8 Easy Steps to Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Business - Amika Ryan Shepherd Like A Girl

8 Easy Steps to Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Business

Are you thinking of turning your crafting hobby into a business? You’re in good company! With 100% flexibility, control over your own pay rate, and the ability to work when you want, it’s no wonder why you’re considering it!

Whether you’re a stay at home parent or you’re ready to make a career shift, it’s time to pack up your desk, and say goodbye to cash flow troubles because starting your journey as a successful handmade crafter has never been easier with the world of selling online right at your fingertips! 

Below, you’ll discover how to start and navigate your new business with my 8 easy steps to turning your hobby into a profitable business starting today.

Step 1: Create a vision

Before you jump right into turning your hobby into a business, the first thing you must identify is WHY you want to start this business.

Believe it or not, starting your own handmade business isn’t just about your brand or even landing your first paying customer. Before you even start researching all those things, you’re going to need to do a little soul searching. 

Plainly, you’ll NEED to understand your “why” in order to stay consistent, remain motivated and grow continuously in your personal life and in your business. 

Lacking the understanding and not taking a moment to deeply make an emotional connection to your “why” will eventually leave you feeling bored, frustrated and disengaged from taking any action within your business.  

Establish your why from the beginning and you’ll establish a business built to succeed. 

Here are some key questions you’ll need to ask yourself as you embark on taking this important yet sometimes overlooked step. 

  • Why am I making this change?
  • Who am I making this change for? (your family, your finances? List as many as you can)
  • Why is this important to my success?
  • What would it look like to have a successful business doing what I love?
  • What are my BIGGER goals for turning my hobby into a profitable business?
  • Who will my success benefit other than myself? How?

Knowing the answers to these questions will keep you motivated when you come up against obstacles.

Step Two: Set your income goals

As you venture into this new business, it’s best to go in with an income goal in mind. 

Let’s start with these three questions:

  • Do you want a full time income? 
  • Is this a side hustle to supplement your day job? 
  • How much time can you dedicate to this business?

Once you decide the answers to those first questions, you then want to come up with your income goal for the year. 

Having a good, better and best income goal to shoot for will keep you on track.

Step Three: Choose the product(s) you will sell

Now that you have an income goal set, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to reach that goal!

Let’s first start with brainstorming:

  • What are all the ways you can make money in your handmade business?
  • What product(s) can you sell right now?
  • What products do you eventually want to sell?

From there you want to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the average price point on your product?
  • How many of each product will you need to sell to reach your goal? 

Sit down and write out your product pricing and how it will align with your income goal.

Step Four: Treat your business like a business

It’s time to make this business dream a reality and start treating it like an actual business. 

Yes, you’ll want to set up your business so that it’s legit – open a business checking account, maybe get an LLC and insurance, etc (check out my quick start checklist if this is sounding overwhelming *link*).

But, more importantly when you’re just starting out, you need to adopt a business mindset.

You’ve been used to creating whenever you want, but when you’re ready to turn your hobby into a business, you’ll need to SCHEDULE dedicated time to create products, market and fulfill orders. 

You need to show up for this business just like you would a regular job!

Step Five: Create your brand

It’s time for the fun part! Now you get to create your business brand and name!

Now, you may be thinking, “Why do I need to create a brand?”  The answer is simple! So that people can spot YOU and your products a mile away.

Let’s start with naming your business. Follow my quick “braindump” activity to get you thinking of possible names:

  •   Start: list the things you love to do (include both personal and professional ideas in your list).
  •   Add: the types of products you want to sell.
  •   Combine: the things you love to do with those potential products!

And—voila! A new name for your biz!

Another thing you want to think about is will your business have a tagline? Your tagline is one phrase that provides clarity or emphasis to help highlight a brand’s mission and purpose. Taglines help consumers feel more connected to brands.

Some businesses don’t have taglines. But, if you want to set yourself apart from the competition and establish your brand clearly and convincingly, you might want to create one.

Lastly, let’s talk more about branding! 

First, you’ll want to choose 2 or 3 main colors that will represent your business. These colors are what you’ll use on your website, social media accounts, and your marketing materials. 

You also want to choose 2 or 3 fonts you’ll use.

The key to branding is being CONSISTENT

The final piece of branding your new business is creating your logo. You can either create it yourself using something like canva.com or you can hire someone to do it for you on fiverr.com.

Step Six: Engage your customers

Okay, this next step may feel a little scary, but hear me out! It’s time for you to start ENGAGING with your customers. 

Just because your business is online, doesn’t mean that you don’t interact and engage with your customers. 

Here’s a huge tip for you: People want to buy from people they know, like and trust so don’t hide behind your products, brand or computer! Start building relationships in the beginning of your business.

Use some of these ideas to engage with your customers: 

  • Share how you create your handmade products.
  • Show sneak peaks and behind the scenes. 
  • Include them in new product ideas.

Remember, engaged customers lead to more sales!

Step Seven: Make it EASY for people to buy from you

When you’re first starting out, you can get away with selling in Facebook groups or on eBay or Etsy, but if you’re serious about turning your handmade hobby into a business, you’ll need your own ecommerce store!

I personally use Shopify and teach all of my students to use it as well. 

Shopify is different than Etsy and eBay because it’s not an online marketplace, it’s its own webstore. This means that your product isn’t being shown up against your competitions. 

If you’re ready to start your own Shopify store now, here is my link for a free 14 day trial.

Step Eight: Find your tribe

Woohoo! Your business is up and running now, but I’ve got one more important step for you.

To continue to grow, you need support. 

My biggest tip here to grow your business quickly is to find a mentor that has been where you want to be!

A mentor takes the guesswork out of growing your business because they’ve been where you are now and have grown to where you want to be. 

A mistake I made in the beginning of my business was not doing this sooner. 

In the first month working with my mentor, I was pushed to do so much more in my business than I had done in the past year.

You’re now well equipped with the steps necessary to create your very own handmade business! Go out there and take some action! But first, make sure to grab my Quick Start Checklist to easily transform your handmade hobby into your profitable business.

Amika Ryan - Shepherd Like A Girl

Amika teaches online courses and workshops for craft business owners, artists and fiber enthusiasts to help them create sustainable and profitable handmade businesses. She's dedicated to helping you succeed with your handmade craft business in the noisy online space that is the internet today.

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