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Small business or hobby?

I started writing this post when I was downstairs watching TV. Or really, I was thinking of new post ideas and the TV was just on for background noise. I wanted to start off with talking about how I went to see an accountant this past weekend to do my taxes because of all my medicals bills from last year and also because of starting what I consider a small business. My dad, however, had a different theory about what a “small business” really is.

I wanted to talk all about this and I will, but I wanted to discuss something that happened tonight. I was putting some laundry away before bed and then I did a couple minutes of reading. I try to always read before bed because it calms me down and (sometimes) helps me sleep. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, especially since my mom has been borrowing a lot of books and magazines from the library (since I STILL can’t drive). I started reading SELF magazine from January of this year and there were a bunch of health tips. Right after that, there were interviews of a couple of women who have saved their cash and turned their “hobbies” into their careers. It felt like just the motivation I needed. Isn’t it funny that sometimes things just fall in our laps? Literally!!

The one woman saved half her salary for 30 months and the other woman worked her butt off and made her hobby her new career. I’ve been struggling lately as to what to do. And this is probably where the business vs hobby aspect comes into play. I love my business. (And yes, despite what my dad says, I consider it a business!!) I just wish I made money at it. Or, should I say, I wish I could make a living off of it.

Recently I started taking steps to make it more of a profitable business. I set goals for myself – started applying to more craft shows, started making more items to list on Etsy, started looking into how to make changes to my shop to attract more customers, etc. I talked to the accountant about making sure I have all the proper paperwork filed and all the licenses I need (if any) for my shows. I think that all of these things are happening because my business is going to go in the right direction. I read these articles and they have inspired me to work harder at my business.

So, I guess the real question is – when do you determine whether your “business” is really such and when is it just a hobby? I know some people would say the turning point is when your business is profitable. I don’t think that’s true. I say it’s a business when you dedicate your spare time to working on your “hobby”. When I was working, I would come home from my day job, eat dinner and then start on new projects. I’d lose track of time (which rarely happens anymore in my day job, if only because there’s a timer on the program I have to be in). Now, I wake up, do my PT and then spend the majority of the day working on new ideas, taking pictures, editing, posting to Etsy, making YouTube videos or writing this blog. I spend so much time of the day thinking about what I am going to make next.

Anyway, that’s how I see it. What’s your definition of small business vs hobby?                                                                   


About scrapsecrets

Fairly new to scrapbooking and learning as I go. I wanted to share some of my tips with others who may be new to scrapbooking or card making. Feel free to comment or make suggestions on any of my work or ideas - I love feedback! Especially if it's about a new product I should try - I love getting new material! Check out my other blog for tips on party planning, ideas for party themes and how to stretch your party budget! *I do not get paid to endorse any of the products and/or retailers I talk about in my blog.*

4 responses »

  1. Michele, I must agree with you…if you are willing to spend so much free time trying to accomplish the goals you set for it…it is a growing business.

  2. For me, I don’t think the distinction makes all that much difference. if it gives you joy, then do it. If it earns some extra cash, then even better! Because people I do not know purchase my items, I do consider my crafting a small business. (but, admittedly, a VERY small business!! haha!)

  3. I too agree that it’s a growing business. If it were just a hobby, you would only make something for fun and not put time and energy into an Etsy shop or craft show, or to produce tutorials, and do research. Your blog is another way of promoting your brand. I think you’re in the right direction. You’re motivated and have a passion for what you love. I wish you much success in your endeavors. Profits will come in time, but you have to lay the foundation for exposure to the public with your goods, and I think you’re doing that well with Etsy and the craft fairs. I can tell this is not just a hobby. You’re researching, talking with an accountant, and working on licenses. Kudos to you for following your dream! ~Vanessa


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