Convert your hobby to business – Part4 – surviving it all

by Ashvini on May 2, 2011 · 8 comments

in Convert your hobby to business,Entrepreneur Series

In this series, I talked about converting your beloved hobby to a profitable business.

In Part 1 we talked about why it is advantageous to convert your hobby to business

In Part 2, we talked about how you can take steps to start the process

In Part 3, we talked about how we have to be aware of all the risks that come with converting hobby into a business.

In my opinion, there are no right or wrongs in starting a business but only how you can learn and grow from your mistakes.

  • Failures are common in business and you should not be deterred by them.
  • You should not start hating your hobby because your business did not succeed.
  • If possible you should start your business again with a different twist to make it more palatable to the customer

In other words, serial entrepreneurs and businessmen who did not lose heart upon failure are more likely to become successful in their ventures. Read biography of any businessman you admire and you will find that she had her shares of failure.

With that in your heart let us move on to further part(hopefully last !!!!) of this series. How do you survive a business that is based on your hobby. I may repeat some points from part two.

  1. Have a business plan
  2. Either create a business plan yourself or take help from expert chartered financial accountant. A business plan normally consists of

    • Objectives and goals of your business
    • Modes of finance
    • Execution and marketing strategies
    • Cash flow calculations and other things
    • Risks in your business

    A good business plan will provide you with enough knowledge to take right decision and work towards your goals

  3. Do not over-leverage
  4. In short term, many a times, entrepreneurs wildly use credit card for their funding needs. It is a dangerous thing to use credit card to run your business, unless you can pay back. Credit card rates in India are around 3% per month which translates to 36% per year. Try topping that off with your business. In summary, do not over-leverage.

  5. Keep check on cash flows
  6. It is very important to do some activities early on that provide some cash flows to your business. Selling products on discount, doing consultancy work for less money, parting with a high commission on sales are a few methods to get your cash flow going. Also keep the expenses relatively low so that you can manage.

  7. If you have a family, your spouse can work while you pursue your dreams
  8. If both husband and wife work, one can get off job and start his/her business while other works to provide cash for everyday expense. A spouse may join the business if it starts getting some success.

  9. Have patience
  10. Have you ever gone to a shop on its first day. You might have but it is a reality that there are not many customers on first day or even in first month. Have patience to allow your business get natural growth. You may go ahead and advertise and get people but actual growth happens slowly. Have patience and let your business grow

  11. Listen to customers
  12. People would comment on your products and business. Comments can range from words of encouragement to nasty negative criticism ( it has happened to all of us). Do not get disturbed by negative comments and use the feedback to improve your product.
    Also network more, plan ahead and enjoy your business. If you can successfully make a business out of your hobby, there is nothing better in this world.

About The Author

{ 8 comments }

AJ July 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Wow Ashvini! You sure do have a lot of knowledge on converting a hobby into business. Thanks so much for sharing all your insights. It is helpful to anyone thinking about developing their hobbies into a successful business venture. It is indeed true that working on one’s hobby is completely satisfying-and if the same can be made profitable-what more can one ask!?

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Hi AJ,

Thanks for the compliments. I have only taken the business principles and moulded them into these posts. working on one’s hobby is completely satisfying-and if the same can be made profitable-what more can one ask!? is so true.
Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Ashvini

Madhav Shivpuri May 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Ashvini,

I came to your website today thru a link from Trak.in. I am very impressed the knowledge you have been sharing here. I have bookmarked your site so that I return more often!

Currently I am working on a iphone app and hope to have it live by July. I am wondering when I should start marketing activities. And more importantly, should I have scenarios for what do if the app is not noticed and does not get much downloads or usage and prepare another scenario if the app takes off and needs scaling? Is it something to anticipate and plan as part of launching a business?

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Hi Madhav,
Thank you for dropping by and commenting on my blog. I am very glad that this blog is really useful to you.

Here is what you can do to market your app :

1. Get into potential groups where you can find iphone users. You can start building your network over there.
2. Go to various blog owners and mail them about your upcoming app. Comment on their blogs, make them your friends. Once you get in their good books, talk more about your app
3. Build a social media following by creating a facebook page. Ask your friends to like it. Develop a small website and start a knowledge blog for iphone apps( I am assuming you are good at those concepts).
4. Do a press release on tech network sites, entrepreneur magazines and any where else you can find.
5. Give apps for free for people to review. They will notice.

Do not waste money on advertising because it is too early. Think of slowly building word of mouth and keep doing it till you reach your goal. Do not think of selling at this stage just make it popular.
Remember that there are plenty of apps vying for attention. Let your app shine slowly.
I hope you got the ideas. If not mail me from the contact form and we will see what we can do :)
Best regards,
Ashvini

business quotes May 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm

What a great tips you got there. I’m sure you have succeed in your business plan. I really find your suggestion very cool. It’s not so formal, imagine combining your business with your hobbies? Well, i can only say that this can be a tough task for those who are very strict when it comes to business.

Nicola Deiana May 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm

In my experience, have both a good business plan and patience are the most important factor that influence blogging success. Even get positive comment on products help increasing conversion too.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

True, Nicola. Thanks for your comments.

Aswain May 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Great tips as ever. I am keeping all these in my mind. Thank you for sharing your valuable insights. Keep writing..!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: