Should You Turn Your Hobby Into A Business?

Perhaps you have a hobby and are very good with your hands. You enjoy making things and you're wondering if you could turn your love of crafting into a business. Quitting the 9 to 5 cubicle job might be something you've been wanting to do for a long time now, but ask yourself these questions first. Is it something you like to do, A LOT? If you're making doll houses, you've got to be passionate about making doll houses day in and day out. It can't be something you're going to get sick of after, say, 5 doll houses. If you're doing this full time as your new 9 to 5, the shine of working from home, even with your hands, starts to wear off. Love it or leave it... or eventually outsource it. That's not to say that you can only make this one particular product. Think accessories or value-added products. In this example you can also make furniture for the house or create clay people that can fit inside. Consider making stands for the house to sit on or fabric goods like miniature curtains, blankets, rugs, tablecloths, etc. Is there a market? Doll houses are pretty cool to look at, but are people buying? In this case you have two market possibilities; doll and doll furniture collectors, or kids/families. Keep in mind that these houses are not use-up and dispose-of objects, such as rainbow cotton candy or cloth diaper covers. Your one-of-a-kind miniature houses won't wear a hole in the toe like a pair of designer socks would. The owners will be hanging on to them for a long time and therefore will not making repeat purchases. Seriously take the time to look at whether there are customers. Join some online forums and groups in this niche, visit craft shows, talk to doll furniture dealers, look to see whether there are similar shops in Etsy and how many sales they have. Can you turn a profit? This question might take some time to answer. Up until now you might have only dabbled in your hobby in your spare time. Working on a project in fits and starts makes it hard to know but you might be surprised how long it really does take you even when working on it full time. Knowing your time spent is crucial because you need to be paid for your time, and that needs to be built into your product's purchase price. So now is the time to keep track of exactly how long it takes you to make your product. You will also need to know how much money you spend on materials and supplies, marketing, and anything else that factors in. You'll need to come up with a wholesale price (while still earning a real profit) and a retail price. Do your figures make sense? If it takes you 10 hours to make a set of wooden building blocks and you buy $10 in supplies, it makes no sense to sell your blocks at $15. Nor does it sound right to charge $200 wholesale and $400 retail. If you can't streamline the time it takes you to make the blocks or lower your expenses, then you either can't make a profit or you won't make sales because you have to charge too much. If you've answered these questions honestly and you like the answers, then you might just have yourself a good homecrafter business idea. Next will be to take steps to turn your hobby into a real business.


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