Making that leap of faith from passion to business

But you must be aware of the potential pitfalls before attempting to turn your 'hobby' into a money-making operation.

Making that leap of faith from passion to business

But you must be aware of the potential pitfalls before attempting to turn your ‘hobby’ into a money-making operation. 

At some point, in almost every person’s life, they will ask themselves the following question: ‘Can I turn my interest or passion into a business opportunity?’ Some passions will be easier to convert into a business than others. If you have skills and a passion for designing and making curtains, and then fitting them, then the answer is possibly ‘yes.’

Some ‘hobbies’ are certainly more marketable than others, while some will offer greater potential for making money. If you enjoy mending cars, then your skills could easily be turned into a money-making activity, and possibly a lucrative one at that. If, however, your interest is in flower-arranging, then the opportunities will be fewer and probably less profitable – unless, of course, you decide to open a flower shop. But that’s not to say it can’t be achieved, especially part-time or maybe as a second job. 

Turning your passion into a business is an exciting step to take, especially for those who are becoming tired of working the traditional nine-to-five day. And it’s particularly a dream of those who dislike the dreaded daily commute – whether by car or train, or even both. But making that all-important move is never easy. It can be daunting and, depending on whether you need to buy or rent premises, or hire staff or source suppliers, costly too.

Yet there may never be a better time for turning your passion into a part-time or full-time position. Because of the Covid pandemic, working from home has become fashionable over the past two years. Not only has it become a necessity during lockdown, it has given many people a positive taste of life away from the office, factory floor or warehouse.

Not having to walk to a train station, or being forced to sit in a long queue on a busy motorway, has been a welcome break for many. So much so, that some people are now considering starting up their own business, rather than preparing to return to the office full-time, and the likelihood of working long days doing overtime, followed by a dreadful journey home.

For those who may suddenly lose the freedom of working from home, the thought of starting their own business appears to be a favourable alternative. Such a change will provide greater flexibility and create a better work-life balance. But before taking the plunge, you need to construct a business plan. You also need to undertake plenty of research to discover whether you can turn your passion into a profit-making enterprise.

Before making your decision you should speak to successful business people, your local bank, and check out relevant online sites for help and advice. You need to discover whether your idea can become a full-time or part-time role. Or will your labour of love, simply become labour intensive, with limited potential progression.

It’s important that your passion remains enjoyable and challenging, and does not become a chore or extremely tedious, as you seek to make it profitable. Remember, a business is only a business if it makes money.  

Any business plan will need to include forecasts. It must also take into account methods for marketing your products or services, as well as administration requirements, invoicing processes, along with other basic and often overlooked day-to-day duties.

These additional jobs can be time consuming, but need to be planned and accounted for before anyone can start embracing their passion. What percentage of time will need to be spent on general administration each week? How many hours and minutes?

And try to envisage what problems could occur at each stage of the business cycle? As well as the knock-on effects this could have on the rest of the business. If still determined to set up your own business, then make 2022 the year of change and re-boot your life in a positive way.

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Katie Bateman
Katie Bateman