We have all seen someone turned their passion into a business. Doing what you love and making money at the same time. Before you start thinking of monetizing your passion, I would like to prepare you for what is coming. When we chase our passion, it is all fun and games but when there are bills to pay it becomes a whole other game.
Thoughts of monetizing your passion.
Have a passion that you believe can be turned into a business? Most of us have a passion that our friends know you by and they convince you to dabble in thought that you be profitable with monetizing it. Common ones that you see are designers helping companies design logos or marketing material. The home baker that posts their bakes on Instagram and you see comments of people asking if they are for sale. This are all the start of the consideration phase.
You have never thought of selling your products/services. Now you are faced with the problem of pricing. The typical mindset is to start at a lower price so that people are not turned away by the price tag. At the same time, you do not want to shortchange yourself and the business becomes unprofitable. The first batch of customers you serve will be your friends and referrals. Unfortunately, friends that support your business expect some sort of discount or preferential treatment. You must price all those into your business before you open your doors. Suggestion is to have an opening discount that is 20% off the actual price and if your friends are asking for a discount just inform them that they will be enjoying the 20% discount. At the same time, you will not have to worry about shortchanging yourself, after a month or 2 you can resume normal pricing as you will have new customers and they will be willing to pay the price as long you deliver what is promised.
Method of delivery
Now that you are sure you want to turn your passion into a business you need to know how to deliver the product/service. With the internet anybody can open a business online. It is the best to start online as the cost will be significantly lower and you can reach more people. Another plus point is that you will be able to build a following and customer base before you consider moving to a brick-and-mortar setup. It is important to set up social media profiles and keeping customer records. We have a friend that is a sneaker head. He queued for every sneaker and kept them in pristine condition. Others were interested to know how he was keeping his sneakers in such pristine condition. He knew that this was a business opportunity and started accepting sneaker cleaning jobs on Instagram and other platforms. He built a decent following of about 5000 followers on Instagram. 1 year later he decided to open a physical location with some advertising on Instagram and running campaigns on his page he managed to get the business up and running in no time and was able to cover the opening cost in about 3-4 months. Without his social media following the process would have been longer and more cost intensive as well.
This is the balancing part. You can have a perfectly good business but servicing only your friends and a few customers in not going to get your business anywhere. It is not as simple as taking a few pictures and posting on Instagram or writing a Facebook post and hoping that is enough. Social media is your immediate branding people that follow your business want to know the latest developments and the campaigns you are running. On top of the day-to-day operations, you must take time out to edit the pictures and craft witty captions. As a passion side project, you can post anytime you want and taking long breaks will not affect you much. As a business the people following will just leave when they do not see good content. You might be good at your passion, but you might not be good at marketing. One major point people overlook is that your social media growth as a passion is mostly organic (non-paid) but as a business you start to have milestones you want to reach and its hard to avoid paid advertisements. Crafting the right ad campaign is not easy and money spent on unattractive ad will yield nothing and leave you spending revenue you earned.
At the start we suggest you run the business fully on your own this way you get to interact with the clients, and you get direct feedback, and the budding stage of all business is fragile as such you must be constantly caring for it. Another difference between a passion side project and a business now falls into working hours. Even if you choose to not open a physical shop and just purely selling online, you must take into account you are going to spend more time fulfilling the orders previously you just took on as much orders as your free time allows. Now you must set aside time to get all the orders sorted. The employees you hire will not have the same kind of standards as you. You have to treat them as people that help you get part of the process done and you still have to finish the rest. There will never be a day you do not worry about the business. We have personally gone on holidays but still check the CCTV just to give ourselves the peace of mind.
Right now, you can decide to have chill drinks with your friends after work. As a business owner at least in the beginning stage you are 24/7 thinking and working on your business. There are unlimited variables in a business. A last-minute order might come in and you have plans for the night but what is the priority? At the start of my own business, I never took a break for at least a year I am there every day. Due to my business nature being in the service line I had operating hours the day does not end until about 9pm and the next day I am there by 10am. Missed birthdays and important occasions become normal.
As Jeff Bezos said in an interview “you have to be relentless in your vision and flexible in the details”. This article is to help you understand you might be happy doing what you like every day, but the nature of business is that passion alone will not guarantee success. There are many things you have to give up but if you are willing to take the step out and you are matured enough to know that passion alone is not enough, I highly encourage you to take that bold step out. We have seen so many people converting their passion into a full-time business. After the first year the enthusiasm starts to burn out and the daily business-related task starts to eat into you and you find out that it was totally different from what you had in mind. We do not want to dishearten you but keeping your passion as a side hustle might actually benefit you more.