When I was a little girl my mother actually pestered me to have a hobby. For her a hobby was something like sewing, knitting, singing etc. I never found that interesting. However, writing is something I always enjoyed. My essays and write-ups were always circulated and read in classroom as well as staff room because I always poured my heart in them.
Why all of a sudden I am speaking about my hobby today because, I came across a though and wanted to share it with all of you is that “Do Hobbies make successful business? Me and many from the writing community have plunged into blogging, SM influencing and even being authors leaving a regular day job at bay. That surely is a gutsy decision to make. The answer is not simple, everyone has to test it for themselves however it’s true that hobbies can become business.
Generally these hobby based businesses fall into the MSME category. At least they start as a Micro/ small or medium business than they grow depending upon the potential and passion of the founder.
MSME’s contribute around 17% to the country’s GDP.
And it has grown many folds in 2020 and 2021
Every country has a different definition for these businesses. In India it is categorized based on Assets involved.
These businesses largely are either Manufacturing or Services sector.
Household business or “kutir udyog” like making papad, pickles, snacks etc fall into this category Basically manufacturing businesses which has less than 25L INR investment in plant and machinery and Service based business which have investment in equipment under 10L INR.
These are the businesses with investment in plant and machinery between 10L to 2 Cr. INR for manufacturing and between 10L to 2 Cr. INR for Service based
These businesses have an investment in manufacturing between 5cr to 10cr INR and in Service Investment in equipment 2 Cr to 5 Cr INR.
SME contribution to employment:
Manufacturing-18% and services-34%
That is why its called one of the strongest pillar of economy
India is a country with more than 825 million internet users. It means unlimited opportunities for buyers as well as sellers.
The new breed of “tech-enabled” entrepreneurs, are trying to start businesses online. Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities like Patna, Guwahati, and Imphal are emerging as business hubs. The growth in online business has been 3 times during Pandemic.
Photo and video-sharing social media platform Instagram is also becoming a major branding and acquisition channel for businesses.
Everything need to fall in place
Government of India has put in lot of effort and rolled out new initiatives to give a boost to MSME business ventures. Which also include various Loan schemes. Adapting to latest business trends can give a fulcrum to your dream of hobby to business. In terms of digital boost to business, 3 star-campaigns are launched.
Skill India or the National Skills development Mission of India is launched By Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 July and is run by NSDCI.
Make in India:
If India has to stay afloat in global competition, then dependency of foreign goods has to go down. Not just that but make in India gives boost to the local services and manufacturers.
The motto of Digital India Initiative is “Power to Empower”. This initiative focusses on boosting internet connectivity, digital literacy and providing government services available to all citizens
Although UPI, payments wallets are a separate initiative however it is as crucial as anything else in bringing ease to doing business.
1. E-commerce platforms provide small businesses a basic infrastructure cost, where in they can directly advertise the products, manage customer reviews on the portal directly rather than starting with the cost of building a portal and all.
2. These online portals give the seller a wider customer base in the country as well as abroad.
3. It’s a cost effective medium to grow sales and business expansion. And
4. Improves the business profitability
5. The marketing and distribution in offline business can involve lot of expense like managing a customer service centre, participating in road and trade shows etc. However with Online Social Media platforms can help in improving traffic on the product site, direct connect with customer- which is good for positive feedback as well as grievance handling.
The most common hobbies that have become successful business are Home decor, apparels, toys and games, kids clothing, Art craft and stationary etc.
You need to manage all
Litmus test to check whether you are ready to take your Hobby to be a Business:
Hobby is for leisure; business needs commitment, passion, meeting deadlines and customer management. You took up this particular passion or hobby because it gave you some time with yourself, but an Entrepreneur will always have to be ready doing multi-tasking. Will your family support you in doing this? No doubt with online business it’s easier than older ways of businesses. Work life can be balanced and deliveries can be planned, still every business needs sacrifices. Be prepared.
Most of the startup businesses take years to actually start generating considerable amount of profits. Plus they might or might not fly as expected, hence always have a backup plan. Save for not just rainy days but for rainy months ahead. So that financial pressure doesn’t pull you back.
Having an identity is important for every business. A thoughtful name, a relevant logo, working website, responsive and responsible social media handles, business cards are some basics. Use Social Media to its full potential and it can do wonders for you.
Many website hosting platforms offer support and templates in designing websites as per your requirements, plus website can be designed by professionals in a very cost effective way.
Either hire a professional to manage your finances or take help of easy to use accounting software or if any family member can help in keeping tab on expense, income, cash flow etc. will take certain portion of stress off your head. Keeping a tab of finance is crucial for a business.
Find someone who has walked the talk before you. I have seen many mom-prenures taking help from successors and people love to share their learnings and play a role of mentor. That’s why we have communities; we can always learn and grow from each other’s experiences.
Hope the post helps you understand your competencies and limitations before you dive into the Growth tides of MSME in India. Most of the successful businesses in current times are making specialized Indian spices like Biryani masala, butter chicken masala, garam masala, sambhar masala etc. Next comes the handmade soap, candle and chocolate making.
It’s not about easy or difficult, rather it’s about how passionate are you to take your hobby to business.
TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH
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