Statistics show that side hustles are increasingly popular in Canada, with nearly 40% of Canadians participating in gig economy activities or side businesses. In Alberta, the number of self-employed individuals engaging in side hustles has been on the rise, with a significant 22% increase over the past decade. These statistics highlight the growing entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunities available to turn your passion into profit.

Do you have a hobby that brings you immense joy and fulfillment? Or a desire to solve a challenge? What if you could transform that into a side business and make a profit along the way? Let’s discuss three factors to consider when turning passion into profit through a side hustle.

1. The Why Unleashing Your Passion

The first step in turning your hobby into a side business is to understand your “why.” Ask yourself: “Why do I love this hobby? What drives my passion?” Identifying your motivations will serve as the foundation for your business journey. Passion fuels perseverance and keeps you dedicated during challenging times.

Steps You Can Take:

A. Reflect on your hobby and write down what aspects of it bring you the most joy and fulfillment. Or, if you’re solving a challenge, think about the last time you experienced it, and what’s wrong with the solutions already out there.

B. Think far ahead. What do you want as a result of this business? Is it driven by your “why”? Do you want to change the world? It doesn’t have to be that deep. It could be that you want it to give you more spending money, or maybe saving for a down payment. Knowing the specific result you’re expecting from the side hustle will help as you build it out.

C. Read stories of other successful entrepreneurs. Reading books about other business owners or listening to podcasts can be helpful to hone in on your “why.” These resources are filled with boundless enthusiasm and inspiration.

2. Research: Understanding Your Potential Customers and Competitors

To successfully turn your hobby into a side business, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research. Understanding your potential customers, as well as your competitors, will give you valuable insights into the market landscape. It can also help with inspiration in how you want to craft your own business.

Steps You Can Take:

A. Small Talk Market Research. This means getting out there and talking to people you think could be your customer. When you’re first having conversations with customers, make sure you focus on their past experiences, instead of yours.

B. Define your target market. Based on your research, you can identify the group of people who share your passion and would be interested in your products or services.

C. Research your competitors. Analyze how they sell, how they position themselves, and how much they charge. This will allow you to differentiate your business and identify opportunities for improvement. This can also help you to determine your pricing or other important business components.

3. The How: Realistic Resource Commitment

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Embarking on a side business requires a realistic assessment of the resources you can commit, such as time, energy, and finances. Consider your current schedule and obligations. How much time can you devote to your side business without compromising other areas of your life? This step is crucial for setting achievable goals and managing expectations. Remember, business should be in line with your life and not the other way around.

Don’t be afraid to talk to the important people in your life and build a strong support network.

Steps You Can Take:

A. Create a structured plan. Outline the tasks and activities required to build your side business. Set specific goals and milestones to track your progress.

B. Allocate dedicated time slots. Determine how much time you can realistically commit to your side business each week. Establish a schedule that aligns with your other responsibilities and ensures a healthy work-life balance. If you want to make sure you’re extra productive during those slots, try using something like the Pomodoro Technique.

C. Start small and scale gradually. As your side business gains traction, you can gradually increase your commitment and explore scaling options. Pace yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.

Ask for help

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Regardless of your goals, these tips will help to make sure you’re on the right track. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch, but it is enough to get you started and thinking more like an entrepreneur.

Being a business owner can be one of the loneliest jobs in the world, but it doesn’t have to be! Especially if you live in the province of Alberta. There’s more support for startups and growing businesses that most people don’t even know about. To learn more about the options available for your business, book a free 1-on-1 meeting with a Business Link Strategist. There’s support out there, you just need to connect to it.

Sunstone strategic

Jason Bacon

Founder, Sunstone Strategic

Jason is an author, founder and overall champion of entrepreneurship for clients across Canada. Throughout his career, he has helped thousands of entrepreneurs in their businesses and is the author of “Entrepreneur-Ish: Inspirations and Lessons in Entrepreneurship from Vikings, Pirates and Samurai.” He specializes in strategy, entrepreneur mindset and business planning.