The number one ground rule that I advise my 50+ clients to set is: pick an activity for your business that you love doing.
The way some 50+ folks assure that they will be starting a business that they love is to convert a hobby into a profit-producing enterprise.
This can be an intelligent way to get started, but first you should answer some key questions.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
It is very advisable for anyone thinking of turning a hobby into a paying business that they carefully research and consider the key skills, activities and techniques necessary to earn an attractive income from sharing their beloved past time with others.
Some key questions to ask and answer include:
1. Will you still enjoy your hobby activity if you find yourself having to work at it eight hours per day, five or more days per week?
Or do you derive joy from your hobby because you use it as an escape from your worklife?
2. Do you have a clear idea of approximately how many other people enjoy your hobby?
A round number will do, such as "more than 100,000 people".
If you don’t already have a sense of the size of your hobby-users group, visit your library’s reference room and ask to see the Encyclopedia of Associations.
Look under the alphabetical category that contains your hobby, such as "F" for flying. See if there is a trade association that serves individuals who participate in your hobby.
If there is, use the phone number in the Encyclopedia to contact the association.
Ask for some general information on the number and characteristics of your fellow hobbyists, such as the approximate number of participants.
3. Do you know everything you need to know about how to replicate the hobby for others, such as where to buy supplies at wholesale cost, how much money it takes to start the business full-time, whether licenses or permits are required to run such a business, etc.?
You know what you pay to enjoy your hobby. Are your costs typical of other users?
If so, how much do you think you can charge per hour, per trip, per unit of product, etc.?
4. At your proposed price per use, how much profit (dollars or %) do you think you can make?
5. How many users will you have to sell in a year to cover your expected business expenses…and pay yourself your desired salary?
6. Can you find at least one other person in the U.S. (or overseas) who has successfully turned your hobby into a profitable business?
If yes, try contacting them to see if they will chat.
Some questions you can ask them include:
· How long did it take you to make a regular profit?
· What were your most effective sources of customers?
· What was the most unexpected challenge you faced? THERE ARE PEOPLE
I’ve worked with dozens of 50+ people who have found their inspiration for starting a business in their hobbies.
For example: Tom, who started a fishing expedition company after retirement near his favorite vacation spot.
Or, Sue, who turned her experience redecorating her condo on a budget into a profitable home rehab business.
The key to success is to not let yourself be blinded by the belief that because you enjoy the hobby and are good at it, then surely many others will want your help doing the same hobby.
For many people, part of the joy of having a hobby is teaching themselves how to do it. They may not be too willing to spend money for help from outsiders. You need to research the marketplace for your hobby the same way you research the prospects for any kind of business.