Has your side hustle grown into a rather large “hustle” over the last few months? Maybe it is time to turn your hobby into a home business! With lockdown pushing a lot of us to get creative with how we earn our money, it comes as no surprise that many of us are turning our low-key hobbies or side passions into home business to create additional income. Some are even taking the leap to become full time entrepreneurs and turn that side hustle into a full on business!
But how exactly does one take that leap? It can be all too terrifying and perplexing to dive into the deep end and get caught in a fish net of product creation, marketing, advertising, budgeting and website design. Sleepless nights tossing and turning over how much to price a product or service, what font to use on your website and how best to start attracting your perfect customer or client – starting a business is not for the fainthearted!
Lucky for us, the amazing award-winning TV chef, cookbook author and all round business savvy woman, Grace Stevens, has let us in on some of her best tips for starting your own business! While the tips are aimed at those wanting to turn their baking or cooking passions into a full time business, these tips can be taken and applied to any situation – they’re that tasty!
Set informed goals
Every great cake begins with an amazing recipe. In business, your recipe should start with researching your target market, examining your competition, and setting clear, achievable goals to help you stay disciplined on the path to your sweetest business dreams.
Play to your strengths
Embrace the elements that make your creations extraordinary and play to your strengths as a baker and businessperson. Offering something unique, delicious, and reliable to your customers will keep your creativity flowing and ensure you get your financial piece of the pie.
Listen to your customers
Your customers can be your biggest advocates and having a great reputation can even save you money on marketing. Being mindful of your patron’s ideas, inputs and even criticisms will help you build a loyal base of return customers and pull in new business.
Ask for assistance
Identifying what is not your strong point and learning to ask for help in the right places is extremely important for your confidence, as well as the growth and sustainability of your business.
Grace Stevens shares 5 valuable costing tips!
1. When selling your masterful creations be mindful of expenses like packaging, consumables, ingredients, your time and your technical skill level.
2. Marketing for the launch of your start-up and for the long term is important to cost into every sale.
3. Certain markets, such as wedding cakes, may have a seasonal swing to them and it is important to budget to diversify your products and save for the slower months accordingly.
4. Identify exactly what each of your recipes cost as if you had to buy all your ingredients and equipment tomorrow. Even the best equipment has a lifespan so it is important to plan to improve, expand and replace your essential equipment as needed.
5. Have a contingency plan. Adding a small amount onto each of your successful orders will ensure that you have the budget to remake an unsuccessful order without running at a loss. The number of re-bakes will be unique to your skill level and should decrease as you become more experienced.
Although aimed at the bakers, these tips are easily adapted to any business start up and great to use as a foundational guide when considering how to begin running your own business.
Every business needs to set clear goals to know what you’re working towards. What do you hope to achieve with your business?
Use the S.M.A.R.T method to turn a hobby into a business!
Create goals simple, significant and sensible. Start off with small goals that you know you can achieve instead of setting massive goals that you might only achieve in a few years. Of course you need to have your big long term goals, but make sure to break them down into smaller goals so you know you can work towards them.
Make sure your goals are meaningful and motivating. How can you measure or track your progress? How will you know that you’re working towards and achieving your goals?
Again, create goals that will be attainable and that will inspire you to keep going.
Make your goals realistic and relevant to where you are in your business right now.
Make your goals time bound, meaning that you set goals with the intention to achieve by a certain date or within a certain time. This will keep you motivated and moving forward in your business.
And remember don’t give up!! So many “normal” people have started home business and can now be called successful entrepreneurs!
Home Grown Success Stories
Garden Route born and raised business, Nourish Soaps. Nourish Soaps was started in Pauline Susman’s home kitchen, where she started experimenting with making her own natural soaps. Pauline started as a small kitchen side hustle, just making soaps for her family and friends to now running her business from her at-home soap factory and supplying stores country-wide!
Earthly is rooted from a genuine passion to make a difference and not do things the conventional way. Founder, Dan van Zyl, stopped talking about what he wanted to do and just started doing it instead! He now runs Earthly, the company supplying South Africa with its first toothpaste bits. The toothpaste bits are handmade locally in Somerset West, South Africa, and are helping to build up South Africa’s green economy bit by bit!
Lady of the Herbs is another passion turned business. Roxanne Joubert’s innate love for nature and the power of herbs as medicine, led her to start her own business creating natural herbal tinctures, teas, healing salves and much more! She is also certified in Herbal Medicine and Nutrition and consults with clients, giving her business a holistic edge.
And we just love the story behind the all natural skincare brand, Litchi & Titch. Started by friends and colleagues, Lecia and Debbie, the brand grew from their single, very popular, Paw Paw Balm to include a whole range of natural cruelty free skincare products. They named their business after their childhood nicknames, Litchi and Titch, it’s so unique and gives the brand a real character!
So you see, you CAN start your own business straight from home. Whether it’s from your kitchen, home office or backyard, as long as you have the passion, determination and clear goals. Make use of all the handy tips from this article you will be well on your way to creating a successful and flourishing business!