Almost everyone is passionate about something. This might be gardening, photography, cars, kids, computers or a number of other things. What matters is that it is something that you enjoy, are good at and it provides value to others in some way. When these elements exist, your passion can become so much more!
This is exactly what just under 50 percent of Americans who are self-employed today are doing. Some have chosen this path as a part-time pursuit to complement traditional employment and some have developed viable full-time business models as job opportunities shrink and disappear. Whatever the reason, turning your passion into profitable self-employment is a very real and appealing opportunity for many.
When you are truly passionate about what you do, your ability to succeed becomes much stronger. This is in part due to not just being motivated by money, but also a genuine joy and interest in what you do and how it adds value for others. If this describes you in any way, here are six tips for testing out how you can turn your passion into profitable self-employment:
- Test the Waters | You can’t sell something people don’t want to buy. To avoid learning this late in the game, test the waters first. This means getting someone to buy what you have to offer. Through this process, you will learn many valuable things: who bought, why they bought, what it took to provide it, how much you made and how to improve upon the process the next time.
- Run the Numbers | Success requires making more money than you spend! If you have $1, give someone $.50 and know how much you have left over, you can understand the numbers in business. A great tool for helping you with this process is a profit and loss forecast. This allows you to figure out what you sell, how much you sell it at, how often you sell it, what it costs and how much you have left over. The best part is that you can play with the numbers until you get the optimum bottom line outcome.
- Run the Numbers Again | In business, cash is king. Many new business owners make the mistake of not monitoring the numbers on a routine basis. Because all businesses are dynamic, you need to know every minute what your cash on hand position is, as well as the likelihood of ongoing sales. A cash flow forecast can be a great tool for this purpose.
- Don’t Underestimate Marketing | No customers – no business. Getting and keeping customers requires a marketing strategy. This includes utilizing both select on-line marketing channels and off-line channels. Do the research and find out which channels will be the most effective for reaching your target audience. Keep in mind that while there are many great free marketing channels, sometimes you’ll want to pay to play so be sure to establish a sufficient marketing budget.
- Establish a Process | Chaos doesn’t work in business. To succeed you must effectively utilize people, process and technology to operate efficiently and profitably. Some of the core business systems to keep in mind in this regard are bookkeeping, target marketing, time management and strategic planning. Check out the Strategic Management Learning System for more examples as well as how-to tips.
- Be Genuine | Buying is 90% emotional and 10% intellectual. When customers buy from your business, they aren’t just buying a product or service. They are buying the culture you create and what you believe in. Your genuine love for what you do needs to come through in your marketing, sales, branding, and every other aspect of your business. Collectively, this is what will help you to develop loyal and satisfied customers.
Last but not least, enjoy!