SCORE

 

SCORE-Staten Island Highlights 4 Questions to Ponder Before Turning Your Hobby into a Business

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The dream of earning a living by doing what you love is the reason many people become business owners. Especially during the start-up phase, passion for your product or service and those you serve are the necessary ingredients for a successful venture.

The desire to turn a hobby into a business is one way to grab hold of that entrepreneurial dream. However, before you quit your day job and jump in headfirst, business mentors of SCORE-Staten Island advise that you answer this question: “Will my hobby make a sustainable business?”

Turning a hobby into a successful business requires turning your hobby from something you want to do into something you have to do. If you seek to earn a living doing what you love, you’ll need to shift your mindset by operating your hobby as a serious business.

When you’re making the business case for a hobby, distance yourself as much as you can from the love of it, and think through some realities that come with being a small-business owner.

SCORE-Staten Island advises that you consider the following four questions before committing to your hobby-turned-business venture:

  • Will you still enjoy your hobby once it becomes your job day after day?

This means fully dedicating yourself to your passion, even on days when you’d rather be doing something else.

  • Are you willing to put yourself out there?

This question is a big one. Many of our hobbies are reasons for us to escape the world. When your hobby is your business, you need to be shouting about it from the rooftops.

  • Is there a market for your product or service?

You need to determine if the market is large enough to support and sustain your business and if there will be customers willing to spend money on what you create.

  • Can you – and are you willing to – become more than just a hobbyist?

As a business owner, you’ll assume the roles of bookkeeper, salesperson, marketer, and more.

DEVELOP A PLAN

If you’re ready to shift from hobbyist to small-business owner, take the time to develop a well-thought-out business plan.

With any start-up, business experts advise that you write a solid business plan before you launch. Even if you’re not seeking funding, a business plan is invaluable. It’s the best way to prove to yourself that there is, in fact, a strong business case for your hobby.

As explained by SCORE-Staten Island Chairman John J. Amodio and his team of certified SCORE business mentors, the value of a business plan isn’t so much in the document you create, but the discovery process you embark upon to create it.

“As you work on your business plan, you answer key questions about your business that you may not have otherwise considered,” Amodio said. “That can help you recognize risks and opportunities — and better
position you for success.”

SCORE-Staten Island suggests the following four tips for creating your business plan:

DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE

If you tackle it in smaller bits and pieces, the project will be more manageable. Schedule time to work on it.

PLAN TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

You’ll feel less stressed about it if you reserve time on your calendar to dedicate to it.

USE TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Although business plan templates and software can’t do it all for you, they can save time. Consider using SBA’s online Business Plan Tool and the full range of free business tools and templates that SCORE offers.

GET FEEDBACK ALONG THE WAY

As you work on the different sections of your business plan, ask a Staten Island-SCORE mentor or another unbiased business professional to review it and provide suggestions for improvement and clarity. 

Even though writing a business plan will require effort, it doesn’t have to be a harrowing experience. 

“Follow the tips shared here, and keep your eye on the prize,” Amodio said. “With a business plan, you’ll be better able to move your business in the right direction from the start and navigate changes more easily in the future.”

When you’re ready to make the shift from hobbyist to entrepreneur, do so with the help of a SCORE-Staten Island mentor. Your SCORE-Staten Island mentor will guide you through the business planning process, help you get up and running, and direct you toward resources to create a sustainable business doing what you love.

About SCORE-Staten Island
SCORE-Staten Island is dedicated to fostering a vibrant small-business community primarily in Richmond County by providing cost-free education and confidential mentoring to both aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Headquartered at 1855 Victory Boulevard, in the Salmon Real Estate Building, Castleton Corners, the Island organization is Chapter 476 of the nationwide SCORE, a nonprofit association. A resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the SBA. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, SCORE-Staten Island may be visited at https://statenisland.score.org; telephoned at 718-727-1221; emailed at info@SCORESI.org, and visited on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SCOREStatenIsland) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/score-mentors-staten-island).

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Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718-682-1509
Mobile: 917-715-8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

About the Author(s)

John J Amodio

John J. Amodio is Chairman of SCORE-Staten Island. He is a Certified Mentor, business consultant, coach, and trainer providing professional guidance and information to small businesses. He has over 50 years of experience in financial services, management and marketing. He has had his own management consulting firm assisting chief executive officers and other top management personnel of various...

Man turning his hobby into a business