How to Turn a Pandemic Hobby Into a Successful Small Business

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Marleny Hucks
Marlene (or Marleny as she is known in Spanish) is a mentor, teacher, cross-cultural trainer, storyteller, writer, and for those who have been under her leadership or simply sat across the table from her, she is a mirror of destiny. Her love of word and image were formed early on by one of her heroes, Dr. Seuss. If you asked those who know her well, they would describe her a compassionate, funny, wise, curious, honest, real, strong, sensitive and totally human which comes out as she teaches and writes. She sees all of life, even the most mundane, through faith and believes that who we become as we live this side of the veil is what matters not the journey itself or our circumstances. Marleny Hucks has spent her life crossing bridges. She comes from a diverse background of ministry roles and contexts as well as has transitioned in and out of the business world. Having lived outside the country as well as traveled extensively she has a fascination with culture causes her to live her life within a global mosaic no matter where her feet are planted. Marlene currently lives in South Carolina with her husband David, who owns a news company but who she says is a “crime fighter”, bringing light into darkness in their systems of their city. Marleny currently works as a content management specialist covering Myrtle Beach News for MyrtleBeachSC News.

When thinking about “small businesses,” people typically imagine a person in a small office, working diligently to earn a living. Maybe they’re a self-employed lawyer, or an accountant, or a computer scientist. But in reality there are countless other more unconventional ways to start a business. One such hobby business could be the perfect type of “microenterprise” venture for people who developed new skills and passions during the pandemic. 

These kinds of small businesses are called “hobby businesses” because they are typically started for the purpose of developing particular skills, talents or interests. They are usually owned by one person and operate from a single location. Many hobby businesses are also called “microbusinesses.” When you start a microbusiness, you are taking the first steps toward owning a small business on your own terms. It’s important to know that, even though microbusinesses may seem like a good idea, they are not always a good fit for everyone. Make sure you understand the financial and time commitments involved before you decide to become a microbusiness owner. So here are a few easy places to start as you should consider  starting your own microbusiness out of your pandemic hobby.

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Small Business, Big Opportunity

There are several unique benefits to owning a microbusiness. As a small business owner, you’ll have more time than anyone else to perform your job well, and you’ll have time to do what you love, be in charge of your own schedule, and have complete control over your work hours.

You’ll be your own boss. You get to set the hours you work each day, schedule your own craft or project hours, and decide when you’re open for business.

You’ll be your own employee. You don’t have to rely on other people to do your job. As an owner, you are responsible for everything that goes into your business and for taking care of all the details that come with it. It can be a stressful prospect if you’ve always worked in the corporate world, but the flexibility and freedom are unparalleled. 

You set your own income. As an entrepreneur, you set your own rates and have complete control over the way you earn money, for better or for worse!

Decide Whether You’re an Entrepreneur or an Individual

This sounds like a crazy comparison, but before you decide to become a microbusiness owner, you should consider carefully whether you are a person who likes to be in charge or whether you’d rather let someone else take the lead. If you’re the type of person who likes to be in charge, then owning your own business might be a good fit for you. But if you’d rather sit back and let someone else make all the important decisions, this type of constantly-micromanaging business ownership might not be for you. Also keep in mind that, while you will be the owner, you will still be an employee in a sense. If you prefer to be your own boss, you will still need to count on other people for help with some of the day-to-day tasks that come with owning a business.

Entrepreneurial spirit comes to many in spurts, but running a microbusiness requires constant vigilance and motivation, especially when the going gets tough. Consider your own past and experience before jumping into the tough world of business ownership. If you’re worried, partnership could be a good route to have some help and accountability!

Photo by on Unsplash

Decide Whether You’re Focused or Multifaceted

While there are many benefits to owning a microbusiness, it’s also important to consider whether you are interested in a niche or are more of a generalist.

In general, these types of businesses that rely on their founders’ specific talents or interests tend to be more successful than those that are more general in nature. However, it’s also important to consider whether you’re interested in pursuing a hobby that can become a full-time business. It’s also possible to have a microbusiness that focuses on a number of different activities. Depending on what you are most interested in, you might want to consider starting a business that is exclusively related to the activity, versus some kind of catchall alternative.

Pandemic Hobbies

Another important thing to consider before starting a hobby business is whether the activity you are interested in is a “hobby.” By hobby, we mean an activity that you are interested in performing for its own sake, not for making money. While it may seem appealing to start a business around something that you already enjoy doing, this is often not a good idea. A hobby is often done on a limited, part-time basis, so switching to making a career off of it could be a daunting, disastrous change. If you’re getting this idea post-pandemic, consider how it makes you feel day-to-day and what it would mean for your newfound passion to become your newfound job.

Scalable Hobbies

Even though hobbies are usually pursued for their enjoyment, there is usually also a practical side to them.

Many hobbies are also very easy to convert into a business activity. Things like crafts, jewelry-making, painting, gardening, cooking, or others could fit nicely into traditional business models. Maybe you’re an expert brewer and want to offer home brew courses to your community, or you’re an avid carpenter and want to design furniture for the neighborhood. These types of hobbies are easily scalable into microbusiness structures. 

Hire a Professional to Help You Grow

As you grow your business, it’s essential to know that you are working with professionals. When it comes to growing a microbusiness, you’ll need professional expertise in a variety of fields. This includes business planning, marketing, accounting and bookkeeping services, and, in some cases, legal services. If you’re not sure where to find these services or who can provide them at a reasonable cost, you should consider hiring a business consultant. Business consultants specialize in helping businesses of all types grow. In addition to providing business consulting services, many business consultants also offer financial services like business planning, financial planning and money management.

Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, before you decide to start your own microbusiness, you should understand what you are getting into. Before you can begin the process of turning your pandemic hobby into a small business, you need to answer some important questions. These questions will help you determine whether owning a microbusiness is right for you.

You need to decide whether you like being in charge or would rather let someone else take the lead. You need to decide whether you are a person who likes to be in charge or would rather sit back and let someone else make all the important decisions. You need to decide whether you are interested in a hobby that is extremely niche, or whether you are more of a generalist. You need to decide whether the activity you are interested in is just a “hobby” or whether it has practical business application. You need to decide whether you want to hire a professional or whether you will do the work yourself. You need to decide whether the business model you are considering is scalable. You even need to decide whether you will start your own microbusiness or whether you will partner with someone else.

That sounds like a scary list, but it isn’t daunting when you start getting answers! The pandemic gave countless people the opportunity to discover new skills and passions, so capitalizing on them could be your next career step. Just be smart about it, and you’ll be off to the races in no time!

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