It’s time to ask yourselves the question you have been ignoring or pushing to the back of your mind. Do I have a business or a hobby?
What makes it a business anyway?
So, it is a hobby, is that so bad? My Amazon FBA , it turns out is more of a hobby, I enjoy finding the products that make profit. Sure, I learn from this, but I’m not re-investing as much or as often as I should if this is going to be a business. But I’m ok with that, I’m not ready to stop freelancing, or writing my blog. I feel that I have something to offer in this area.
When I started, I thought this is going to be my future, but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it was going to be – financially fulfilling or emotionally.
Online business owners – and even coaches – can easily “open their doors for business” without a firm business plan in place. Some may test the waters to see if they attract any clients and some start out doing this online work as a side gig while working their full time job. So, if this is how you opened your business, do you have a business or a hobby?
A hobby traditionally is an activity that brings you pleasure that you do in your spare time. A business, on the other hand, provides a service or products to clients, has regular business hours, and strives to make a profit.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you are working a business or a hobby:
Do you have firm business hours or are you working sporadic hours as your family or full time job allows?
Do you make the most of your business hours or work time, working as efficiently as possible, or do you get distracted with social media or other behind-the-scenes tasks?
Do you have a business plan, even for one year or 6 months, which includes expected profits?
Do you make opportunities happen or do you wait for them to come to you?
Do you withdraw every penny from your account after clients pay or do you give yourself a pay structure and reinvest some of your profits into software, training, or other business expenses?
You should have an idea now about if your business is truly a business.
Not everyone needs a business degree to start a business; sometimes a unique product idea or a strong desire to offer services is enough to get started.
However, having set goals is necessary to set up your company to grow and generate profits. You could even get a business coach to help with your growth.
Instead of closing your eyes and hoping for the best, create a business plan that will focus you through the next steps of growth.
If you hire a business coach they also serve as your accountability partner, someone who wants to hear from you about your progress and who will call you out when you don’t do as you promised. Oftentimes knowing someone is expecting results is enough to spur you into action because you don’t want to let down the coach.
If you don’t have a business coach, is there someone who could be your accountability partner? I have a friend running online businesses much like me and we meet each month to discuss our successes, failures and next steps.
So, if you want to turn your hobby into a true business and are going to create a business plan take a look at these resources on the Gov.uk website:
https://www.gov.uk/write-business-plan this web page has links to free templates from The Prince’s Trust and Start Up Loans.