Many people have hobbies that they like to enjoy outside of work. From baking to crafting to photography, people across the country routinely leave their offices and spend their weekends delving into projects that are very different from their careers.

For some people, however, simply having a hobby isn't enough. Those who are passionate about a specific activity are finding new ways to break into the market and turn their hobbies into small businesses.

"New businesses should begin by examining their resources."

Turning hobbies into businesses
There are a number of ways that business-minded people can turn their part-time hobby into a full-time job. Which approach to take will depend on the hobby at hand and the person involved with it. Forbes recommends that people who are knowledgeable about a certain skill teach a class, give presentations about it, or perhaps write a book or start a monetized blog.

For people who make things, selling their goods is a great way to turn that pastime into something lucrative.

Take the example of Candace Nelson. According to The Every Girl, Nelson quit her day job to take pastry lessons, selling cakes out of her home. As she expanded, she ended up creating the first cupcakes-only bakery, a trend that has since sparked numerous bakeries to follow suit across the world.

Online shops make it easy to be a part time entrepreneur
One way entrepreneurs have had success creating a new business is by starting out online. Many websites, like Amazon and Etsy, make it easy for individuals to create an online marketplace to sell their products without having to leave their current job. Quitting work entirely to start a new business can be a risky venture, but people who intend to start small are finding it easier than ever to break into a new side gig.

Entrepreneur states that people starting their new businesses should begin by examining their resources. It can take a lot of time and money to launch a new business, so hopefully upstarts need to be realistic about the time and dedication they can give to their project. Other considerations that new business owners need to take include: 

  • setting a budget
  • creating a business plan
  • registering the business name
  • filing the correct paperwork for permits, licenses and tax purposes. 

New upstarts need to protect themselves by settling all of the legal and logistical problems before they start trying to launch a full business, if their goal is to do more than sell occasional goods online.

When just starting out, it's important for new entrepreneurs to focus on the quality of their products and services. Building a strong reputation for reliable work and good customer interactions is vital to helping a business thrive. Even the most difficult customers need to be served with enthusiasm and support. Throwing in bonuses, like free shipping deals or samples of other items, can also help new businesses attract and keep happy clients.

From foods to beauty products, many artisans thrive by selling their goods online. From foods to beauty products, many artisans thrive by selling their goods online.

Do the research
Before beginning any kind of new venture, start-ups need to begin with plenty of research. It would benefit them to look into other businesses that have been successful with similar products to get a sense of what's worked for others. New business owners also need to familiarize themselves with laws regarding their products. Tax laws may differ from state to state, for example, when it comes to selling products online. Some goods may not even be legal in other areas. Even if the product is perfectly legal where it's originating from, businesses owners need to be cautious about breaking any laws when they ship. 

By taking the time to plan ahead and be patient, enterprising individuals could find themselves running their dream business – one that started as a hobby.


Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.