Tips to Turn Your Passion into a Real Business
By Phil Avent
We all have a passion. Some of us may not think so at first glance, but if you take a minute to think about it, I’m sure you have one. Whether you see it as a hobby, a job, something born out of necessity, or just living your day-to-day life, being passionate about something brings out the best in you.
So think of this – imagine if you could turn your passion into a real business. That’s right, a real business making money. You already have some of the most important ingredients to be successful; you’re passionate about the topic, willing to work hard at it, and you believe in it. All you need to go with this is know-how behind running a business.
In this article I am going to outline the 5 most important fundamentals behind turning your passion into a real business. Read each carefully and think how you can apply them to your passion, then start taking action today to make it happen.
Draw up a Business Plan
I’m not talking about a check-list, or some bullet points on a scrap of paper. But don’t worry, I’m not talking about a carefully crafted legal document either. But to know if your business is feasible or has any chance of being a success you need a plan.
It’s not too hard to find other people’s business plans to get a solid idea of the kind of depth you need to go into, or to even find a template. Then start filling out everything you know that’s applicable to the industry and business you’re going into.
Some of the more important factors to consider when writing up a business plan are:
- A mission statement, detailing the overall goal of your business.
- Descriptions of the services and products offered by your business.
- Details of some market analysis and any product testing you may have done.
- Details of how you plan to market your services and /or products, and how this will be different from any existing competition.
- A brief analysis of what your business’s strengths and weaknesses are going to be.
- Financials – cash flow projections, financing details, expected return on investments, etc
If you want to be a player within a niche, you need to be recognized as being an expert. Or at the very least someone with some knowledge and experience. So start networking with people who are already established. Don’t be pushy or demanding, just reach out and ask a few questions. See who responds and get to know them a little.
When you are part of a network you will start to see opportunities arising. You may be recommended by some movers and influencers, and eventually you’ll be asked questions too. Don’t get frustrated when you are new on the scene, it’s how everyone started out. Here are a few ideas to help you get started with networking:
Start a website – Blogging about a topic of interest is a great way to meet others interested in the same topics. Without using paid marketing it’s a slow way to make contacts, but will certainly work over time.
Attend conferences – There are always conferences being held for like minded people to attend and listen to speakers. Meeting people in the flesh is much more personable approach to networking, often being the most effective way to make someone take notice of you.
Join a mastermind group – Somewhat of a combination of the above two points are mastermind groups. This can be either online, or in real life. A chance to talk with, and network with people in the same industry is incredibly valuable. Do some research online to look for masterminds, you’ll make some relevant contacts quickly.
See Also: 5 Reasons I Will Never Stop Blogging
With your business plan in-hand you can think about raising some funds. You should have a good idea how much you need to raise, and how long it will take to pay back. So convincing potential investors shouldn’t be too difficult, although, we all know how hard it is to get people to part with cash.
There are several options, you can try the crowdfunding route, and there have been numerous well-publicized success stories with this method. You can look at banks or financial investors, but there may be some hefty repayment charges. Alternatively you can go around your friends and family. This can work out very well, but on the flip side it can turn out very bad if worst case scenario happens – and your business fails.
As example of a successful crowdfunding campaign:
Pebble Smartwatch – One of the first smart watches on the market was actually made possible through crowdfunding. Their original goal was $100,000, yet to-date there has been over $10,000,000 raised.
This is largely due to the innovative aspect of the product, consumers were very interested to have a smart watch. Crowdfunding favors the innovative and interesting, you’re trying to appeal to a large number of potential consumers. So consider what consumers want and are willing to pay for, this will increase you chance of success there.
Using Angel Investors
Angel investors are professionals such as lawyers, doctors, business owners etc who are interested in helping out new start-ups. You can apply for funding by showing them your business plan and going through an interview process.
The pro to using an Angel Investor is that you are being backed by someone who understands business. They are successful in their own right, and have a good understanding of business. Often being able to help out with some advice too if you ask.
The biggest con being that you signing over a % of your business for the investment. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s normal business practice. But you should consult your own lawyer to fully understand how much involvement in the business you are handing over.
Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
When starting a business one of the biggest hurdles people face is getting off the ground. There is a lot to do, and inevitably not everything will be in your skill-set. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, delegating tasks that others can do much faster than you is just being smart. Obviously you will not have much cash flow to start with, but scale up as soon as you can.
Never compromise on the quality of staff helping you out however. Mistakes can be very costly, and time delays even more so.
About 50% of all new business start-ups fail in the first 5 years. By following the above advice you minimize your chance of falling into that statistic. Be diligent, be smart, and don’t give up easily. Remember why you’re starting this business, it was born from a passion of yours. Don’t lose the passion and a successful business will flourish.