Summer is the season to take the time to enjoy the beautiful weather. It’s also when the sun is out a little longer, allowing us more time to enjoy the hobbies we love. Be it knitting a sweater or organizing a softball game with friends, summertime is the best time to make, create and build on the things we love. For young entrepreneurs, it is also the best time to take those hobbies to the next level. There is nothing greater than creating a successful business doing the things you love, especially when you can start today. Below are some tips to spend the least amount of money while still making sure your new business is off to a successful start:
- Create A Work Space
When you are creating a business out of your hobby, it is important to create a separate space dedicated to the business. When switching from hobby to business, it may be tempting to continue as though it is still a hobby. However, doing so will not create the necessary switch in your mindset to push you from fun hobby to professional business. Simply placing a desk in a different room dedicated to the business or designating a space and time in an existing study area is all that is needed. By associating your business with a specific work space, the physical switch will create the change in mindset needed to get your business started.
- Specialize Your Product
Since you are likely passionate about the hobby, odds are you know a ton about it. You may be able to create complex woodworks or referee different types of games, but starting off too complex is never advised. It’s important for you to differentiate yourself from competitors early on and a good way to do so is specializing your product. Remember that specialization can mean offering more than one product. However, what is important is to focus on specific markets, which will be beneficial in two ways. First, by focusing on a limited product market you narrow the flow of invoices. This allows you to better tackle the amount of orders received and to avoid falling behind. Second, the limitation allows you to focus on crafting the best possible product. This helps build your reputation, which also helps lower the barrier for the introduction of new products. When customers associate your business with a quality product, they will assume the same quality exists in all your products.
- Know Your Limits
By knowing what you can and cannot do, you will be able to outsource what is needed allowing you to focus on the crucial aspects of your business. Because of the Internet, it is now easier than ever to have a consumer facing presence with the use of websites that allow third party sellers. If you are creating a unique good, sites such as Etsy and Bonanza can be invaluable tools for getting your product out there to your consumers. For services, there are tons of specialty sites to take advantage of such as Care.com for home services and WyzAnt for tutoring services. Simply find the site that best suits your needs and create a seller account. Many sites provide a clean and easy to use format that will help keep your business organized.
- Use Your Network
In the age of the Internet, word-of-mouth is still more important than ever. Friends and family can help spread the word about your product quicker and more broadly than you think. It is also important to note that close friends and family may know someone who can help your business thrive. Do not underestimate the importance of your network as it can be the most invaluable tool in your arsenal. Tell everyone and anyone you know to jump start your business faster than you imagined.
- Don’t Forget The Customer
The customer is always right. Though the saying is easy to remember, it is harder to follow when the customer is talking about your passion. Customer service is a key fixture for a successful business and providing a good experience will help elevate your business to the next level. It is also important not to take the complaints personally. Odds are they loved your product but an issue arose independent of your work. This will help better your business and allow you to take pride in your product while keeping you grounded.
Keeping the above in mind, this summer can be the start of an amazing first step into turning what you love into a thriving business. There is very little standing in your way to become the next young entrepreneur besides taking your passion and turning it into a career this summer.