The more you work with your router, the more you might think about going into business and making some money with your skills. There’s definitely an appeal to the idea, and some who have pursued similar dreams have found quite a bit of success. Before you rush in and open your shop for business, though, there are a few things that you need to consider. The specific needs of your business will depend on the scale of work you do, the needs of your local area and a few other factors unique to your situation. That said, there are some things you’ll need to do regardless.

Make a Plan

The first thing that you need to do is sit down and make a business plan. If you’ve never worked on a business plan before, this isn’t just coming up with ideas for your business; a business plan is an in-depth explanation of how the business will run, the market it will compete in and realistic plans for future growth and development. Some business plans may be 20 pages or more in length, while some go well beyond that. If you aren’t sure what to include in your business plan, consider hiring a specialist to help you write it to ensure you don’t leave anything out.

Consider Funding

Your current equipment might be fine for you as a hobbyist, but depending upon the scope of your new business, an upgrade might be in order. Add in other costs such as materials and you might need some startup capital. If you look for investors or take out a loan, be sure to bring a copy of your business plan as this will almost certainly be essential for securing the funding you need.

Explore Legal Requirements

Depending on the type of business you run and where you run it, you may need local or state licenses before you open up shop. There may also be insurance requirements or other liabilities that you need to cover. You may also need to register your business with the IRS and your state tax office, especially if you plan on hiring others or wish to keep your personal finances separate from the business. If need be, talk to a lawyer or accountant in your area to make sure that you didn’t miss any legal requirements that could affect your business.

Choose a Location

Where will your business be located? Will you work out of your garage or workshop at home, or will you rent a location to act as a shop or storefront? You need to consider which location would be best for your business and how much a commercial location will cost you. If you do decide to take your operation to a public building, be sure to factor your lease costs, estimated utilities and sundry expenses like insurance, business license, advertising, etc. to determine just how much you’ll need to make per month in order to turn a profit.

Even when you’ve crossed every T and dotted every I, there’s still one other thing you need to think about before opening your business. If you want customers, you’ll need to attract them. Whether you’re selling finished pieces or offering custom commissions, potential customers will need to know that you’re available and will need to understand what you have to offer. Develop a marketing strategy based around clear, easy to understand descriptions of what you have to offer so customers can really understand the value you can bring to the table.

Have you ever considered turning your hobby into a business?