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7 steps to turn your passion into a business.

Is there something that makes you so excited you can’t wait to begin working on it each day? Do 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.

According to a small business surveyThird Party Link 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 7 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 like Etsy or launching a full-blown business venture, doing some research on things like your competition and target audience is an important step toward setting yourself up for success.
     
  2. Run your plan by an expert: A seasoned professional in your field can point out any potential issues with your business plan. If you have a hard time finding an industry mentor, nonprofit association SCOREThird Party Link may be able to connect you with one of its 10,000 working and retired business professional volunteers through one-on-one or team mentoring opportunities.
     
  3. Figure out your funding: There are many options to research when looking to finance your business proposal. To start, you could consider a term loan, SBA loan or line of credit. For more nontraditional options, you can consider friends and family, crowdfunding, third-party investors (such as venture capital or angel investors) or a business partner.
     
  4. Structure your business: You’ll need to decide how you want your company to be organized: as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, cooperative, corporation, partnership or S corporation. Learn which factors you should consider before making your decision.
     
  5. Consider hiring help: Outsourcing some administrative, HR and operational tasks to experienced professionals can enable you to focus more on the parts of your business you’re passionate about — and it doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money. For example, Entrepreneur.com suggests using a virtual assistantThird Party Link (contractors or freelancers who work from home) to do anything from making customer service calls to sending out thank-you notes.
     
    If you decide to hire a full-time employee or two, Your Success Now recommends hiring people who love working at your companyThird Party Link as much as you do — workers with a true passion for the products or services you offer. Check out these 5 things to consider when hiring your next employee.
     
  6. Start with what’s most important: Steve Jobs said focus isn’t deciding what to do, it’s deciding what not to do. One suggestion is to monetize your to-do listThird Party Link by assigning a value to each task, and starting with the ones that will give you the greatest return. Check out this list of 28 tech tools to help you keep your paperwork, website and marketing efforts in order.
     
  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 can, according to EntrepreneurThird Party Link, also be an effective marketing and PR tool to help you build your business.
     

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 endeavor!
 

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