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Could Your Hobby Be a Profitable Side Hustle?

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When your full-time work hours begin to slow down and you have more time to yourself, you may have returned to some of the hobbies that you enjoyed before your busy career took over. Hobbies are an incredible way to relax, let creativity flow, and to lose track of the hours enjoying what you are undertaking.  

If friends and family have shown interest in your hobbies and creations, perhaps even asking if they could purchase your pieces, you might just have a profitable side hustle on your hands. 

How To Turn Your Hobby into a Side Hustle 

As employment hours decrease and you begin to rely more on savings and investments, having an additional source of income can make you feel a little more at ease. If you have the desire to start your own small business, now is the perfect time to experiment. 

Before you jump into converting your hobby into a side hustle, there are four main steps you should consider to make sure it’s what you truly want and to know that it’ll make you money. 

1) Get Free Business Coaching

Wherever you decide to set up shop, find out about the available resources to help you succeed. Many communities have free business coaching as a part of the economic development team. For instance, in Hastings County, there is a Small Business Coordinator that you can contact with any questions you might have. 

2) Evaluate Your Competition  

When you are first starting out, it can be difficult to know whether there’s a market for your product, where you should sell it (online or in person), and how much you should charge. Rather than shooting in the dark, do a little free market research online. 

Check out sites like Ebay or Etsy and Google your product to find independent online shops that sell something similar. You can get a feel for what people are offering, how your product is similar or different, and what ballpark you could use to price your goods.  

3) Complete a Trial Period as a Maker 

The best way to figure out if your hobby would serve you as a side hustle is to do it for a short period of time. By creating, marketing, and selling to a small group, you can work out any kinks in your process and get a feel for whether you want a business or whether you want to keep it as a hobby for fun. (There is no wrong answer!) 

There are a few ways that you can test out your side hustle: 

  • Commit to a few friends and family that have expressed interest in your product and deliver it to them within a month. 
  • Sign up to be a vendor at a local craft market, makers market, or holiday market, where you can bring your products and sell for a few days. 
  • Visit local consignment shops or stores in the area and ask them to sell your products for a month or two to gauge the demand. 

4) Immerse Yourself in a Creative Community 

If you haven’t worked as a creative before, it can feel strange and scary all at once. There’s no better way to combat this feeling than to surround yourself with people who are going through the same journey. Joining the creative community also allows you to ask questions and get help with common struggles, rather than trying to figure out everything on your own. 

If you are lucky enough to live in a town or region that has a thriving creative community, you can meet with other makers in person, over coffee, or by attending their meetings and markets. You can also join online communities, including: 

  • Facebook Groups created for makers and side hustlers 
  • Instragram profiles that specifically help creatives 
  • Masterminds or private online communities offered by experts in your field 

Craft a Lifestyle Around Your Side Hustle 

To take your considerations one step further, think about the lifestyle that you could craft around your side hustle. Being the business owner means you could run it from your favourite location. You can set your own hours, and enjoy free time at the lake or hiking in the forest.  

If you experienced being immersed in a creative community and loved it, you could move to a region that provides this support. Hastings County is not only home to an incredible collective of creatives, but it is also one of the most supportive business communities in Ontario. Combine the beautiful scenery with the welcoming population willing to help you out, and you have a recipe for success as a side hustler. 

References

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