Making Cash From Your Craft

A daily nine-to-five only leaves us so much time to do the things we love. If you enjoy getting your hands dirty in the garden now and then, great. However, if your office cubical fills up with eight different species of flora, all of which you can name, you’ve got a potentially profitable passion on your hands.

Research the Market

If you want to turn your hobby into some green, you have to do your research. Find out how other niche ventures have successfully marketed themselves as profitable businesses. Once you have a few ideas, plan how you’ll target your market and how your products or services are superior to others. Take advantage of local trade shows and career fairs to help make connections. Visit tsnn.com to search for trade shows by industry and location. Capitalize on promotional concepts that make you stand out from the rest.

Branding

So what’s in your brand name? Just about everything. Branding is more than a name; it’s an image and a reputation vital to your success. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a brand for your beloved hobby: It’s important to choose something memorable, but to the point. It should relate to your product or service in some way and attract clients with the look and feel. Be careful not to mimic the branding of your competitors. You want to avoid any possible legal infringements.

Office space

With hobbies, you have a lot of options when you start selling. Be creative with outlets. Check out your city’s local events and see if you can score a booth or tent at a weekly market, fair or flea market. Ask local store owners and vendors if they’ll consign (sell on your behalf) your products. Get their valuable feedback on why they will or won’t agree to carry your product. Consider creating a website with e-payment services like PayPal or Google Checkout. You can make your own webpage using one of many available online resources. Currently, WordPress and Squarespace are two popular options for hosting your personal site online. Plus, you can get a few extra dollars here and there by allowing third-party advertisers to post ads to your site — just be sure you know what those ads will be before you go live.

Making Money

Deciding to make money with your hobby should leave you smiling, not sweating. If your hobby evolves into an all-consuming business undertaking, it’s important not to stray from your passion. Instead find practical solutions to meet demands, and stay true to your original goals. Try hiring friends, family or classmates to help you get through busy times. Think about sharing the load with a business partner. You may even consider scaling back and specializing your product or service if the demands become unrealistic.

Many people say they want to start a business — someday. If you love your hobby and your friends are beating down your door for your skills, it might be time to start asking for something in return.

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