Getting paid for doing what you love sounds a little too good to be true, right? Actually, it’s not too far out of reach. If you’ve ever thought about turning your hobby into a business you’re in the right place. Here are a few ways to get your business off and running with a little help from UNI Business and Community Services.
Evaluate what you have to offer.
If you’re ready to take your hobby to the next level, spend some time identifying exactly what you’re offering. Whether you are selling a product, providing a service or a combination of both, this step is critical in the early stages of entrepreneurship. It’s also important consider customer discovery while evaluating your business idea. Ask yourself, is there a market for this and if so, where? Are people interested in what I’m offering? If you able to successfully identify a generalized group, your business is one step closer to taking off.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
Hobbies are fun pastimes, but businesses are investments. The road ahead might seem challenging or confusing but it doesn’t have to be! Make early connections by chatting with other small business owners and entrepreneurs. They can offer expert advice, become excellent mentors and help further your business beyond what you had imagined. Participate in entrepreneurial-based networking opportunities like 1 Million Cups, a weekly gathering of local business leaders and startups. Networks like these harvest experiences from others and create stronger entrepreneurial communities.
So you’ve decided you’re going to do this, now it’s time to create your business plan and that’s where we jump in. Programs like the Iowa Small Business Development Centers are here to help you create an organized business plan (that actually makes sense)! You can set up a counseling appointment with your local center. But what can they really do? They work through your business idea step-by-step and develop any missing pieces. Next, they’re right by your side as you develop your action steps and activities related to your business launch. Whether you’re just asking a question or in need of strategic planning, an SBDC is a great launchpad for your business.
As always, UNI Business and Community Services is here to help your Iowa business grow and succeed. Find additional programs and resources at http://www.bcs.uni.edu/.