Commercialise your hobby import project


Commercialise your hobby import project

There are many ‘hobby’ importers out there who have seen some success through importing from China. Dare I say they found a supplier on the internet that agreed to small quantities and then actually received what they paid for! I cringe as I admit that this could be possible – although I would NEVER recommend it.

In any case, the next challenge for those ‘lucky’ hobby importers is to take the big step… turn their successful hobby into a full scale business. Can it be done…yes, of course it can be done, but it rarely happens.

click here Why do hobby importers struggle to take the next step…my view

For those of you who took my advice in the last blog and who went and bought a copy of the Breakthrough Company, you will know what I am going to tell you. Basically, people that risk everything and then who make small gains are unlikely to want to take further risks. They go into what Keith McFarland calls, the ‘knitting phase’! The knitting phase is where they stick to doing what’s comfortable and safe. Any further risk associated actions are avoided at all costs…As a hobby importer, this would look something like this;

-You set up your website
- You imported a few products from China with moderate success
- You funded all of this with your small cash savings
- You actually made some sales through your website
- You are still working in your ‘real’ job, because whatever you sold is certainly not enough to pay the mortgage/school fees/ and support your lifestyle
- So you continue along in this manner, dabbling in importing from China in the spare hours of your evening – i.e. knitting!

The problem with this strategy is that unless you think the idea of sending your money to a foreign bank account in China and then spending the next 4 weeks hoping and stressing about your products arriving, is fun, then there could be better ways of making it.

So how do you turn this hobby into a full scale business – one that will earn you a serious income and help you escape the everyday humdrum of answering to a boss who you really don’t like! Do what you do best and leave the rest to the professionals!

Bear this in mind – as a general rule, we as humans are usually good at one thing or the other, for example either maths or art!

Meaning it’s rare to find an extraordinary artist that is also good at commerce! That’s why there are people who have turned what they are good at into services, so that others can employ them. With hobby importers, they are usually good at things like being able to identify what other people like to buy or designing new products, but are appalling at doing the books and hopeless at sales & marketing. That’s why some things are better left to the experts!

In the case of taking your import project to the next stage, the biggest challenge becomes managing your supplier on a much bigger scale. As the cost go up, so too do the risks. All of a sudden things like contracts and quality control become real concerns.

Importers spend so much time managing these new challenges, they simply don’t have the time needed to work ‘on’ the business – turning it into a successful commercial venture.

In saying this, I know many of you will reject this notion as today’s society is about empowerment and wearing more than one hat.

We are a DIY generation! Whilst this is true, there should be no fear or shame in deploying someone else’s skills. The biggest and most successful companies in the world wouldn’t do it any other way, so why shouldn’t you?

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