Online Hobby Stores
Starting Your Hobby Business On the Web
Online Hobby Stores
A hobby store is a good online business that has a very good potential to grow. Lots of different people have different hobbies so the market for this kind of business is huge.
The key to hobby stores online is to find a niche. A niche is an exclusive part of the market where you cater to a certain demand. Hobbies cover a very wide area, so limiting your supply to a certain market allows you to target your clients specifically.
Online Hobby Stores / Some Good Ideas
Take me for example, my hobby is reading and collecting novels. I often scour the bargain bins at flea markets and browse through the shelves at Barnes and Noble’s. Perhaps one of my favorite online things to do is to check out New York Time’s Best Seller’s list and then go through the same list at Amazon.com.
Online Hobby Stores / Books
Books, novels and paperbacks seem to be one of those things that the internet can’t seem to replace. So even after e-books, downloadable print versions and other web substitutes, books are still a hit even during the internet age.
Rare book collectors are an exclusive set of bibliophiles who are in search of limited edition prints, first edition prints, autographed books and really old books. If you like any of these then this hobby might be it for you. The most expensive rare book ever sold at an auction was not actually a book but was a set of manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci. It was bought by Bill Gates in 1996 for an eye popping $30.8 million!
I know this number is unrealistic for online hobby start-ups but you will never know what you find at book auctions, rummage bins and other unlikely places. However, it’s not only rare books that can make a handsome profit for you. You can try text books, law books, paper backs, used books and other reading material that takes your fancy. If you love rare books and books then this is a good niche for you.
Online Hobby Stores / Sports
Another hobby that never dies is sports. I know that there are a lot of sports out there but you can focus on the more popular ones like soccer or football, American football, baseball and basketball. These sports have huge fan bases so you also have a large market. You can focus on apparel like shoes, bags, socks, wrist bands, sports collectibles and memorabilia. Again, you can pick out a niche and single out an area of sports which you may want to service. Like for example: autographed jerseys, balls and other stuff. Or you may want to focus on just a single sport like soccer and sell soccer balls, jerseys, posters, collectibles, etc.
Online Hobby Stores / See What The Competition Is Doing
Hobby planes, modeling kits, car kits and other small versions of real cars, planes, robots etc are also very popular. We’ll just refer to them as hobby kits as there are a lot of them. These are not only popular among kids but actually have a huge adult following. I have a friend who makes tiny scaled down Rally Cars.
These take weeks to assemble and believe me, they are what I call “toys for the big boys”. Assembly is painstaking and detail is very accurate. Kind of like building a car from scratch, only smaller and made of plastic. Some model kits have motors or engines so that you can make that model fly or drive away. Really very cool, and most of these are collectibles too.
Online Hobby Stores / A Start-Up Plan
Before you get carried away and start buying tiny cars and Boston Celtics jerseys, here are a few tips:
First of all you need to love what you do. It is best if your business is also your hobby. So if you like books, focus on books; if it’s collecting porcelain dolls, then sell porcelain dolls; if you are a philatelist (stamp collector) then maybe you can sell some of your stamps online. In other words you have to have knowledge and actually like what you do. If you are not passionate about your business, then chances are you are going to fail.
Next you have to have a business plan. You need to list down your goals and the steps you need to accomplish in order to achieve that goal. You have to have plan B and C incase plan A doesn’t work. You need a detailed outline of your marketing, operations and financing strategy.
Online Hobby Stores / Study The Other Guys
In order to realize your dream of working for yourself and being successful at it, you need to study your competitors, know everything about them and find out how you can work with them—this is my: if you can’t beat them join them strategy—and make money by working with them.
Competitors are a very good gauge of the market. So if you find out how they do business, how they broker their deals, who their market is; you benefit from this first of, by avoiding their mistakes and by knowing how you can differentiate yourself from their online hobby stores.
If you cultivate a good business relationship with a competitor, you are actually expanding your market. If he can’t service a client for some reason, he may refer it to you and vice versa. So competition can be a symbiotic relationship and can be profitable for both sides.
Online Hobby Stores / Get Knowledgeable
Know your stuff. Do a lot of research. Once you have decided on a hobby then find out all you can and all you need to know about that hobby. Information is just at the tips of your finger tips. Be an info hound. Study, understand and memorize all you need to know about that hobby.
With all else said and done, the next step is still the most crucial one: you acting on your dreams. As they say, the rest is up to you, so get up off that couch and start acting out your dreams.
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