Turn hobbies into income

Turn hobbies you enjoy into cash.

All of us have skills, talents and interests. What we do not realize is that not everyone has those same strengths. Often we underestimate the value of those personal strengths and that they can be a way to increase our income.

So how do you turn your skills and talents into income? Here are steps to assist you in the process of creating a plan.

1. Make a list of the skills and talents that you have. Think of activities and hobbies that you enjoy doing. Are there skills that you are particularly good at doing? As you complete this process, include family members in the brainstorming process.

2. Decide if any of these skills and talents are capable of generating income. From the above list, identify which of the talents or skills will generate the best source of income. Could it generate a small side job or does it have the capacity to become a small home-based business? Is your idea practical for your current lifestyle? Do you have the time to take this on?

3. Create a plan on how you can expand your talents into a business. Essentially, this will be your business plan, which outlines the steps you will be taking to get the business started. Here are some additional questions to think about:

  • Who is my competition?
  • What skills and talents do I have that others may not have?
  • What will I name my business?
  • What will be the legal structure?
  • How will I maintain business? Do I need to hire an accountant?
  • What insurance coverage will I need?
  • Do I need to purchase additional equipment and supplies?
  • Will I need start-up money? Set up a financial plan for the business and remember to pay yourself and cover the cost for any new skills you may need to acquire.
  • Where will my business be located?

4. Assess your plan for effectiveness and make any necessary changes. This will be your guide to accomplish your goal. Make sure that your plan is realistic and that plan’s goals are set for one, three and five year increments.

Take advantage of the many resource available to help create a home base or small business. Here are a few to get you started:

Local Chamber of Commerce
Local community college
Michigan Small Business Development Center
Small Business Administration
Michigan State University Product Center

For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://bit.ly/MSUENews. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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