Do you have a passion that you do in your spare time around the day job and feel as though, given the opportunity, you could make it work as a business all of its own?
If so, then what is stopping you? Taking the plunge into starting your own business is a bold, yet empowering, step.
Moving into entrepreneurship and building a business around something that you are genuinely passionate about opens a whole new world of prospects. Also, being your own boss means that you can potentially work hours to suit you, which is a godsend for working mums looking to strike the right balance between parenthood and a career.
Deciding to Start a Business
When you have made the decision to turn your hobby, whatever it may be, into a business, the hard work begins. First of all, you should conduct market research to find out where, if any, the gap in the market is, how you can fill it and how you will differ from the competition.
Once you have a general idea of what your business will look like, it is time to crunch the numbers in order to make your dream a reality. Calculate all of your costs based on a worst case scenario, working out your total expenditure and the minimum you would have to make in order to get by.
Some of the assets that you might have to consider are:
- Commercial/office space
- Marketing (leaflets, adverts, social media etc…)
- Travel costs (if your business will involve travelling)
- Technology (computers, printers etc…)
Depending on the sector that you would be looking to break into, the required equipment will vary greatly.
Space of your Own
One of the main reasons why so many of us dream of being self-employed is the ability to work from home. However, if we really want our business to be a success, we may have to invest in space separate from the family home.
This may be because you find that you soon outgrow your bedroom office, or that you would benefit from keeping your home and work life separate from each other. Office and/or shop space doesn’t have to cost the earth – for example, if you were in Cambridge looking for commercial property, there would be a number of local estate agents specialising in business units.
Once you branch out into your own space, this gives your business room to grow and expand in the future. The last thing that you want is to grow beyond your means and forced to reject orders or valuable contracts because you simply can’t cope – some opportunities only come around once.
Perhaps starting a business with the prospect of it becoming your main source of income isn’t your end goal and you are more than happy to keep it as a sideline. That is fine, too, and it is something that many mums have done.
If this is the case, then all you may need is a functioning website offering your services, or an e-commerce platform with your products. Dedicate time each day or week for your project to manage orders and reply to emails/return calls – failing to communicate to customers and clients is one of the main reasons why businesses never make it off the ground.
Whether your end goal is to eventually turn your business into a full-time job or a means of topping up your financial in-comings, setting out a clear and researched plan is key as to whether your business is ultimately a success or not.
Did you turn your hobby into a business? We’d love to hear your stories, please comment below.