Turning your hobby into a business

Hobby to businessAs the world of work changes, more and more people are starting their own businesses. The number of business owners in the UK has risen dramatically over the past decade, and now self-employed professionals account for 15% of the UK’s workforce.

Many contract and startup businesses begin as hobbies, freelance ventures, or ways of subsidising a main income. As the saying goes, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” and many people opt to turn their passion into profit. In fact, another study, conducted for Guardian Money by Start Up Loans Company and YouGov, found that 28% of Brits have turned their hobby into a business.

As an innovative provider of finance solutions to those working through their own companies, we provide hassle free services and first class support to independent contractors and small business owners serving all sectors. At Shield Accountancy, we’ve seen it all, with many of the professionals we assist monetising their passions and using their hobbies or interests as the basis for building a new career. In this blog post, our experts provide their top tips on making your hobby, passion, or interest a full time career.

It’s all about market research

The key to starting any business is establishing the level of demand for the products or services at its centre. Conducting competitor research is also recommended, particularly in today’s hyper competitive marketplaces. Jose Scheuer, lecturer in business and marketing at the London School of Business and Finance, offers her advice for weighing up the competition in your chosen field:

“Whereas in the past a small business had competition from other, often local, small businesses and their customers were known, today a small business competes in a much larger field. Not only does it face competition from local as well as international companies, often these competitors are much larger and have greater negotiating power to source and sell at cheaper prices. In addition to this, small businesses face competition from the unstoppable growth from e-commerce.”

Start small and be social

The net unlocks a number of opportunities for fledgling businesses, so start small and be social both online and off. Social media is an excellent resource for making connections, not just to establish demand for your hobby-turned-business but to liaise with like-minded business people. Using the internet and more specifically social networks, to grow your business organically whilst still in a full or part-time job is a great way to transform your passion into a profitable business with very little risk at all.

Considering contracting to turn your hobby into a career? Make your move with these top tips for a smooth transition.

Make a business plan

Having a clear, written plan as your business progresses and takes up more and more of your time may not be glamorous but it will set you on the path to success. You can plan your business as far into the future and in as much detail as you like, forecasting your ongoing finances and setting milestones to ensure growth remains on track. Building a cash buffer so you can finally make the leap and concentrate on your new business full time is a great objective for those looking to turn their hobby into a career.

Getting the support your small or contract business needs is important. Call on us today to find out more about our bespoke accounting services.