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How to turn your hobby into a side hustle

If you’ve assumed that your hobby couldn’t possibly make you money, think again. Whether you’re a wild swimmer who wants to guide beginners in the wonder of taking a dip in the wilds, or a crochet fanatic who fancies selling your wares online; from teaching grunge guitar to sketching pampered pooches, there is the potential for money to be made from just about anything. Provided you have access to the right audience and a way of reaching them, you can work creatively to carve out a living from your spare time – whilst doing the thing you love most. We look below at how to turn your hobby into a side hustle and the kinds of choices you have in terms of starting up side hustles from home.cf

Something you love vs something you’re good at

Any business thought leader worth their salt nowadays will tell you that one of the key aspects of starting and running a successful business is the importance of that intersection between the thing you are passionate about and the thing you are good at. Let’s not pretend otherwise; running a business can be hard work – even when it is successful, even when you love what you do. Therefore, when you’re thinking about setting up a side hustle from home, be sure to look for something that gives you purpose; there is good reason that when people talk about how to turn your hobby into a side hustle, they’re specific about the ‘hobby’ part of the equation. If you choose what you do for fun as well as some extra cash, you’re far more likely to make a success of it.

The transition from hobby to business

It doesn’t have to be a landmark moment, with a website, business cards, employees, and neon signs all ready to go from the off. The transition from hobby to income can be gentle and kept within your time allowance and comfort zone. For example, if your hobby is something that you’re thinking of teaching, find someone that you know and trust who has an interest in dipping a toe in. If you make things that you want to sell online, test the waters by setting yourself up as a seller on a third part site like Etsy – there’s no need to have your own ecommerce store until you know that there is a real market and you’re happy with how your side hustle from home is progressing. And if you intend for your side hustle to remain just that, then it may be that you never scale up, you simply use your hobby to provide an additional income stream with no pressure for growth. When you’re thinking about how to turn your hobby into a side hustle, then, create a plan – but keep it realistic, with bite-sized tasks to work through. Rome, as they say, was not built in a day. 

The pitfalls of side hustles from home

The reality is that your side hustle is what you make it; it will take as much time and energy as you are willing and able to give. The return on that effort will be the result of a combination of creating a demand through your platform of choice, being able to charge enough to make a profit, your ability to create happy customers and, let’s face it, a little bit of luck. However, the one area where you must be properly informed is around the likely tax implications. It’s not as daunting as it may seem, but you must be sure to understand what is required from the outset so you don’t find yourself with unexpected bills further down the line. Here are some simple steps that you must take:

  • Set yourself up as a sole trader, partnership or limited company. That simply means letting HMRC know that you are trading – and it’s fine if you are already employed, you simply give them the full details. 
  • Keep records of what you sell, any invoices you receive and any additional expenses that you incur. 

You don’t need to register for VAT unless you expect to turn over more than £85,000 in a year (and for most side hustles that’s a tall order). At the end of your first year of trading you will submit a tax return online which uses the information from the records you have been keeping. 

Starting a side hustle from home is an exciting prospect, and a road that many people now choose to take. If you are worried about the financials, Kirkwood Wilson Accountants offer a range of services for small and micro businesses including sole traders, and would be happy to help or advise you on anything from your tax return to your accounting software. If you would like an informal chat then get in touch on 01705 546 000 or email us on [email protected]

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