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7 steps to turn your passion into a business.

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Is there something that makes you so excited you can’t wait to begin working on it each day? Do you think you have what it takes to become a small business owner?

If you answered yes and yes, you could be a “passionpreneur” — an entrepreneur who is inspired, driven and energized by real passion, rather than money. And, according to a small business survey conducted by Infusionsoft®*, “passionate creators” experience the most longevity and business success, in comparison to entrepreneurs who are primarily motivated by a need for freedom or financial gain.

If you’ve been hoping to convert a hobby or interest into a career, the following seven steps can help turn your passion into a full-time profession.

  1. Search and research: Before you launch a new business, you should consider creating a business plan. Whether you’re extending your hobby to an e-commerce site such as Etsy®†, or launching a full-blown start-up, it’s important to study up on six key areas of your business (including your competition and target market) to help set yourself up for success.
     
  2. Run your plan by an expert: Talk to someone who’s been through it! A seasoned professional in your field can point out any potential issues with your business plan and offer invaluable advice. If you’re having a hard time finding an industry mentor, Futurpreneur Canada specializes in helping aspiring entrepreneurs between 18 and 39 launch a business, and hand-matches them with one of their volunteer mentors across the country.
     
    If you want to build your network, try these 4 no-fail networking tips.
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  3. Figure out your funding: The BMO 2015 Entrepreneur Report revealed that insufficient capital is one of the main reasons small businesses struggle to get started or achieve success.
     
    Make sure you create a financial plan and review your financing options. For example, BMO offers small business loans and lines of credit for ongoing or one-time financing needs, and Canada Business Network can help you find government grants, loans and financing in your province.
     
  4. Structure your business: You’ll need to decide how to structure your business (will you want to run your business independently, or with a partner or associates?) and figure out what form of organization best suits your needs. Canada Business Network is a good place to start learning about the four types of business structures: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and co-operatives.
     
  5. Consider hiring help: Outsourcing some administrative, HR and operational tasks (anything from making customer service calls to updating your website) can enable you to focus more on the parts of your business you’re passionate about and that really require your strategic thinking. And it doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money, especially if you use a virtual assistant (contractors who work remotely). For help finding a virtual assistant, check out the Canadian Association of Virtual Assistants.
     
    If you decide to hire someone full time, read about these 5 things to consider when hiring your next employee.
     
  6. Start with what’s most important: As Steve Jobs said, “deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” To figure out your priorities, you may want to start by monetizing your to-do list by assigning a value to each task, and starting with the ones that will give you the greatest return. To help you organize your paperwork, website, and marketing efforts, consider enlisting these 28 tech tools for support.
     
  7. Broadcast your passion: Launch an e-newsletter, blog or other publication to convey knowledge about your passion to people who want to learn about it, which may also help serve as an effective marketing and PR tool to help you build your business. Establishing a strong social media platform can also be a highly effective way to publicize your business and start building relationships with customers and prospects. Learn how to boost your social media ROI with these 8 tips.
     
    Finally, remember that owning a business isn’t easy. Small business owners typically work long hours, which can significantly cut into your free time. Make sure you try to maintain a good work-life balance along the way. Best of luck as you start this exciting endeavour!
     

®* Registered trademark of Infusion Software Inc.
®† Registered trademark of Etsy, Inc.

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