7 pitfalls to making your hobby a business

Start-up costs can be high

You might not sign a lease on a storefront or hire help to pack and ship handmade hats, but there are still up-front costs associated with launching a small business.

Kelly Rand, author of Handmade to Sell: Hello Craft's Guide to Owning, Running, and Growing Your Crafty Biz and co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit trade association Hello Craft, cites fees for craft supplies, business licenses, Web design and accounting as start-up costs many creative entrepreneurs forget to factor into their business plans.

"It takes a lot of resources to run a business," she says. "You often have to make an up-front investment to get the business off the ground."

To get a better idea of the estimated costs to launch a small business, ask entrepreneurs with similar businesses about their experiences; local networking groups and mentoring programs can also help you estimate possible up-front costs.