When you begin learning a hobby such as baking or crafting, you don't think of anything beyond the moment. It's something to do with your time, a new skill to master and a new way of being able to indulge things you like. No longer will you have to make do with what the shops have to offer - you can customise your own and love every second of it.
These home-creations areas - such as baking, sewing, knitting and crafting - have gone through a change in attitudes over recent years. Once the preserve of grandma's and the WI, thanks to shows like The Great British Bake Off and anything involving Kirsty Allsop, they have come back into style.
Does it have to remain a hobby, though? This is something you enjoy, and with a little time and practice it can be something you truly excel at. Wondering if there might be a money-making opportunity in your crafty side? Here's four signs that might help nudge you in that direction.
1. You truly love it.
One of the foremost things people who begin a business need is to love what they are doing. All businesses are founded on passion and a desire to be involved in the industry. If your hobby brings you happiness and continues doing so even after you have been doing it for years, then you've got a good basis for taking the next step.
2. You have an idea in mind.
The idea specifics depend on your niche. Perhaps you have always dreamt of starting your own knitting class, daydreaming of explaining needle sizes and arranging balls of yarn. Or perhaps it's the idea of a small bakery that excites you, finding fascination in the idea of kitchen drawer runners and an array of pots and pans. So long as you have a vision, then you have somewhere to begin. It's not good enough to just kind-of-sort-of have an idea you'd like to make money off of your hobby; you have to be focused on the details of where you'd like to end up.
3. You receive compliments on a regular basis.
There is a difference between a friend or family member complimenting your creations because they feel compelled to do so, and when they are genuinely impressed. If you have people coming back to you, bringing up the topic even when it's not the one being discussed, you can be confident. Good feedback, unprompted, is a sign that you really do have a skill to capitalise on here.
4. You have something different to offer.
There is no point dreaming of a bakery selling the same cupcakes everyone else has. There's no imagination needed to create the same wall art that half of Etsy already has. Do you really have something new to offer, something innovative and eye-catching? If you don't, is it something you're going to be able to come up with? A unique selling point is crucial to any business.
If you can tie all of the above together with a little business acumen, you might really be on to something.