Let's say it out loud first - Every business owner is passionate about their business !!
Without passion, no one can put up with all the hardships, tears & sacrifices involved in building a business.
So isn't every business then a 'passion business'?
Passion business might look like any other business but there are noticeable differences that set it apart. At a high level, both have similar characteristics - Independent or family-owned and operated, limited in size & revenue, resource constraints, and innumerable challenges.
In a passion business, as an entrepreneur - they have a strong drive to change an idea or a method into a profitable venture.
Unlike a small business which is a franchise, brick & mortar shop, or a retail business, there may not be a success template or example that a passion business owner could follow to ensure better chance to succeed.
Let's list out some of the differences
1. No need to reinvent the wheel - Clarity in business model based on other similar businesses in the market.
2. Value proposition clear for the target audience as it's a familiar business model.
3. Relatively easy to find suppliers, vendors & employees to work with the business.
4. Pricing can be pretty straightforward based on supply, demand, and value.
5. Further scaling & expansion depends on profitability & ability to raise capital.
6. Streamlined fundraising channels with set criteria from traditional providers.
7. Easy exit plan as more buyers in the market for a positive cash flow business.
1. Based on the idea, some passion businesses are better to build from the ground up.
2. Need innovative marketing techniques to pitch the product.
3. Figuring out the exact target audience might take a few attempts.
4. High cost for getting funds to start, expand or grow.
5. Making it profitable and sustainable takes a lot of experimenting, failures, struggles, hardship, creativity, persistence, and much more.
6. Exit plans are almost non-existent as the business would cease to exist without you in it.
We need to recognize all of these differences and more, to look for other innovative ways to handle them. More often, we choose to go all alone, go about starting a business, share it with all friends & family, putting it all over social media, and once the initial hype dies out, wonder how else we could sustain the business. I'm sure it's exciting to see our ideas become a reality, and all the positive attention we get on social media but it's more important to make it sustainable and profitable as a business.
So what can we do about it?
As a start, we should recognize the unique nature of our ideas, products & services. Work with other passion business entrepreneurs in our community to build a sensible business plan around it and set realistic expectations.
For us to even exist, we need to share, learn, and collaborate with each other. Our collective knowledge, experience & skills can help us get the best ideas, resources, processes, and methods available to all of us.
As a passion business, the more time & resources you have to perfect your offering, the better it is for your business. Rather than everyone competing for the same local audience for attention and business, we could focus on the core business. We can then build strength in numbers, have proper representation to our potential customers, vendors, and other agencies.
In the broader scheme of things - Our work, job & economy cannot be binary anymore - with money, stability, and routinization on one side and passion, personal expression, and financial uncertainty on the other. While the current realignment brings the unique nature of a passion business to the forefront, we should come together, consolidate our collective strength and demonstrate the value to our audiences.
If you are a passion business - What are your strengths? What areas do you struggle with? How do you seek help and support? What's your business plan to make it profitable?