Do you have a hobby that is begging to become a thriving business? Whether it’s baking cakes, arranging flowers, or providing self-defense classes, your passion may have the potential to be your full-time career. How can you be sure? Well, there are a few checks and balances that may provide some insight.
How bad do you want it?
You may want to have your own business, but if you bake cakes all day, every day, will you eventually grow to despise it? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. You need to understand that every business experiences ups and downs, has difficult customers, and has to make crazy decisions to fix problems on the spot. Is that something you could manage, or does it scare you to death?
How bad do they want it?
In order for you to be successful, you must be able to close a lot of transactions every month. Is there a strong demand for your product or service? If you start small, on the side, you might be able to get a good indication of the demand within your existing network.
Is it scalable?
If you are a professional dog trainer, there is a limit to the number of dogs you can train in any given month. Considering this limitation, will you be able to earn enough to make it worthwhile?
Is it adaptable?
Before everyone had cell phones, everyone had pagers. You had a small device, about the size of a small deck of cards, and if a person needed to get in touch with you urgently, they would call your pager number and, when they heard a beep, they would input their phone number. The number would display on the pager’s LED screen and you could find a phone and call them back. It seems centuries ago, but the people who started businesses selling pagers, pager belt clips, and other accessories have either adapted or disappeared. How would your hobby fare if it got hit by the wave of change?
Just as major corporations dedicate time and money to research and development, so, too, should you. Contact your local SCORE office, small business association, or chamber of commerce and pitch your idea to an experienced start-up counselor. Spend time looking at how other people produce and market similar items or services. Read books written by people who have been there and are sharing their lessons learned. Success doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a lot of time and energy. The more information you have in the beginning, the better off you’ll be.
Once you have your idea well thought out and you’ve done a bit of research, take a class on building a business plan. Sure, you could hire someone to write one or muscle through it yourself, but you wouldn’t get to meet many other hopeful entrepreneurs, from millennials to seniors. At the class, you can meet regularly to bounce ideas off of other people who share your point of view. Make this class the first of many public discussions about what you plan to do and why you are so passionate about it.
Mercer Savings Bank
The staff at Mercer Savings Bank applauds your ambition and self-motivation. Our bankers are available to discuss any of the banking services you may need as you pursue your dreams. As a mutual bank, Mercer Savings Bank strives to meet the needs of the communities it serves as a trusted community bank for more than 125 years. Stop by or contact one of our convenient locations today. We’re here to help.