network apps nowadays and it is actually a business for many influencers who make a living by posting a photo. Although this might seem like a dream job for just about anyone, there is actually more to Instagram that we’d like to share with you.  

It is not only a matter of how many followers you have, because the number is pretty meaningless if your content is not engaging your audience. Sponsors would rather spend their money on an Instagram profile that has a lot of interaction with the public, even if the number of followers is not as high as some other accounts with less interaction.

Where to start?

Sometimes it looks like it is really hard to do something innovative and different from any other thing that you see out there, but there is a way to stand out: brand image. You need to answer three questions: What am I selling? Who am I selling it to?

How am I going to sell it? 

Back in the day, the focus was placed almost exclusively on the product. But then a lot of brands appeared and gained market, so those who wanted to survive and grow needed to stand out. How? By shifting the focus to the consumer. And the consumer is, on Instagram, your followers.

It doesn’t really matter if you are not selling a product. What you are selling, though, is an idea. A lifestyle. Something to aspire to. You are selling a dream. This is your starting point.

Whether it’s your fashion taste, your fit body or your cooking skills, you need to engage your audience with the content you create so they feel they can achieve that, too.

So…how about making money?

To get the ball rolling, you need to gain sponsors. If your audience is engaged and your content has a high interaction level, this is what you’ll sell to get them to sponsor you. And they will pay you to advertise their product in the most natural way possible.

And by interaction we don’t mean “likes” alone, anyone can double-tap a screen. We mean comments. We mean saving posts. We mean real people showing real interest in your feed.    

The one big thing you need to always keep in mind is that if a company is sponsoring you, you probably should keep your most controversial opinions to yourself to avoid them from withdrawing their sponsorship.

What’s next?

Once you’ve got your audience and your sponsors, you need to keep the energy flowing: create engaging posts, try new things to keep it interesting and you can even go one step beyond: create your own products.

You can team up with different start-ups or entrepreneurs and create a product for you to sell together with the image you are already monetarizing. 

This way, your earnings will increase and you’ll be on a serious business run to keep your income coming inside and outside Instagram.

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