“I love reading. I dream about having my own bookstore one day.”
“I love cosmetics and I love animals. I’d like to start my own cruelty-free skincare brand one day.”
Everyone loves something. We all have that special passion that identifies us as individuals. When we think about starting our own business, that passion is usually the first thing that comes to mind.
But when you’re trying to turn your hobby into a business, you have to be aware of some realistic pitfalls.
In short, it might not work out.
To elaborate on that, here are five reasons why your hobby may not work as a business:
You’re Not Completely Aware of the Competition You’ll Face
When you really enjoy doing something, you tend to ignore the fact that plenty of other people have the same hobby.
There are thousands of people around you who nourish the same love for literature, cosmetics, tea, yoga, and whatever else you have in mind. Many of them dream of starting a similar business, too. Those are not even the biggest competition you have.
At this point, your competitors are the companies that already worked out the “business” part of the hobby. Do you want an example? There are tons of brands that sell yoga clothes. Plenty of them is founded by yogis who wanted to turn their passion into a business. None of them are as successful as Lululemon or AloYoga. Those big brands were started by people who don’t even practice yoga.
Can you avoid this pitfall? Of course, you can! You just have to research the competition before you start your own brand. You need a unique twist that makes you different and more desirable than those competitors.
Being Engaged in a Hobby Is Not the Same Thing as Being Engaged in a Business
Reading is not the same thing as running a bookstore. When you decide to turn your hobby into a business, you’ll have an entire company on your back. You’ll have to handle the supplies, hire the right people, manage your employees, and take care of the marketing part.
Laura Hunnings, part of the team at Awriter, explains: “I’m great at writing, but I’m not that great in money matters. Managing employees was a nightmare for me. I’m a team player, but I could hardly see myself as a team leader. So I gave up on the idea to start my own writing business. For now, I’m providing assignment help and I’m learning how the business works. Once I gain enough confidence, I’ll be ready for my own project.”
Look; you don’t have to give up on your big idea. You just need to learn how business matters work before you go full in. A simple online course on Coursera could give you the introduction you need.
Legal and Financial Matters Are a Hot Mess
So you know everything there is to know about fabrics. You love shopping and you could tell a lot about the person by evaluating their style? This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready to have your own clothing line.
You have the passion, but are you aware of all legal and financial matters of owning a business? If you think you’ll need 10K to start your own brand, multiply that number by at least 4 times. Seriously; the process of starting a business always costs more than you anticipate.
Plus, you’ll have to know your taxes. It takes a lot of time for you to understand how these things work. Sure; you could delegate the issues to your accountants and legal experts, but that would cost even more money and you still have to know the basics.
It’s Not That Fun
When you realize that you have to worry about making all the time, the business will suck the fun out of your hobby. Think about it: is it better to practice yoga or worry about the money your yoga clothes make?
Plus, let’s talk about deadlines. You’ll have a deadline for registering the business, setting up a store, hiring influencers, launching the website, paying your employees… you’ll face more deadlines day after day. Before you realize it, you might stop enjoying your hobby whatsoever.
To avoid this pitfall, you need serious mental preparation. Are you tough enough to persist?
You Don’t Know as Much as You Think You Know
You’re an avid reader, but do you know enough about classic and contemporary literature to make a business out of it? If it’s just a superficial hobby, your business is not likely to work. There are people who know more than you know. They will notice your flaws and they will mock you for them.
So learn! Before you start your business, learn everything there is to learn about the matter of interest. Whether it’s literature, yoga, art, or anything else, you always have plenty to learn.
It would be great to start a business you absolutely love. But be careful: if you start this journey without being prepared enough, you might lose your money and you’ll definitely lose your love for the hobby. Prepare well!