The retrenchments that have hit the media industry in Kenya have turned many lives upside down. The media industry has been suffering reduced revenues over the past few years due to the rise of digital media that’s taking up advertising.
More and more advertisers are taking their advertising shillings online and cutting on the traditional media such as radio, TV and newspapers. This could be attributed to falling readership and viewership as more and more people rely on online sources for information.
“According to Patrick Quarcoo, the CEO of Radio Africa, the media industry lost KSh 1.5 billion over the last one year alone and laid off over 550 personnel. Broadcast has particularly been hit by the switch to digital broadcasting last year, which opened the industry to massive competition.” – http://businesstoday.co.ke/massive-layoff-at-royal-media/
The media houses such as the Royal Media Services, The Standard Group, Mediamax, etc, are not the only ones that have either sent staff home or are in the course of doing it. Companies such as the national carrier Kenya Airways, Ericsson and certain banks have all had to take the painful decision to send employees home in an effort to reduce expenses.
Are you prepared with Plan B should your job end suddenly?
If you found yourself retrenched, would you be able to maintain your lifestyle? Do you know that you dont have to be at the mercy of a boss, that you have gifts and talents as well as hobbies that you can transform into streams of income?
10 Critical Steps To Turn a hobby into a business
Do you love drawing in your free time? Baking? Experimenting with different dishes? Writing? Singing? Playing with children? Styling hair? Applying make-up? Making jewelry? To make your hobby profitable, find a WAY to turn it into a business. Find out ways you can earn money doing what you love.
Every hobby has a business application. Can you teach others about it, speak about it, write about it? Can you sell what you make as a hobby? Can you solve people’s problems through your hobby, such as cooking, cleaning or looking after young kids for busy people?
1. Do your research and plan methodically
For most people, a hobby is something they do for enjoyment purposes. If you purpose to turn a hobby into a business, ask yourself critical questions such as whether you will still enjoy doing it when pressure to meet deadlines and to satisfy clients comes into the picture. Don’t plunge into the deep end without testing the waters first.
2. Be persistent
It takes time to build a profitable business. Begin with the end in mind. What does success mean to you and how will you measure it? Does success mean attaining a certain level of income? Have clear goals and make them measurable.
3. Success loves structure
To turn your hobby into a business, you need a structure; working hours, a team, working space, proper record keeping, rules and regulations about how everyone working there operates, etc.
4. Understand numbers
Business is about numbers. The no. 1 reason many businesses fail is because the owners make losses; they put in more than they get out. Understand your costs and keep very accurate records of your expenditure. You might enjoy what you do and be very busy, even have clients but at the end of the day your business is draining your resources and not giving you adequate returns to make it profitable. Start small, keep your expenses down and grow gradually if you expect to sustain a new business.
5. Get the word out
Marketing is the one key aspect that will either make or break your business. I always say that even if you bake the yummiest cakes on the planet and they are sitting on your kitchen table and no one knows about them, you are not in business. Why do you think that brands that are a household name such as Safaricom, Toyota or Coca Cola never stop advertising yet just about everyone knows about them? When it comes to business it is out of sight out of mind. The minute your clients no longer hear about you, they will start thinking about your competitors.
6. Wear your brand, be your brand
Put your brand in front of people at all times. Wear a t-shirt or some other outfit promoting your brand. Carry a branded diary. Get your favorite mug branded. Have your brand as your screen saver on your computer or smartphone. Ensure that your brand stands out in all your social media profiles. Don’t give people the opportunity to forget your brand if you want to be successful.
7. Identify partners and build a support network
Business is about people. Successful people build networks. A lone ranger is a broke stranger so keep your eyes open for opportunities to connect with people who can help push your brand. Are there businesses that can stock your product, can refer you to potential customers? Are there opportunities for you to give talks and get word out about your brand in the process?
8. Be creative
People forget what is usual, common; they don’t forget the unusual. You must find ways to stand out from the crowd. Will that be in a catchy name, in colours that shock people, an usual way of doing things? The market place is crowded so just make sure that you are different from the crowd.
9. When it comes to brand success, the World Wide Web is king
Maintain an online presence and ensure to get noticed. Create a business page on Facebook and publicize it. Start a blog. Take good photos and post them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Have a YouTube channel and teach people something; stand out as an authority in your field. Get your brand noticed by the online population.
10. Have fun
Last but not least, building a business is tough and comes with challenges so do ensure to have fun doing it or you will not keep it going long enough.
This article is written By Susan Catherine Keter, Personal development and business Coach, Mentor, and Blogger.