If you’ve always wanted to grow your hobby into something more, now’s the time. Why not couple your love of your hobby with an urge to do business in today’s competitive world and make even more money at it? You already know you love the subject matter. It’s only a matter of converting that passion into an adaptable business solution that makes sense.
First off, a few statistics on the retail hobby shop business. According to the Hobby Manufacturers Association, retail is one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. economy, with more than 24 million people earning a living by providing goods and services in a retail store.
About one-third of the 500,000 new businesses launched each year are retail operations, with the typical hobby store being run by the owner alone or with a partner. Some shops may have one or two employees in addition to the owner, but for the most part, hobby shops pride themselves on personal service, community involvement and local employment.
The HMA advises that you think of yourself as a business owner first and foremost, then a hobby retail shop owner. You’ll need to know how to run a business successfully, how to compete in today’s marketplace, what your business concept will be, how you will fit into the community, what your relationship will be with your consumers and what the advertising costs will be. It’s also wise to start with your local Chamber of Commerce to get advice and tips about expanding business in your town.
Growing What You Have
Assuming you’ve started out already in your hobby shop venture, becoming stagnant in your business can be a death knell for owners. The HMA says one of the keys to staying relevant is to act as a creative resources for consumers, willing to constantly learn about new products, styles, techniques and technologies to attract and expand their business.