Starting a hobby business: fun money makers
Have you got a much-loved side project that might have the potential to become a hobby business?
Find out a little bit more about what’s involved and your pastime could be transformed into a handy little earner.
With a little imagination, a surprising number of hobbies are prime for a moneymaking makeover. From selling your sewing projects on sites like eBay or Etsy to offering your services as a private tutor or providing your local cafes with great homebaking, there are lots of different ways to monetise your pastimes.
Getting your idea off the ground
Before you commit a lot of time and money to finding out if your hobby has the potential to be a hit, do a little research. Ask your friends and family what they’d pay for your services or products and ask them what seems like a fair price. You’ll want to make sure that the amount you charge is enough to cover at least a portion of your time as well as all of the basic materials. You might enjoy doing it but it doesn’t hurt to get paid.
One great way of getting feedback is to set up a questionnaire on a site like Survey Monkey and passing it around everyone you know online. This can give people the chance to tell you what they think anonymously, so you might get a much better idea of what they really think about your idea.
Check out the competition
Once you have an idea of what you’d like to do and how much it’s worth, spend a little time researching your competitors. Are they any other people in your area trying the same thing? Can you see a lot of shops selling he same kind of crafts online? If so, you may need to rethink your proposal and look hard for a way that you can set yourself apart from the competition.
It’s worth also setting some rules for yourself. How much time do you want to spend on your hobby? Would you like it to be a significant, second stream of income or are you happy to just make a little extra money while doing something you enjoy? It can be easy to get swept up in the experience, especially if your business is doing better than expected, but the last thing you want is to end up not enjoying your pastime. Work out what you want to get from your hobby business and ask yourself often if you’re meeting your own targets.
If you’re setting up a business, you’ll also need to think about the financial side. Everything you earn is subject to tax and you will need to either register your business or yourself as self employed on the HRMC site. This will help you calculate if you owe any tax and if so, how much. There’s also a great selection of advice and articles about starting a business on the gov.uk site – well worth having a look through if you’re starting out.
Are you thinking about starting a hobby business?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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