Turning your hobbies into money

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Look at the title of this article. You’ve thought about it a few times, haven’t you?

Earlier this year the budget speech highlighted quite a few increases that can put a strain on your personal income.

Getting to work will be more expensive, with fuel levies increasing and having a drink with your mates will also be more expensive during this financial year. Then there is that personal tax increase you’re concerned about. Apart from these increases, you might just feel that life is getting more and more expensive every year.

Maybe you’re quite comfortable financially (lucky you) but you need some new found motivation or a hobby. Well, why don’t you turn that hobby into extra money?

This article won’t give you a step-by-step on achieving financial freedom; it will however give you a push in the right direction.

When you think about ways to make extra money, you need to find out whether the goods or services that you can provide are actually in demand – do proper market research before getting yourself into anything serious.

Hop onto the internet and do some research on what is popular in your area. Listen to the hipsters. Don’t try to sell ice to Eskimos, rather sell electricity to South Africans.

It is also important to remember that, whatever method you end up choosing to make more moola at the end of each month must make you happy. Assuming you have a regular 8-to-5-job, you don’t want to feel overwhelmed and anxious to leave work at the end of the day because you can’t stand being in the kitchen baking treats for your cupcake business. Obviously, you also need to play to your strengths – don’t get into baking on the side if you need a YouTube video to teach you how to crack an egg.

If you are obsessed with one of your hobbies that has the potential to be turned into a money making machine, your choice here should be obvious. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Now that you have decided which one of your hobbies will be turned into gold, you need to set up a business plan. Don’t think that you don’t need a business plan because this is just a little something on the side. Set realistic goals for your new business – do you want to become a millionaire or do you simply want your hard-earned money to buy you that cute pair of shoes? Juggling two jobs at the same time can be tough. You don’t want your second job to burn you out, interfere too much with your social life or even worst cost you your actual job. Time management will play a crucial part on your new adventure. Be sure to allocate enough time for all your existing responsibilities to avoid ultimate insanity. Certain activities will be less time consuming than others – if you know you’re stretched for time with your existing job, don’t try to teach 50 kids how to play guitar on a single weekend – even if you’re the next van Halen. Start small and adapt your schedule as your business grows.

Another thing that you’d also want to consider is setting up a budget for your new business. Like with any business, no matter how big or small, you need some start-up capital to get you onto your feet. You would need to invest money into your new business before you will actually start making money. Don’t use savings on your new venture that were meant for something else – you don’t want to gamble with you or your family’s future. Rather set up a new savings account. The key here is to be patient. Get rid of that ‘get rich quick’ mind set from the get-go.

With social media booming in South Africa like never before, you don’t have to spend thousands on marketing your new baby. Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to reach your customers in a flash. A lot of small, new businesses also go for an online store rather than leasing a space. Bear in mind, making extra money should be considered a part-time gig.

Maybe you’ve thought about starting your own business in the past but you didn’t take note of all the factors you would need to consider before the money starts rolling in. Remember, every business and situation is different, so this article should only serve as an introductory guide to you and your future plans. Whether you are considering baking, design, writing, handmade goods or whatever to earn some extra cash, remember to do proper market research, set up a business plan, set up a budget (for your time and money) and get people talking on platforms like social media.

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