(Written by LocalSource Contributor Brent Sever)
When I took first took over Port-a-Pit Catering of Indy, barbecue catering service, with two family members, business was stagnant. We were desperately in need of a facelift. The previous owner started the company 15 years ago to be more of a hobby than a business. We wanted to change that.
Of course, turning your hobby into a business can be a great idea. So the question begs asking: where’s the happy medium? There are two ways to look at a hobby: a casual approach to part-time project or finding time to pursue a passionate endeavor determined to grow. We wanted the latter, so the group began working immediately to revamp the business. I began developing content for the website and worked out the design with an old college friend who has a freelance website design business. We launched the website a few months ago, and have gotten great reviews. We are also currently in the beginning stages of an aggressive social media plan as well.
I still keep a full-time job, so time management is something that is vital to my success a part-time entrepreneur. The weekends are when I get most of my work done as I have dome extra time to do research and devote more effort into the business. However, I don’t sacrifice the hour a day I have to devote to the business. For me, the variety between full-time career and part-time entrepreneurial project is what keeps me motivated and hungry for success. It is vital to my success and forces time management skills to get everything done.
We started with a great product—cooked at over charcoal for hours and dipped into a special sauce. But even if your product isn’t cooked at 600 degrees, it’s essential to keep focus: identify goals and find the time to execute. We wouldn’t have gotten our name out to potential customers and increased our brand recognition and awareness without carving out part of our lives to devote to marketing.
It is imperative to continuously think about ways to both improve and grow the business in the future even if time is the biggest obstacle. Innovation is the way to stay in touch with your target market, no matter the business. Success follows those who pursue. That’s why your business must first be your passion. The love for the product hasn’t changed much in 15 years, but the approach has. So as I look back at all that we’ve accomplished in the short time we’ve worked on this catering company, it’s hard not to see it as more than a hobby.