University is the place where you start to work on your dreams. Some fall apart and get their lives back together; some read constructive books and build skills for their futures; others watch movies all day long and look forward to graduation day. But the one thing all university students have in common is their need and search for money. It’s almost like we all get broke at some point, and we’re on a constant lookout for stress-free ways to get money.
Well, let me just start by saying that there is no easy or stress-free way to get clean money. Even if you are doing what you love, you’ll still be stressed out at some point and feel like giving up, it’s all a part of the process, but the pay-off is what matters.
Now to the main question; How do you monetize your hobby in University?
Determine your hobby or skill
A lot of people have many hobbies and skills, so you must first find out which hobby or skill it is that you want to capitalize on, this step shouldn’t be very tasking. Make a list of all the things you believe you are good at or that you enjoy doing, assess them and decide which one you can see yourself doing every day with little or no frustration. Think about something you do that makes you happy or something that you get a lot of compliments when you do. It is important to listen to the suggestions of people around you because you may not even realize that you do something exceptionally until others begin to notice it.
Ascertain whether your hobby involves online or hands-on activity
After you have figured out what you want to do, you should be able to determine if it is to be carried out online or physically. For instance, if your hobby is writing, you could consider starting up a blog or freelance writing which are carried out online. However, if you enjoy cooking, you might be involved in more hands-on work like cooking and packaging food for sale on your campuses, or if you prefer online work to hands-on work, you could open up a food blog or sell an e-book on recipes and cooking methods. If it is online work, you should have a good Wi-Fi connection, create a schedule, plan when to work and learn more about your hobby, and if possible, have a device that you feel comfortable working on, I would recommend a laptop, but you can use whatever works for you. If it is hands-on, you should figure out your workspace, your tools and a practice schedule.
Plan out your business
By now, you should be able to see your hobby as a start-up business. Not everyone may be adept in financial planning and business planning, but it is essential to have a vision for your business. You need to determine how much you are willing to invest in the business, how you are going to source for funds, who to partner which if you choose to have a partner, and how much you hope to make six months or one year along the line.
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Cultivate a saving habit
Whether or not you are funding your business yourself, saving is a vital habit to cultivate to be successful in any business. You should start, during the planning period, to save for capital and unforeseen circumstances.
Do not overprice
As you know, university students are not looking for ways to exhaust their money. If you are going to convince them to spend the money that they are managing on your hobby, you cannot afford to overprice whatever product or service you are offering because that will only serve to further discourage them from patronizing what you have to offer. Know your cost estimates and price your goods or services adequately enough to maintain a healthy profit margin without overstepping your price boundaries.
Consistency in quality and constant learning
As a start-up business trying to gain traction, you cannot afford to miss out on quality because, at this point, the popularity of your business relies largely on word of mouth and people seeing your work from other people. In order to get noticed, you must consistently give your best when carrying out your hobby, and your efforts will surely be noticed. Ensure to continue learning more about your hobby as often as you can in order to get better and further improve the quality of your work.
Utilize social media
When trying to make money at University, social media should be your best friend. Take a moment in your lecture theatre before the lecturer comes to observe everyone around you, and you will notice that almost all the people around you are occupied with one electronic device or the other. The easiest way to draw the attention of young people is through social media, so if you are able to utilize it adequately, it could be all the marketing your business needs. You could also carry out occasional discounts as long as you can afford the cost because who doesn’t love a discount.
Never give up
This is probably a challenge every business person goes through at some point in time. I have a small nail service business at my University, and one time I got sent some money for my birthday, I used almost all of it to order some tools for my business. Everything I ordered was fake, and I didn’t have any money to invest in the business again, I told myself I was done with the business because prior to that I had just broken even for the first time so I wasn’t even making any major profit. But after some of my customers came to ask about my business and encouraged me, I have started saving again to reinvest. At the end of the day, there will be trying times in businesses when money will be coming in slowly; times when no one has visited your blog or website in days when no one needs their laptops repaired when everyone would rather buy food from proper restaurants or get their hair done at professional salons. But you shouldn’t give up because it will all pay off eventually.
I believe if you are able to follow these guidelines, you can turn any hobby into a business and scale it into a profitable venture that may even thrive beyond your University. I wish you success in your endeavours!
Ugochi Nwokeoji, a contributor at TheAceBusiness.com, writes articles on a wide range of topics from beauty to business. She is currently a student of Economics and an entrepreneur who is constantly researching to learn about several topics to support and entertain readers. Check out her profile on Linkedin