Business development 12 October 2016

How to turn your hobby into a successful business

Whatever your passion, it can be easy to turn it into a a successful business
Financial planning advisor Martin Lane from provides his tips to Business Advice readers on how to turn a pastime into a flourishing startup.

Whether you’re a budding photographer, love to fix and maintain bikes, or make fun bespoke swim hats, making money from your hobby is easier than ever before.

Websites like Gumtree, Amazon and eBay allow you to sell your products and services online to thousands of potential buyers. Promoting what you want to sell is cheaper than ever too, with a variety of social media channels available to market what you want to your target customers.

Do your research

Jump online and identify your potential competition. it’s important to make sure there are customers who will actually want to buy what you produce.

Ask your friends and family to fill out a survey so you can measure demand. Ask them things like how much would they pay and what’s important to them when selecting certain products or services.

Pinpoint your unique selling point

If there are lots of other people offering similar products or services, youll need to decide what your USP is. This is something you offer that your competition doesnt, it could be a unique design, extra product feature or anything else that makes what you’re selling stand out.

Work out how much to charge

Setting the right price is crucial for making your new business venture a success, pitch it too low and you won’t make a profit, too high and no one will buy what you’re selling. Start by working out how long it takes and how much it costs you to make what you’re selling.

Factor in any raw materials you need to buy if you’re making things and remember to include the rise in utility bills if you plan to work from home. Check your insurance policy documents because working from home could affect your cover and remember to take into account how much national insurance and tax youll need to -pay as well.