Today’s post comes to us from Scott, Roundpeg’s summer interactive development intern. Scott started his own business a while back, and shares some tips about what he learned from turning his passion into cash flow.

I am a very curious person.  I like to ask lots of questions and it is important to me to see how something is done before I actually do it myself.  There have been times, however, when I have blindly rushed into something. For example:

Last summer, shortly after graduating from high school I was working Marsh Supermarket.  It was near the end of my shift, I was bringing in the last few carts from the parking lot and getting ready to go home.  I can’t remember my inspiration or thought process but I do remember the end result.  Standing in the parking I decided I should make a Frisbee!

When I got home I rushed to my computer to do some research.  I found a company that let me send them a design.   Before I knew it I had sold 20 of my frisbees to members of the community.  I learned a few things from this business venture.

Selling to a Specific Niche

Choosing a niche to sell to is key for any product.  The trick is to select a niche that is not too narrow or you will not sell much product.  Also, the item that is being sold, in this case a frisbee, has to appeal to the customer.  People won’t necessarily buy a frisbee for the heck of it.  There has to be a better reason.  In my case the audience I chose was attracted to buy my frisbee because it said “Panther Ultimate” on it.  The panther is the mascot of my high school.  It is also the mascot of another area high school.  Using this phrasing I was able to attract students from both schools.

Become an expert

I started playing Ultimate Frisbee a few years ago and came to love this unique sport.   My passion for Ultimate Frisbee drove me to learn more.  I attended a College Ultimate Championship and was overwhelmed by the amount of merchandise available.  After going home I quickly looked up the different brands and found out which companies were generally regarded as the best makers of frisbees.  Once I had a company in mind I got information on the most widely used frisbee weights and found the standard weight.  When I was satisfied I knew everything  I could possibly be asked about a frisbee I felt confident my researching was done.

Referral marketing is essential

Forming a network of people is important when trying to sell via referrals. I have played recreational Ultimate frisbee with different groups and people of all ages.  As a result, I have friends at multiple colleges who are on their school teams.  My friends know I am passionate about the sport and not just some random person.  If someone needed a new frisbee my friends would point them my way. Using my passion to start this business venture led me to the sale of frisbees.  This was a great experience and I would definitely repeat it.

Are you passionate about something?  How have you used this passion to enhance your business?