One of my recent blog postings was about turning a hobby into a business. Many people have successfully taken action to turn their hobby into a dream company and career. These people get to do what they love. As a hobby turned business matures, often times these people begin to enjoy a flexible schedule and may even consider a reduced work week. However, what happens when a hobby turned business starts being run again like a hobby? How does this impact the business, person, and customers? What are the overall consequences and how will the person and business sustain? Another question to ask is, how do I know if this is already happening?
To determine if this is already happening, here are some questions worth answering. Keep in mind, being honest with self is key to understanding the awareness and reality of a current situation. So, take time to process these questions.
1. What did my hobby look like when I first started and how did it change after it became my business and career?
2. How does it look today? Operational changes have occurred?
3. Have I lost clients? Have new clients turned into repeat customers or infrequent visitors?
4. Do I work full-time, part-time, seasonally? How do I communicate the business structure of open for business hours to my customers?
5. If I was a customer, would I do business with my company? If so, how? If not, why not?
The biggest question to ask is: Do I still enjoy doing what I do? If the answer is yes, then think about the above questions again and look for patterns or areas of improvement. If the answer is no, then think about why and how to bring passion back into the business. If you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself “what’s my gut instinct telling me?”
The reality is when a business turns back into a hobby it means something more is going on. Whether it’s time to bring on an associate to support the need to keep the business open full-time and give the flexibility to the owner, decide which days are permanent operational business days, or perhaps transition the business back into a hobby; assessing the reality of the business situation might just turn out to be the need to rediscover the joy of the hobby and the reasons why it turned into a business.
All the best,