Choosing a career path may start with a passion, but so often we find ourselves settling for what we can find, or whichever job happens to be available in our industry. But many aspiring business owners, especially those who want to operate their business hands-on, find it imperative to base their business on something they love – such as a favorite hobby.
When you build a business that is connected to something you have a passion for, you get to immerse yourself in that world. Not only will you likely be more content in your day-to-day responsibilities but your enthusiasm will also fuel your drive as a business owner.
There are many successful hobby franchises, and it’s likely there is one that relates to your specific interests. “Hobbies” refers to a wide range of activities, whether they can be done indoors or outdoors, and it’s likely people who keep those hobbies need some sort of product to fulfill their interest. A retail franchise can offer the chance to succeed by providing those products, as well as experiences.
As a hobby business owner, it will be key to remember that your business objective goes beyond that of selling supplies, parts or accessories. Genuinely helping people should mean as much to you as ringing up a purchase. In a niche business, your staff will be expected to have an adequate level of knowledge about the subject and your inventory. Some hobby customers might be new participants who want to get ideas on starting up, whereas others may want tips on taking their hobby to the next level. Someone keeping a bird feeder, for example, might be interested in building their yard with a bird bath. Some hobby franchises often provide additional services such as classes, club sponsorships, and other experiential opportunities.
If you’re able to provide that level of service, your business could be in great shape. Since hobby franchises often value customer service, research suggests that hobby shops and other niche businesses will survive the economic woes that have stymied some large retail businesses. Hobbyists often seek community—think quilting circles, cooking or book clubs, or of course, birdwatching groups. Hobby franchises are often a critical hub for facilitating these kinds of interactions, giving such businesses additional prominence in the market. Finally, just like you, people regularly invest in their hobbies. In a survey by Ask Your Target Market, 56 percent of respondents stated they have multiple hobbies, whereas 24 percent have a single hobby. 29 percent make hobby-related purchases “often.” Half of the favored hobbies involve active pursuits, including nearly a third who enjoy the outdoors.
No matter how much fun you have engaging in your hobby, keep in mind that transforming it into a business will no longer allow it to simply be a hobby. It must be taken seriously, with many other responsibilities to consider. The guidance of a franchisor can help you keep a business on track. Though you may have a great love for your pursuit, for example, you may not currently have all the skills you need for the business side of an enterprise. On the other hand, you may have a passion for a particular hobby but think of yourself as “too amateur” to run the show. For these reasons, franchises are often the ideal mechanism for turning your passion into profit. There are a great number of franchises in which extensive knowledge of the particular industry is not required, and others are also a possibility for people without advanced business acumen. Many franchises are known for offering all the upfront and ongoing business training necessary for its franchisees to succeed. Further, the bedrock principle of franchising—following an established system for operating the business—allows people with different levels of business experience to get their business up and running and to keep it on target and growing.
If you love watching birds and wildlife while connecting with birdwatchers in your community, Wild Birds Unlimited might be the perfect franchise for you. It is a deeply established brand with a sterling reputation among its franchisees, customers and the birding community at large, which was steadily growing even before the pandemic put a premium on hobbies. We are looking for franchisees who have energy and passion for retail and the hobby of bird feeding. We provide our franchisees with product and hobby education, business coaching, as well as support with marketing, finance, human resources, merchandising and purchasing, and computer systems.