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Turn Your Hobby into Profit

Aug 17, 2007
Do you enjoy designing, sewing, or making craft items at home? Perhaps you have acquired a traditional skill like carpentry, or perhaps you like to paint. All across the world, people are using the power of the internet to help them turn their hobbies into home based businesses. With a little bit of organisation, you could start making extra household income just by doing the things you love to do anyway.

Starting a home based business may sound like a big step. You may have no business experience and no idea how to compete with people who already do what you do on a professional basis. Many hobbyists are overly modest about their talents, failing to recognise how skill can develop as a result of years of practice. The items you produce at home may seem very ordinary to you, but other people will be more likely to marvel at your workmanship. In a world where most of the products we buy are mass-produced, people really appreciate the extra love and attention which goes into home made goods.

As well as helping you to find a market for your product, the internet can help you work out how to set up your business in the first place. There's lots of free advice online which can guide you through the basics of making a business plan. This plan will assist you in getting access to any grants or low-rate loans which may be available to new businesses based in your local area. It will also help you to work out the costs of any new equipment and supplies you may need, balancing these against what you can expect to earn. Your local tax office will be able to offer guidance on when and how to go about paying tax on your profits. They can also advise you on how to write off some of your expenses against tax. Your business will be responsible for paying a share of your household fuel bills and the cost of using the telephone and internet. This can help to reduce your overall costs, making it easier to get started.

In order to work out your earning potential, you'll have to work out how much you can charge for your products. The easiest way to do this is to work out a price based on competitors' prices. The internet makes it quick and easy to see how much your competitors are charging. Don't try to undercut them by too much, as you will need to cover your costs and make sure you're properly rewarded for the work you put in. You should also be aware that customers can be put off a product which is priced too low, as they'll assume it must be poor quality.

Looking at the way your competitors are marketing their products can help you work out how to market yours. The most important thing you'll need is a website, around which all other promotions can be based. It's easy to find a professional online who can build a website for you, or, if you have good html skills, you may try building your own. If you choose the latter option, there are free online guides available to help you. Remember that it's very important to get your website right - it's the face of your business, the first thing prospective customers will see.

Once you have a website, you can sell your products directly from there, or you can try using other methods like auction sites. A home based business doesn't have to be an isolated business - auction sites are good advertising in themselves and will instantly put you in touch with lots of other web-based companies. You may also choose to market your products in and around your home area, as part of your local business community. A home based business is a community business, and can benefit your local area in lots of ways. All this, just for doing what you love!
About the Author
Dassana Jayalath is the editor of WebSuperTips newsletter. Visit http://www.WebSuperTips.com to access free ecourse : Newbie's Guide To Profitable Internet Home Business
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