Retirement Entrepreneurs Blog

Comments, rants and tips on baby boomer small business ideas
and working after retirement.

Author: Ingvar - Retiree In Training  

Working after retirement

Tag Archives: taking a hobby to a business

Many people, including retired folks have hobbies they make a few bucks at. I do in my photography and entertainment. Others make cupcakes on the side, some have a blog or two montetized. We all hope to make enough to at least pay for our hobby stuff such as cameras and so on.

When is it time to turn it into a business? Making real money? First off - you have to want to make the step from enjoying a hobby that maybe, but doesn't have to make money.

Here are a few things to think about before you make the leap to a full-fledged start-up from your hobby.

You love what you do.
This means you can't wait to get going. And it is important to know that you will love it for the long haul as well. If you get exited about a new thing today, start a business and find out that you get bored with it you will fail. But if you have been passionate about it for years - great.

You are making some revenues.
If you have already figured how to get people to pay you for your products or services - great. It is incredible difficult initially to make that first dollar. So if your side-line makes a few bucks - you are on your way.

You understand the future potential.
This is a big one. If you are working from your apartment with your hobby and making a few bucks - can you see how it could turn into a million dollar business? The creator of FaceBook started in his dorm with one photo. But I bet he could see the future! I am not saying you should think millions, but the step from being a side-line to a business - at least think in the hundreds of thousands in revenues. You also have to understand the markets limits. If you go after a market with limited potential - you will get your share but smaller. If you want to go big you need to have a marketplace that is HUGE. Because unless you are wealthy enough to spend the money you need to crack a major share of a huge market - go for a huge marked but expect to get only a minor market share. It's better to go after a 20 Billion dollar market and get 0.1% = $200,000 than to try for 10% at a 2 million dollar market.

You have to focus away from yourself.
Right now you enjoy what you are doing, and a few people pay you for it. But to grow, you have to start thinking about your clients, employees and investors. I learned a few years back that the client might not always be right (as far as I determined) but they often know what they want. I got a great photo job while still in the hobby stage and did a great job. Or so I thought. Then we sat down and the client explained what they were looking for in terms of emotional results from the photos. I got it right away, but wouldn't have thought of it myself. In spite of having done this since 1965.

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