How to Find The Right Home-Based Business For You

Home-based business opportunities are plentiful. The U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Business Owners reported more than 27 million active home-based businesses in 2007. Though the choices may seem endless, finding the right home-based business for you may be easier than it seems. The choice involves understanding yourself, what you can offer your business and what it can offer you.

Determine about how much time and energy you are willing to put into your business. Take a close look at your current schedule and identify the schedule changes you can allow and your areas of inflexibility.

Identify your passions and build around them. Consider opening a catering business if you like to cook or a bookkeeping business if you have flair for numbers. Choose a business that involves doing what you love to make the challenging parts of running your home-based business less tedious.

Make a list of the home-based businesses that interest you the most. Look at the pros and cons of each position, the start-up costs required and the time involved to maintain daily operations.

Choose the top two or three businesses from your list and begin your research. Study the industry and markets for each company. Look at growth trends and industry outlooks; determine how your business could fill any needs or voids in the industry.

Pick the top business from your list of three and complete a SWOT analysis --- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats --- to get an idea of how strong your home-based business will be in the industry. Identify strategies that you can use to improve or eliminate the weaknesses and threats.

Take steps to organize and start your business once you choose the one for you. Be persistent and seek assistance when you need it. Use resources such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ready Business and SCORE for free information and mentoring.