Updated: May 2
If I were to ask you 'would you like to get paid for doing something you love', I'm sure the answer would be a resounding YES! I have been blessed and fortunate enough to be able to make that a reality and I'm here to tell you that you can do it as well.
For me, the decision was driven by the birth of our youngest child and although building your own business is no simple task, the benefits of it are well worth the sacrifice.
For you, it may the flexible working hours, the desire to earn more money or the hope of early retirement on some remote island. Whatever the case may be, anyone will tell you that working in a job that you enjoy is one of the most important things. So if you can do something you love and are passionate about whilst being paid, then surely it's a no-brainer.
I only wished I started sooner!!
Be sure to check out our blog on areas to prioritise for business success after you've finished reading this article!
Behind the lens.
I have grown up loving everything about the creative arts. I once dreamed of being a dancer and performer on the West End. During my schooling years, I took the opportunity to study creative arts which involved dance, drama, music, photography and art. I also delved into fashion design before attending uni at Nexus ICA to study music further.
Uni far exceeded my expectations. We did so much more practical work including building sets, making costumes, recording footage and planning events. I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity on my course to continue doing many of the other things that I love.
Little did I know that the stage was being set for what would eventually see me starting up my wedding and lifestyle photography business. Just 2 years on I would own my first DSLR camera. The love for capturing special moments and fond memories blossomed from here on in and after shooting a few friends weddings, I started to dream of doing this full-time.
Turning your hobbies into a business.
So what is your hobby? Can you create spectacular pieces of artwork? Do you bake delicious and beautifully decorated cakes? Are you a health fanatic with gruelling training programmes and a wealth of knowledge in nutrition? Maybe you have attended dance school all your life and you can start teaching it yourself. From being a whizz with computer software to hand-making stunning decorations for the home, there are endless amounts of hobbies that people do to such a high standard that someone would be willing to pay for their services.
In fact, the chances are that someone is already selling items or services just like yours! So why not jump on board and start getting paid for what your love!
Now first things first. You have to check that your hobby is within a niche that people are willing to pay money for. No business will last very long if it isn't financially sustainable. Also, remember that massive companies can purchase goods in bulk so their profit margins are greater. Keep an eye out for the up and coming blog on 'how to build a business plan' which will help you make sure your business gets off to the right start. And if you never want to miss out on any of the latest tips, tricks and exclusive offers then why not join our monthly newsletter?
The other question you have to honestly ask yourself is whether you are willing to commit to building your business. You may need to develop your skills further as well as learning new ones. It may mean that for a time you need to sacrifice some luxuries whilst you invest into your business. I'm by no means trying to put you off, but I do want to make you aware that you need to be committed before you start this venture.
If the answer to these questions is yes, then there is no reason why you can't embark on your journey to building a successful and profitable business in a job that you absolutely love!
Starting a business on the side.
Unless you are one of the few fortunate ones that instantly goes viral and your business immediately booms, I would suggest that you consider building it up a little on the side before committing full-time. As this is currently your hobby, you're already doing some of the workload on the side anyway. Many business owners who are starting up do so by offering their services on evenings, weekend or whenever else their time permits.
As I previously mentioned, the first few weddings that I did were for my friends. Now, these were love jobs (unpaid), but had I been starting a business at that time I would have had a couple of options. Either I could have charged a small rate or I could have still done it for free as the photos and reviews would have been great for building my reputation and portfolio gallery.
The point is many people have the opportunity to develop their skills, gain great experience and earn some extra money whilst still working at their full or part-time job. If you're already at home, perhaps with the kids, then this is still a perfect opportunity to slowly build the business up before the time arrives when you can go full-time.
By starting sooner you can begin to build a small customer base who will hopefully keep coming back and spread the word of your amazing business.
In the weeks, months and years ahead I'm going to share useful insight into how to start a business from scratch and everything else that I have learnt and encountered whilst building a successful wedding and lifestyle photography business. By joining the Georgia-Beth photography family you can stay ahead of the curve and never miss out on the latest posts and exclusive family offers.
Can I really start my own business?
Why not? There are many people who struggled academically at school but have gone on to be some of the most successful and astute business owners. Others have made many mistakes in their youth and got themselves into financial problems but have gone on to turn it around.
The path to success can indeed be hindered by your past, for example by having a bad credit rating, but this does not mean that all doors are closed or that you can't consider starting a business. It may mean that you have to work that bit harder, or that it will take that bit longer, but there are many cases with different circumstances that show us that it is possible.
You may say, but 'I have never built a business before', or 'I have no idea where to start'. Yet the reality is that there are many things that we had not done before, including your hobby! Everyone has to start somewhere and with the wealth of resources available on the magical world wide web, you can access tips, guidance, training courses and even find companies that will help get you started.
Don't forget, you already have your hobby that you are exceptionally good at and you know that there is a market for it. You may already have a small customer base to get started with, such as family, friends and work colleagues. If you are interested in starting up your own business, then you will find my blog on 5 key tips to help you build a successful business beneficial.
Time is of the essence!
Everyday day that goes by is another day a competitor claims one of your potential customers and builds upon their reputation. Everyday day that goes by another business is launched adding to the competition. You may not be in a position to go full-time for several years and that's fine, but every day you wait, every year that goes by the more opportunities are lost. Get ahead the curve and be ahead of the new competition by starting now! Hone in on your skills and learn what it takes to run a successful business.
Start to dream about your success story today!
With so many free facilities out there to help get you started, and with social media at our fingertips, there are so many more free ways of getting your name out there and building a successful business. I have written a post called 12 Tips to Get Your Business Brand out There. in the hope that others could also benefit from these tried and tested ideas.
Even if your goal this year is to research more about starting up your own business, or to do some training courses to take your skills to the next level, I can't emphasise enough the benefit of starting sooner rather than later. Plus you know what they say if you want to eat an elephant, eat it in small bites.
Until next time….
I hope that you have been inspired to use your talents and abilities and to turn the hobbies that you're passionate about into successful businesses that enable you to do what you love.
I would love you to join the Georgia-Beth photography family and I really hope that you share your success stories with me.
If it's of any help to you I offer branding services to anyone who wants photos taken of their products, or I can take professional head-shots of you which not only gives you professional photographs for you to use on your website and social media but with your consent, I can also use the photos on my different platforms and tag your company in them which gives you more publicity and free advertising.
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Please contact me at Georgiabethphotography@gmail.com for a chat and to let me know how I can help you.
I'm always cheering you on.