Have you thought about starting your own business or better yet, turning your hobby into your business? While it can seem scary and overwhelming at first, starting your own business can be a rewarding experience. What’s even more amazing is that 50.9% of small businesses in the U.S. are actually owned by people that are 55 and older.
Seniors are recognizing the possibilities that starting a business can have. Whether you’re retired and still want to bring in a certain amount of income or you just want to have a bit more to do that has a good bit of purpose, there are business ideas that can be started in no time at all.
If you have a specific hobby, there are a variety of ways to make your passion your daily project, and who knows, your business might even help others. If you’re a senior in Florida, chances are, you have a few ideas that you’ve been toying around with but you aren’t sure where to start and why you should.
We’re going to break down everything you need to know about turning your hobbies into profit and by the end of this article, you might be ready to become your own boss.
What Is a Hobby-Based Business?
If you’re a senior getting ready to start your own business based on your hobby, or you’re considering doing so, you might not have thought that there was a difference between a hobby-based business and simply starting a business. Technically, there isn’t too much difference aside from the way it was derived.
A hobby-based business is a business that’s based around a hobby that you’re either already actively working within or one that you want to turn your business operations towards. You should know that the IRS does consider the difference in the way you run your business and they have ways to determine if what you do is just a hobby or if it’s actually a business.
If you are operating your business in a business-like manner such as keeping accurate books, records, and invoices, this is considered to be a business. If you are mainly working within your hobby with no intention to profit from it, that would be considered a hobby. Here’s the thing though, regardless of if you purchase an LLC or any kind of business identifier, if you are making money from your hobby, you are technically required to report those earnings as taxable income on your tax returns.
This might deter some seniors from converting their hobby to something that turns a profit but if you keep track of your expenses and earnings, which is now easily done digitally, it won’t be difficult to do during tax season.
Why Turn Your Hobby Into a Business?
There are a variety of reasons to turn your hobby into your business and one of the main reasons is that boredom becomes a significant issue in old age.
Oftentimes, seniors will find themselves engaging in their favorite activities, and when you think about it, it’s something that you’re already doing either way. So, the argument of many seniors will be that they might as well make money from something they enjoy doing and that they already do day-to-day.
Not to mention when you start your own business, you can work as little or as much as you want and during the times you prefer. This means that you don’t have to run the risk of ruining your hobby and making it feel too much like a job. Turning your hobby into something that can turn a profit can;
- Be the chance to try something new
- Test out a variety of ideas
- Have an additional stream of income
- Help your community in a new way
- Gain new experiences different from what you may be used to
- A way to get more socialization
Doing something like this could even be a chance to get your family involved and bring everyone closer together. It could also turn into something that you pass down to your children or your grandchildren.
The Benefits of Starting a Business as a Senior
Whether you’re a retired senior or a senior who is still working part-time or full-time, there are a number of benefits to starting a business. The most notable is the flexibility involved. You can work when you want to work and you can make your hours fit your lifestyle. With the ability to work when you want, you’ll have more time to spend with your family and friends and can turn your business into a much-needed source of income at the same time.
Additionally, think about it in the terms of passion. If you enjoy playing the guitar and you’re good at reading music and possibly even writing music, or were a music teacher before retirement, there are multiple ways that you can expand on this type of hobby. From starting an online music shop or even getting a physical storefront to starting a music school where you give music lessons and host recitals or even giving virtual lessons.
With just one idea, there are a variety of pathways that you could take. This in itself, is another benefit for seniors living in Florida. If you have it, think about your knack for gardening. As a senior, a great hobby is gardening and you could share that with your community. From growing and selling your own produce, starting your own market, or selling your goods through an online shop, where there’s an idea, there’s a way to expand and turn it into something much larger than you would’ve thought.
In addition to the obvious benefits, consider the experience of just giving it a try. Whether you want to take something you did before you retired and do it independently or you want to grow your passion projects into monetization, the experience of doing it all on your own or with the help of family or friends can be rewarding.
How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business: The Steps Involved
There are a few different ways to take your hobby and turn it into a business. Depending on your specific hobby and the impact that you want to make, the route you choose to start your business may be different from others. Regardless of your industry or specialty, there are a few key things you’ll want to start out by doing first.
- Test your ideas and notice the importance of conceptualizing
- Write a business plan or create a mind map to get started
- If you think you’ll need funding, explore funding options online or with a credit union or bank in your neighborhood
- Start building and designing your brand. Have fun with this and recruit your grandchildren to help if you can.
- Consult help with creating a website and social media pages. Uses this opportunity to become a bit more tech-savvy.
- Learn how to market your ideas
- Find ways to help your community through your sales and advertise your efforts to recruit more customers
This process can be adjusted to what you think is appropriate for your type of business but figuring out the process that works best for you can be the fun part. Also, if you aren’t the best with technology, that’s okay, use this opportunity to involve your children or grandchildren to help you with the technology side of things or help a student gain experience by recruiting them to do all of those tasks for you.
Trying Something New That Excites You
Your hobbies are a great source of enjoyment, relaxation, and creativity. And when you start turning them into businesses, they can also be a source of income! Keep in mind that your hobby doesn’t have to feel like a job even when you start to make a profit from it.
Keep everything light in the beginning and just test the waters while figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. This can be a learning opportunity for you, a way to become more social if you aren’t already, a chance to bring your family or friends closer together if you decide to involve them, and even a chance to simply try something different.