The past 15 months have undoubtedly been hard on most. However, there may be a silver lining. With so much time spent at home and limited work schedules, many have used that time to find hobbies to entertain them.
Some have even taken these hobbies to the next level. This means that they have made permanent changes to their homes, offered products or services to friends and family, or have even been asked to purchase their products or services. Perhaps they have gotten so many requests that they have begun to consider if they could turn their hobby into a business. During the first three months of lockdown, craft-related searches increased by 63 percent.
For those that find themselves pondering this question, how do you go about transitioning your craft from hobby to business? Obviously, methods will have some variation depending on the type of business you want to create, but there are some basics that can apply to businesses across the board. Here are some tips to help those that are determined to make their passions evolve into a career.
1. The Name
It should come as no surprise that one of the most important decisions you can make about your business is coming up with the perfect name. It is what represents your business. The name is going to make the customer stop and take notice of your business over all the other businesses out there just like yours.
Your name needs to be catchy, but also convey what type of business you are as well. One trick in coming up with a name is to write down words that describe your work. If you cannot come up with many words, then try using Thesaurus.com to search for additional words that stand out to you.
For example, if your craft is building things, then some synonyms would be artisan, originator, fabricator. You probably never thought of those words when you heard the word builder. So there are definitely ways to be creative while still maintaining the understanding of what you are offering.
2. Business Plan
Chances are, if you’re a crafty, creative-minded individual, the words business plan just made you hang your head in annoyance. The truth is that it doesn’t have to be as drab as it sounds. Think of it more like a design board. You have to have some type of layout as to how you plan to run your business. Without any directional tool to keep you on track, more than likely you will get lost in all the minuscule tasks that are involved in running a business.
One directional item you do not want to lose track of is your budget. That is a good way to sink your business before you even get started. Most businesses these days are online, so you don’t have to worry about a physical location right now. However, you do have to consider online costs such as domain, advertising, transaction fees, etc.
Maybe you are planning to be a one-person show, but what about if you are offered a project that might be a little too much to accomplish on your own? Probably need a little wiggle room in the budget in case you need to hire help. What about transportation? Let’s say you are a builder whose items cannot be shipped or the build requires work done at the site; You will need vehicles to transport supplies and possibly extra help to whatever location is requested of you.
Being a startup small business, you probably don’t have the cash to purchase a vehicle. So it would be smart to include in your business plan an option to acquire a work vehicle. An option might be commercial vehicle leasing. This would allow you to lease a work vehicle capable of assisting you with all your business needs, without the worry of large down payments or quality concerns.
3. Online Presence
Now that you have your name figured out, the first step in your online presence is to buy your domain name before anyone gets to it first. Even though you are probably going to sell on other platforms, it is important to have this.
It’s time to get social. You probably already have all the social media sites for you personally, now it is time to create ones for your business. In today’s market, this is the best form of advertising out there. The bonus is that it doesn’t cost you anything. It can be the key to your business’s success if you use it wisely.
Testimonials are your best friend. Get friends and family to go on and talk about your craft. Another idea would be to do some freebie work around town to build your portfolio and display your skills. There are bound to be a plethora of individuals out there who got in over their heads trying to do their own DIY projects and could use your help.
Although these may seem like common sense basic steps to most people, it is because they seem so basic that many tend to treat them that way and not put much thought into them. The truth is you have to start with the basics to succeed in anything. Remember, when you get overwhelmed and not sure how you got where you are, it is always helpful to go back to the basics.