Making money through casual hobbies

Written by Keith Tully

Taking delight from the pleasure of fulfilling your hobby at a financial advantage is a feeling only the lucky few can resonate with. If passion for your hobby has reached new heights, you may find that you’re able to easily dedicate more than a couple of hour per week doing what you love. By earning money from a job you once carried out without any expectations of payment, you can recognise the worth of your work, your skill level and add a monetary value to your services.

If you go on to develop your skills, successfully market your services and establish a responsive client base, this shows that there’s potential to further capitalise from your hobby, allowing you to explore officially transforming this into a paid job.

By taking steps to actively market your casual hobby into a fully packaged service, you can unlock a host of opportunities and begin earning enough to depend on this income, replacing your core form of employment. By merging the passion derived from fulfilling your hobby with the satisfaction of earning an alternative form of income, your creativity and innovative ideas can flourish as you will now have dedicated time for this.

Packaging your hobby as a commercial service

If there is a client base for your service, this shows that there is a gap in the market which you could absorb. Once entering the market, you will be required to craft a marketing strategy and build up an operational unit for the business to be able to receive and accept orders. Here are some considerations you will need to make before transforming your hobby into a profit-generating business:

Marketing – Whether you decide to embark on a full-time career based on your hobby or establish it as a part-time, paid pleasure, clever marketing can help drive clients to your door. You can take a soft approach by building a brand and creating a logo to breathe life into the business. Alternatively, you can take a harder approach by putting spend behind your brand to appear in front of customers through search engines, social media, print and online publications.

Operations – There are readily available platforms which can be used as a shopfront for small businesses, such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook and Instagram Marketplace. Using an existing facility typically requires paying a small portion of your sale to the dedicated platform ranging between five to 10 per cent. Alternatively, you can create a branded website and build an internal sales management system which allows you to accept orders, store private data and accept payments through a safe portal.

Legalities – If you are expecting to generate a fair amount of income, you are legally required to declare this and fulfil additional financial obligations, such as tax. Depending on the amount you are earning, your employment status and the country you reside in, the rules will vary. For example, if you reside in the UK and decide to operate through a limited company, your tax treatment may vary and how you are paid. As a result, you may decide to recruit some expert accountants or set some time aside to unpick your finances.

The intricacies of making money through casual hobbies require high levels of self-management, organisation and business acumen. Monetising your hobby will bring a host of ongoing inventory, administrative and accounting tasks, all of which will have to be carefully attended to on time due to legal and operational deadlines. Making money through a casual hobby can help feed your passion and enhance your skillset, not to mention the financial benefits.

Keith Tully is a partner at Real Business Rescue, one of the UK’s largest business recovery firms with over 70 offices across the country. He has personal specialities in debt rescue and recovery, assisting businesses in financial distress by offering comprehensive directorial support.

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