Oftentimes when other women learn that I earn an income from home, they want to know how to get started on their own small business. For a freelance writer things are a little bit different - most people in today's society have the bulk of the supplies necessary to get started (a computer with a word processing program, Internet access, subscriptions to their favorite magazines, and ideas aplenty). That's why I just had to pass along the following article that might help those of you who have hobbies that actually turn out a "real" product or service (as opposed to words and ideas) in case you're like one of the many who would like to bring in a little extra on the weekends or convert your corporate experience into a small business for yourself.
Don't forget: if you are a woman entrepreneur, you are welcome to participate in a Meet & Greet here on Workerette.com! Leave me a comment with your name, email address, website and why you'd like to be featured. Let me help you spread the word about your business!
Turning Your Hobby Into a BusinessBy: Susan Hutson
Look around. You will probably see people working all day long, almost every second. But, there may be something else that you failed to notice. That is the fact that everybody in this world does something that they enjoy during their leisure time. In other words, most everybody in this world has a hobby. It can range from writing to stamp/coin collecting to singing to crocheting. Do you have a hobby? What is it?
Whatever it is, did you ever think that you could make money from your hobby? Turn it into a business? Well you can. Many people earn a living from their hobbies each year and it is one of the most under-used income opportunities around. Many people understand that the imaginations and skills they have developed through their hobbies are priceless to those who appreciate and seek unique and original works.
But how can you make your hobby a business; one that can earn you a living? Well, the answer is simple. Many people nowadays are too busy with their work and hence have a difficulty in finding the much needed time and energy to learn these skills or make these projects themselves. These people (therefore) are willing to pay for such items and services from those who do possess the skills and knowledge of the craft. So this is the point where you find your niche’ and make your money. (Remember that major companies like ebay started as outlets for hobbyists, but now are “cash-cows” earning millions.)
Then comes the problems of how are you going to start this venture, where would you find places to sell/perform, when to sell and how things work (from the point of ordering to delivery). It is not hard to find answers and solutions for these problems. Starting with how you are going to start this project, all you have to do is believe in what you are going to do, and display professionalism in what you are doing.
Once you have decided on what to do, the problems of when, where, and how to sell your product-outputs emerge. Some (hobbies) products have a seasonal appeal; therefore the timing should be right. Where to sell is by far the most important issue. You could sell to your family and friends from the comfort of your home, have a small outlet in a local store or craft show, or go online (ebay.com) if you want to reach a much bigger market. Then the arrangements as to how customers could place an order (by phone, mail, or online), how they could pay (by cash, credit cards, or Paypal), and how they want it delivered (mailed or hand delivered) has to be decided.
Once all these things are in place, you are set to go. You will be able to earn an additional income doing what you like, while feeling less stressed and worried. With the increased instability in the economy and loss of jobs, using your hobby as a source of extra income can help you in various other ways. You could use these earnings to pay for college tuition, for your retirement account or splurge on that longed for vacation of your dreams.