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Turning Your Hobby Into A Home Business

Aug 18, 2007
Back in the seventies a couple of nerds took their computing hobby to the next level by making their pleasure activities their work. Steve Jobs turned his hobby into Apple which gave us the Macintosh computer, iPod and now the iPhone. Bill Gates turned his hobby into Microsoft and became the worlds richest man in the process. Probably the tastiest example of a hobby being turned into a successful multi-million dollar business is the Vermont based ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry.

For many, the hobby they have is more often based on arts and crafts and with the advent of the internet a world wide market has emerged with many customers looking for bespoke, hand made products rather than the mass produced variety. Meanwhile, the development of social networking sites and blogging has allowed more and more of us to share our expertise in areas that we consider our hobby, but which many others find so useful they are prepared to pay for the privilege of learning from you there are many examples out there that you can find for gardening, cooking, gambling tipsters, lifestyle and just plain writing on topics of interest.

When you are thinking about turning your hobby into a commercial activity there are a few things you should be aware of and give some serious thought. Think about the demand for your product or service, do some market research of your own and you probably will already have a good idea of the possible demand for your goods. If you are making cakes and they all disappear in the first 30 seconds of the PTA fund raiser, then maybe that is a sign that people will want some more and will pay for them!

You also need to be aware of the IRS and their interest in your hobby turned business. This does not mean that the taxman cannot be turned to a benefit for you to pursue your hobby though. If you are funding an expensive hobby think about how you will be able to write off the expense of it by claiming it as a business deduction in your returns! A model flying enthusiast built his own model jet, costing some $15,000, not your usual knit one, pearl one hobby! By then building and marketing other model airplanes he created a business that effectively allowed him to write off the expense of his own hobby activities as marketing related when he took his model jet to an event, it was a demonstration not him actually doing it for pleasure as far as the IRS was concerned.

Finally, consider your route to market and how you will actually sell and deliver your products. Again the internet offers a quick and cheap route to customers with ecommerce sites and the ability to operate a merchant account to electronically receive payment being pretty simple and cheap to set up now. You can also directly tap into community websites such as eBay and offer your goods that way while a more traditional approach will be simply contacting local stores and outlets in your area to see if they will stock your items.
About the Author
Our company http://www.easyinkz.co.uk is an enterprise specializing in developing and manufacturing print consumables like Ink Cartridges compatible for EPSON/HP/CANON series printers: Continual Ink Supply System(CISS); Refillable Ink Cartridge(RIC); Auto Reset Chip(ARC); Chip Reset System(CRC)and so on.
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