I went to a Saturday morning market some time back and was surprised to see a range of hand and body lotions being displayed on a stall that were a cut above the rest. On making enquiries I found out that the lotions which use milk and honey was a hobby business started by a man from the Netherlands. I have a skin ailment so I’m always on the lookout for new creams that provide relief and heeding. After speaking to the owner I discovered that the business had been started as a hobby and then grew into a micro business and subsequently he is selling his products via the Internet and was talking about national distribution. His range was extensive and included woman’s facial products as well as an after-shave balm for men.
We tend to overlook how many people want to take their hobbies to the next level. Many are seeking some kind of creative self-expression where they can use their talents and skills to make products that they can sell. Often the hobby entrepreneur merely covers their expenses but the satisfaction of selling their own products makes it all worthwhile. Some people are professionals but just want to do something creative with their spare time.
New research in the UK shows that one in 10 Britons have turned a hobby into a money-making business, according to the Scottish Daily Mail. The research shows that more than half of UK adults have an idea for a business and one in 10 have already set one up. Some of the activities that make up these part-time ventures include photography, arts and crafts, tutoring in cooking, design, jewellery making and cake making businesses.
One of the part-time entrepreneurs said that she was a full-time optometrist but wanted to do something creative. So she started baking in the evenings and on weekends with her hobby paying for itself.
A spokesperson from Visa said hobbies have always provided the first step to starting a micro business but now with the Internet selling and marketing opens up the market to everyone. Now everyone has a chance to be in business with an idea or craft they are passionate about.
The Internet is providing hobby entrepreneurs as well as micro-business entrepreneurs with new opportunities. Although many of the hobby entrepreneurs use word-of-mouth advertising to begin with and mostly sell their products through friends and family as well as markets, the Internet gives part-time entrepreneurs entry to potentially larger markets.
The benefits of making income from your hobby means not only that you can find an outlet for self-expression but also learn the ropes of starting something from scratch. Starting from an idea, any micro-enterprise would go through similar steps: generating ideas, selecting the most promising one, building a prototype, testing the product or prototype among real potential customers, developing a basic business plan and then going for implementation. I cover these areas in my book “Breakthrough Ideas”, a resource that can help anyone get into business with an idea or craft they are passionate about.