Can you make money and follow your dreams? Yes!
A recent article at Entrepreneur posits a framework for deciding if you might be able to turn your hobby into a business. The piece (very reasonably) revolves around the potential for monetization. “Even if you’re pursuing this mostly because of your passion,” writes SEO.co CRO Timothy Carter, “you’ll still need a stream of income to offset your costs and keep the business running.” Uncontroversial!
Carter suggests the following points to use as a fulcrum between “for fun” and “business model:”
Production. One of the most straightforward options for hobbies that involve physical production is selling the physical goods you create. You can sell your art, your crafts and your structures for a price that exceeds your costs. Thanks to the prevalence of online platforms, this is a highly popular option: There are 2.1 million sellers on Etsy alone.
Viewership/readership. You can also make money just by attracting a sufficient readership or viewership. Producing blog content or regular video streams about your hobby can be your route to a steady audience; from there, you can monetize your practice with sponsorships, affiliate links and advertising.
Education. Even if the other paths don’t pan out, there may be a path to monetization by educating people on how to engage with your hobby. You can charge for lessons, private coaching sessions or group seminars; the only prerequisite is a sufficient skill level.
“The bottom line,” he concludes, “is that you’ll need to find some reliable way to generate revenue. This is possible for nearly all hobbies but is more promising for some hobbies than others.”
Production, however, can be hard to scale without sufficient systems in place. And viewership and education depend on standing out in a very crowded content consumption market.
We’d like to suggest another way: find an existing business that aligns with your passion and goals that’s for sale. Purchasing a vetted business allows you to avoid many pitfalls of creating one from scratch. “Your chances of success are far greater buying an existing business than starting your own,” says Michael Greene, President of Sam Goldenberg and Associates. “A good broker can help you find an established business that already has a proven success model, history of revenue generation, and immediate cash flow. It can also come with much more: inventory, trained employees, a customer base, operating systems, equipment, vendors, transitional support—the list goes on. It is a more manageable risk than other options.”
“Finding an existing local business for sale can often be less risky and more satisfying and rewarding than starting completely from scratch,” says Simon Brackley, former President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. “Aspiring entrepreneurs can enjoy improvements in operations, marketing and strategy rather than starting from the ground up.”
The realm of small business is vast. If you’re concerned you can’t find a business that fits your goals, you might be surprised. Our current listings alone include art galleries, publications full of character, design studios, restaurants, a dog daycare, spas, and more. Furthermore, Baby Boomers are entering retirement age and facing choices about prioritizing health and energy post-pandemic. As they make shifts in their lives, the market for businesses is likely to become even larger and more diverse.
This has been a weird year, but the bright side is that many of us have used this time to reflect on the changes we’d like to make in our lives. Consider buying a business that helps you live your values, master your own time, and pursue your own dreams–all while mitigating risk and uncertainty. Contact us to learn more and embark on a path of business ownership and work that you love.