Whether out of necessity or a sudden rush of inspiration, if you’re ready to take your passion project to the next level, there are some steps you need to take. Having a passion project is fun, but it isn’t usually all that lucrative. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, vlogger, craftswoman, or run some other type of side business, you can turn your passion into a real money-making opportunity if you’re willing to put in the work.
INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS
First things first, you’ll need to invest in the right tools to help you succeed in turning your hobby into a legit business. To check off each item on this list, you’ll need the following:
- Business plan template
- Employment screening service
- Budget software
- Social media manager
- Business laptop
- Clean and organized workspace
- Daily planner
This isn’t a comprehensive list but a few of the basics. Brainstorm other essentials that you’ll need to get your business off on the right foot.
Now, let’s get started:
Obviously, your primary goal is to bolster your income, but what are the goals you can set to get there? Is it to make a certain number of sales per week, or maybe start getting exposure on blogs? Only you can decide.
When setting goals, you want to make sure they’re specific and quantifiable. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time feeling like you’re getting anywhere. And, don’t forget to set deadlines to keep yourself accountable.
That said, you don’t want to take the passion out of the project. Don’t go overboard with rules, goals, and deadlines that will turn it into just another job. In order to make sure your business succeeds you need to remain excited and invested in it.
And, most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate your wins (even the small ones).
CREATE A PLAN
Now that you have some goals to start off with, you need to make a plan as to how you’ll achieve them. Will you reach out to bloggers to see if they’ll advertise your product or services? Are you going to place a few social media ads?
As your business grows, having a roadmap will become more and more valuable. While you don’t need to map out your entire journey to success, you should always remain a few steps ahead to ensure that you keep up the momentum that is essential for any growing business to keep moving forward. And, with a well-thought-out plan in place, you’ll be ready to overcome any challenges that you encounter.
FOCUS ON BRANDING & MARKETING
The best way to take your side gig to the next level is through marketing. But first, you need to have a clearly established brand. Who are you, what are you selling, and why should customers choose to buy from you or use your services?
Once you have your branding figured out, you need to make sure it’s consistent everywhere customers might come across it. That means your social media profiles, YouTube channel, website, if you have one (which you should), online shop, and everything in between.
Now, you’re ready to start promoting your business. When you’re just getting started, it can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. For most people, you’ll want to focus on digital marketing. However, if you live in a small, tight-knit community and your services are oriented toward the people who live there, you might want to start by networking with other businesses in the area. Attending local events is also a good idea—think having a booth at the city’s holiday festival or craft fair.
BUILD A TEAM
Depending on the demands of your up-and-coming business, you might need to assemble a team right away, or it might be able to sit on the backburner. And keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be so official.
While you’ll most likely want to immediately hire help, you might be able to call on friends or family members in the meantime. Just make sure you tread carefully here and protect the integrity of your business, and the health of your relationships, of course.
Following this guide, you should be able to take the first critical steps necessary to transform your passion project into a successful, income-generating business.