Turn your hobby into a business

Is there something you do after work or on weekends that you are really passionate about?

Many of the world’s famous brands started out because the founder had a passion that grew beyond the kitchen, garage or bedroom to become a hugely profitable business. Examples include Boost Juice, KFC and Microsoft.

Imagine if your hobby and your skills could be nurtured to become a business, one that could eventually see you supplement or even replace your day job.

There are three specific areas that can give you a clear foundation on which to build your hobby into a business.

Three areas

  1. Skill assessment

What skills are involved in your hobby? For example, your hobby may be baking cakes while your job may be in the digital media industry.

So, perhaps you could combine your talents to create and promote your cakes via multimedia, and set up an online catering store and turn that into a business.

  1. Market assessment

Who is interested in what you do, and how much would they pay for your products and/or services? Test the market. Online surveys like Survey Monkey are great for gathering quick feedback from friends and associates, especially before you invest time and money into launching a product or service.

“There are three specific areas that can give you a clear foundation on which to build your hobby into a business.”


  1. Timeframe assessment

Are you in the right time and place to be offering your product and/or service?

  • Is the market ready?
  • Is the timing right?
  • How about your time commitments?
  • Are you ready to go full-time into your business if it took off?
  • Will it support your lifestyle?

Once you know where you stand through these assessments, you are ready to take your hobby to the next level.

Three ideas

Here are some ideas to help you monetise your hobby and maximise your potential:

Teach others the “art of doing” what you do

You may enjoy teaching the piano, or showing others how to play tennis or make clay pots. To take this a step further, you could take the formal approach, gain accreditation, publish a book, speak at industry events, become a local expert, teach in colleges or run your own private classes and workshops. These days it is easy to set up your own blog site, and run webinars and podcasts that enable you to reach a global audience.

Be an “evangelist”

Turn your hobby or obsession into a profitable enterprise by offering a fresh perspective – if you love baking and also believe in eating healthily, you could devote your time and energy to educating people on how to bake with a focus on healthy ingredients. You could interview chefs who share your philosophy, or create recipe books, run a website, produce blogs and/ or videos and be a spokesperson for your interest.

Teach others the “business” of your hobby

You can have an impact on others who share your passion, and teach them how to turn their hobby into a viable business. You can be an instrument of change in their lives. For example, you may be a great piano player and enjoy teaching as well. Using both these skills, you could help teach up-and-coming pianists how to set up and run their own classes. In another instance, you may enjoy cooking and work in corporate marketing. You could combine your skills to teach aspiring chefs on how to market and promote themselves.

The next level

No matter what your hobby, if you have a passion to take it to the next level, these ideas should get you started on generating income from your talents and skills.

It really comes down to your will to make it a reality.

Gavin Sequiera, Speaker, coach and author, “Break Free from Corporate – Be your own boss”

This article first appeared in issue 13 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine

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