Turn your hobby into a job

Are you dreaming of turning your hobby into a job? Great! Here is our top 8 checklist to help you get started.

Ceramic painting workshop

1. Find a unique way of sharing your hobby with the world

This should really be your first step. E. g. if you love painting, ask yourself what would attract enough people in the long run to support your day to day living? Get inspired by what you might have seen to work in other cities, such as this ceramic painting workshop.

2. Be able to easily explain to others why you are doing this

To understand what drives you and being able to clearly communicate this makes all the difference in a competitive market and creates a huge pull factor for potential customers. You should always include this information when communicating your offer to your customers.

3. Know who your dream customer is

Understanding who your dream customer is helps you to give your product the last touches. Your dream customer is whom you should always have in mind no matter what you do. Your dream customer will in turn become your biggest fan and promoter.

4. Have a professional website where customers can book your offers

Customers nowadays expect the best experience that they have made anywhere in their lives every time. E. g. a customer that has shopped on Amazon before expects a booking process with a shopping cart which still contains your activities after he has left the website and returned a couple of days later. Our research shows that 50 % of people looking for activities find it difficult to book them online and 40 % even stay at home, while they initially planned to be active.

In order to build your website you need a reliable and easy to use CMS. The most popular CMS is WordPress. WordPress offers many great themes that allow you to create a professional looking website with ease. WordPress also features many booking plug-ins for your activities and experiences. The Experience & Activities Booking System plug-in from uppliv e. g. offers you a solution to instantly start selling your activities via your website at your terms. This plug-in is free of charge for up to 50 bookings a month, which gives you peace of mind when starting your business.

5. Confirm bookings automatically

Confirming bookings immediately is a great way to drive up conversion rates. Many customers do not want to be left in limbo.

Start by asking yourself the following questions and then look for a booking tool that can fulfil your needs:
– do you want to confirm every booking immediately or do you want to define inventory rules?
– do you want to have fixed start times or do you want to accept bookings within a certain opening hour window?
– do you want to share the inventory across different start times (imagine e. g. you are offering a kayak sightseeing tour but only want to start once per day, no matter if it is 10 am, noon or 2 pm) or should it be dedicated inventory (e. g. if you want to do the kayak sightseeing tour multiple times a day)
– do you want to share the inventory across different price categories (e. g. if the kayak sightseeing tour is for a maximum of 4 people, no matter if someone books e. g. 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children) or should the inventory be dedicated per price category (maybe you only want to take one child along on your kayak sightseeing tour because of safety reasons)
– do you want to define blackout periods (e. g. if you go on vacation)?

6. Know what to communicate to customers at what time

Customers expect to receive communication just in time. Imagine e. g. that you are operating a rock climbing gym. Your customers expect to be informed on the day of the activity what equipment to bring along to the activity, when to leave home, etc.
Rock climbing gym

7. Know which price to charge for your activity

When defining the price for your activity, keep in mind that there will be variations in demand, it might take a while until you get traction, your competitors might be offering discounts for certain age groups, in some seasons you might be able to charge a premium while in others you might have to offer a discount.

8. Protect yourself against revenue loss

Imagine that you are offering an authentic home cooking experience. You will have to do some grocery shopping before your customers arrive. You will block your time and will not be able to sell your activity again if your customer cancels short notice. It is good practice to define cancellation fees which give the customer the possibility to cancel free of charge if they cancel with enough lead time and protect you if they cancel at a point in time where you would most likely face a revenue loss.

9. Spend less time online and more time with your customers

Every minute that you have available to spend with your customers gives you the potential to earn money and create a sustainable income. You should target lean operations where as much of the work that is related to managing bookings and communications with customers and making your offer visible across different channels is managed in one place.