These days you can make a hobby or skill pay off, or at least give it a good chance of doing so, almost exclusively online. How many times have you seen an Instagram of someone showcasing their skills, and the first comment is often ‘Wow! I’d buy this’, or you’ve thought ‘well I can make that’. So, we ask the question: is forming a company a good way to make your hobby pay? Can you take your crochet hobby or matchmaking skills and turn it into a profitable venture?
There are many success stories and it has never been easier to form a company by leaning on Company Formation agents (Like us!), you can translate your hobby to a side hustle in no time.
But let us take you through some success stories and some more information before you take the plunge.
Hobby to Success Story: Who has done it already?
One of the best ways to determine whether something is worth doing is looking at the results of those who have come before you. So, let’s take a look at some of the hobbyists who’ve made their passion into a business, and how well they have fared.
Nikkie De Jager (NikkiTutorials)
Nikkie De Jager began her youtube beauty journey in 2008, as an avid makeup lover, she began making tutorials purely because she was inspired by The Hills star Lauren Conrad. From there Nikkie joined the world of Youtube beauty gurus and spanned a successful career in influencing and makeup artistry.
From making videos in her bedroom, Nikkie now owns her own makeup brand, as well as collaborating and being sponsored by some of the top brands in the industry, and making videos with huge stars like Adele, Idris Elba, and Kim Kardashian. She has even made multiple TV appearances in her home country of the Netherlands and globally, notably in 2021, she was invited to The Met Gala.
From a simple love of makeup and early 00s reality TV, Nikkie nurtured her hobby into a business built on herself.
Owners James Watt and Martin Dickie shared a love of beer and a distaste of the “stuffy UK beer market”, at the age of 24 they began a micro-brewery and started making their own craft beer. In 2007 they sold their first beer bottles out of a van, along the road they stood up for their punk ethics, were banned from selling certain beers in the UK, and opened bars in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London.
Now BrewDog, with 121 bars globally, is one of the most recognisable craft beer brands in the world. They expanded their brand to include pubs, hotels, and beer workshops. The BrewDog empire began with a love for beer and a desire to change the status quo and expanded to a global disruption to the world of beer.
Fable and Mane
Brother and sister duo Nikita and Akash Mehta leaned on their cultural roots and hobby to create the newest trend in beauty: hair oiling. Nikita was inspired by times in her past where her grandmother would oil her hair, to relieve stress and help hair health. Working together with her brother, who had a passion for luxury, they drew back to their roots, remembering the wisdom passed down from generation to generation in India.
Fable and Mane quickly partnered with huge beauty retailers such as Sephora, Cult Beauty and Selfridges to sell their products worldwide, all thanks to their amazing products and beautiful brand story. The Metha Siblings grew a family and cultural tradition into a global brand, showing the testament of a great brand story, and the success of cultivating your passion into a business.
How to turn your hobby into your full time business?
But how do you actually make the transition from hobby to business in the first place? Well, here are some tips:
- Develop A Business Plan – A hobby business is still a business – so you will need a sound business plan to help develop ideas and determine the viability of your product, whatever that might be. Logos, company names and websites are good to think about here.
- Create Your Company – The first step to making your hobby a business is actually forming a company. Whether that’s a UK limited company or a sole trader, it doesn’t matter as long as you take the plunge and start.
- Build It – Business is all about building something for the future, and that takes hard work and putting your business plan in action exactly as it should. You can also have a look at what grants are available. There are interesting private and public funding options worth assessing.
Remember that if you work on turning a hobby into a business you probably won’t be dumping the day job right away. It’s gradual, and it builds up over time in most cases. You may maintain your hobby alongside your work, like a side hustle, but most global businesses take time to develop.
It’s also worth pointing out that you will probably be testing the water for a while. If you have a look at the market and need to rethink, you can do so. If you’ve got a good business idea it might need tweaking as things progress.
How To Succeed
When you’ve got a small business or one that you work on part time it can be difficult to know how to do well. There are a lot of considerations that can help you in the success of your business, but here are some good tips that are good for hobby businesses:
- Be Passionate – It’s difficult making a hobby pay, so you really need to be keen on it. It’s a labour of love – and you’re not likely to start earning millions right away. In the early days it will most likely just supplement your existing income, so you need to be sure that you’re enthusiastic or you might find it tempting to slack off a bit.
- Be Original – Your idea needs to have your unique stamp on it. Whether you’re sewing scarves or chiselling sculptures, there needs to be a high level of originality within your business for a higher chance of success.
- Be Honest – Your honesty as a small business is important, you need to show some humility to your customers by saying that you’re trying to make a product that is authentic and reflects you as a person – not just as a business.
Overall, your business will rise or fall based on the demand of the market – so you need to get out there and start selling your product as soon as possible, whatever that may be. If you don’t your hobby will remain just that, and not make the transition into a business.
Hobbies & Business Making Entrepreneurs
You might not have even considered making your hobby into a business, but the reality is that a lot of it can be achieved through hard work and determination – and you can at least find out whether it’s possible. So, if you’re ready – create your company and discover what’s possible.