If you're one of the millions of people considering their next career moves during the coronavirus pandemic or simply trying to make more money, you may be thinking about how to take your side hustle to the next level. But look before you leap, says Barbara Corcoran of "Shark Tank," because "not every side hustle is a business."
"I would say the great majority of what people start as a side hustle and business are not businesses, they're hobbies," Corcoran tells Grow. The key difference: Many hobbies aren't particularly lucrative.
Your side hustle has "got to be able to make money," she says. "Money is the name of the game in a business."
Corcoran gives the example of Grace & Lace, a company she invested in on "Shark Tank," which started when founder Melissa Hinnant sewed a baby blanket while pregnant and on bed rest. That developed into a business selling leg warmers online, and "that turned into a [multimillion-dollar] business five years later," says Corcoran. "So 'born out of passion' is most important."
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
"Test your passion," says Corcoran. "Is there a market for it?"
In the case of Grace & Lace, for example, the first pair of leg warmers Hinnant made were for herself. Everywhere she went, people would ask about them. When Hinnant finally put them up for sale online, she found that, according to her website, "in a matter of days I was overwhelmed with orders I could not possibly fulfill on my own." In other words, there was real demand for her product.
Corcoran says, "What you have to ask is, 'Will people buy it, and what will they pay and can I make a buck on it?'"
Continue investing in your hobbies and interests: You never know when one might turn into a business opportunity. Corcoran tells the story of a few entrepreneurs she recently met who had built a business off a vehicle upgrade they made for camping.
"They wanted a truck that had a bed [for sleeping] in the back," she says. "They decided when they weren't camping around Phoenix, they would rent them out. What do you think happened? It exploded. Everybody wanted the truck."
"Happens all of the time," she says. "You say, 'Whoa, I didn't know everybody else likes what I like.' But when that happens, it's a great place to start a business."
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