If you are good at making something, or you provide a service that others want or need, then you have the potential to turn that into a money making venture. You might think that it is nothing more than a hobby, and it does not really mean all that much to you, but you could be robbing yourself of the chance to gain independence and earnings that would come from running your own business. If you have a hobby that can make you some extra money, there are three things that you need to do to make the transition.
The first thing that you have to do when you make a new business, especially if you are going to be doing your work from home, is to create a work space. This should be an area of the home or the garage where you do nothing but work, and the members of your family must understand that this is a work area. You need some separation from your regular life and your new business venture, so you need to take things seriously and create that separate space. It only needs to be big enough to handle the work that you are doing, so there is no need to go out and put an addition on the house or anything like that.
Once you have created a work space, you must come up with a way to manage your time. The longer that you work on making money with your projects, the easier it will be to manage your time effectively, but in the beginning you need to set a very strict schedule. You need to have a start time and an end time for your work so that you stay fresh. You will also need to carve out a couple of times during that period where you can take a short break, just like you would if you were working in an office or any other job. When you have scheduled breaks you are less likely to waste time and you will be much more efficient with the work that you do. When this was a hobby, you could take as long as you needed, but if you want to make it into a business, you must be able to meet customer demands and fill orders.
Finally, you need a way to manage your customers. This is probably something that you have never done before, and it can be a daunting task to keep track of all of the customer information that you collect. The more you know about your customers, the better your service will be and they will be more likely to spend money with you again in the future. You need some kind of customer relationship management, CRM, software to help you keep track of customers and help you turn leads into sales. If you are happy with just selling a few items to friends or family, with a stand at a local crafts store, then CRM is not for you; however, if you want the freedom that only comes with owning your own business, then you will need to drive sales and increase profits, and CRM is one of the most powerful tools to get you where you want to be.
As you make the transition from hobby to business, there are several steps that you need to take, and when you take each step, the business should become easier to run and more profitable. If you follow these steps, you will begin to see yourself as a businessperson and take your former hobby much more seriously.
I am Linda Carville and I used to be a tutu hobbyist. I made them for my kids and for my friends, and everybody loved them. Soon I was asked to sell them online and through my own website, and I was able to transition from hobbyist to business owner. I wrote this article to talk about the different steps that I went through and the tools that helped me become a better businesswoman. I am especially happy with the SugarCRM software I found at www.sugarcrm.com because of its ability to help me stay on top of my customers. I highly recommend SugarCRM to anyone who is building a business.