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Turning your hobby into a job

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Published: 8 July 2021

Student reading

We all want to love the job we do. Now, thanks to a rapidly changing job market, that dream is becoming a reality for many.  

It’s never been easier to turn the things you do in your free time into a financially viable business.  

That’s why so many people are turning their hobbies into jobs, and you can too.  

Whether you have your heart set on becoming a full-time entrepreneur or you just want a little extra spending money for your studies, take a look through these tips to get started.  

Strategy is key  

So, you know what you’re passionate about, but how do you turn that into a job?  

It’s time to sit down and make some plans. What would your business actually do?   

Do you want to teach people how to take up your hobby or produce something with it?   

For example, if you love knitting do you want to show others how to knit or sell the things you make?   

Research  

You might have an idea for your company, but if lots of other people think of the same concept, it might be difficult to create a successful business.  

That’s where research comes in. Find out who else is working in your industry, what do they do and how can you do it better?   

Next, think of the costs. You will have to know about the materials you need, how much and how often you’ll have to reorder.  

Legal stuff  

If you are setting up a limited company, you need to register it with Companies House in the UK.  

But if you want to be a sole trader, you’ll need to tell HMRC that you’re self-employed and complete a self-assessment tax return.   

It sounds complicated but check out this article by Citrus HR for an explanation of everything you have to consider.  

Marketing  

Next up comes the promotion. You’ll need to tell people about your company if you ever want to sell anything so make sure you do it well.  

Come up with a catchy, easy to remember name and think of the places you need to be talking about your company.  

Get on social media, talk with friends and family, and build your network.   

If you want to learn more, try our Careers and Employability free short course on Digital Media Marketing 

Manage your time  

If you’re setting up your business while your studying, working, raising children or any other life commitments, you need to work out when you’re going to do it.  

You’ll probably have to put in quite a bit of time in the first few months before things get off the ground.  

But as soon as you can, be sure to structure your work around your other roles.   

This is meant to be a fun way of making a little money off something you love to do.  

If it becomes stressful and feels like a chore, it’s OK to step back.  

Be professional  

Finally, it’s important to remember this is a business. That means, if you want it to succeed, you’ll need to treat it like one.  

Keep a proper record of your profits and money spent and present yourself as a professional to everyone you meet.   

Don’t forget, you are good at what you’re doing. That’s why you are doing it.   

At the University of Sunderland in London, we’re so impressed by the hard work and drive so many of our students have.   

If you want to join them and become a business owner yourself, consider applying for the BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship (Top-Up) course.  

Or check out our range of Business, Management and Finance degrees. 

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