Buying a business | 5 min read
A lot of us have a passion – something we do for fun in our spare time. For most, that’s all it is: a passion that maybe brings in a buck or two.
But what if you found a great hobby business, and it became something far more than that? It’s not only possible. It’s imminently achievable if you find the right opportunity.
Here’s the lowdown on how one ‘hobby business’ became something more, and the path you can take to follow in the owner’s footsteps.
A crafty side hustle
Stephanie Sevastas bought kid’s craft box business PeekyMe in January 2020. She’d just had a baby, and was looking for a business she could run while on maternity leave.
“Being a teacher, I loved creating things for kids to do. I thought it was a really great way to promote learning through craft. I also thought it would make a great gift idea for families or loved ones who didn’t live close-by.”
It started out as a hobby…and it became so successful Stephanie couldn’t manage it herself. With another baby on the way, she sold it two years later for a 50% profit.
Kristy bought it from her in early 2022, and has big plans for the future.
Steps to take
Find the right business
With PeekyMe, Stephanie saw a fun idea she loved that hadn’t been marketed much. Kristy saw a proven business that hadn’t been scaled up, and that would engage her creative side. In both cases, they took the time to find a business they really loved that also had growth potential.
If you want something similar, make sure you take the time to search SEEK Business and identify opportunities that tick both the ‘fun hobby’ and ‘room to grow’ boxes. Keyword searches based on your hobbies or passions are a good start. Make sure you also update your profile preferences so you automatically receive opportunities straight to your inbox.
In terms of profitability, start by asking yourself honestly if you or anyone you know would happily pay for the product or service you’re offering. If the answer is anything other than a resounding ‘yes’, keep looking.
Expand your offering
The first PeekyMe owner only offered one craft box online. After buying the business, Stephanie started offering different options, and customers loved the choice. “I put all the different options online so they could choose the theme. That was a significant point of growth.”
When you’re looking at opportunities, consider what you could do to grow the business. Would adding new products help increase sales? Could you expand the locations you service to find new customers? What’s missing from the marketplace that this business could help fill? If you can create new revenue streams you’ll be one step closer to making your hobby a successful business.
Focus on creating repeat customers
Stephanie built her email database from scratch. Creating this list gave her direct contact to previous customers she could email about new products. She also grew the subscription offering, giving customers a wider range of boxes if they signed up for regular deliveries.
Consistent income sources like this can make a business viable, so figure out how to establish them through subscriptions, regular bookings, or ‘special’ discounts or deals for regular customers.
Collaborate with other businesses
By leveraging other established brands, or simply accessing different audiences, you can give yourself both credibility and potential customers.
For PeekyMe, Stephanie featured numerous brands’ products in her craft boxes in exchange for social media audience sharing. She also contacted ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses to sell or promote her products, giving her access to a less online-focused audience.
Before you jump into a hobby business, consider areas where you could collaborate, develop relationships and share your business to expand your customer base.
Meet your customers where they are
You need to find out where the people who’ll buy your product or service are.
As an online business with potential for cute imagery, Stephanie realised social media was a great place to start. Specifically, the key PeekyMe audience was parents – mainly mothers. She found them on Instagram.
Search for like minded groups, both online and face-to-face, where you could share your business and establish customer relationships. This will help you establish a business’s growth capacity, and help you find the people who’ll buy what you’re offering.
Learn how to market your business
Following on from above, you need to figure out how to bring customers through the door or to your website. Regardless of how good your product or service is, it means nothing if nobody knows about it. Learn how to market your business – even if that means taking an online course.
“We engaged with other small businesses and their followers, and I did a [social media marketing] course,” says Stephanie. “When I started, there were 500 followers on Instagram. There were 10,000 by the time I sold the business.” Instagram functioned as both a ‘shop window’ and a way to send customers to her online store. As more people learned about PeekyMe, sales grew to the point it was no longer ‘just a hobby.’
Consider making it a side-hustle to start with
Owning a business can feel like a big risk, but that risk is minimised if it’s not your only (or main) source of income.
Kristy says, “PeekyMe sounded like something I could do in conjunction with my full time job, as well as being something I’m interested in.” If the business peters out, Kristy doesn’t lose her livelihood. If it takes off, she can dedicate more time to it, or hire staff.
A hobby no longer
While Kristy plans to continue working her ‘day’ job, PeekyMe is generating a tidy income, with massive potential to grow. “I do have plans for different ranges within what we’re currently doing, and there’s some bigger opportunities to explore,” she says.
PeekyMe could, in time, become her main income earner. Not bad for a fun kids craft business!
There’s a good chance your next business could follow a similar trajectory. So why wait?
Have a look at what’s out there, and your hobby could turn into something far bigger than you dreamed.
Ready to find your dream business? Start your search here today.