Choosing the Best Home Based Business

best_home_based_business_200x133.jpg Choose a business that's right for you

The key to choosing the best home based business is finding one that's right for you. In other words, choose a business that's compatible with your knowledge, your skill level, and your passion.

Many people think that the best home based business for them is based on how much money they will make. This is a huge mistake and one of the worst reasons to go into business for yourself.

Of course, we all want and need to make money, but money should never be your primary motivation for choosing one business over another.

The best home based business for you will:

  • Have sufficient demand. There must be enough people interested in what you're offering. If you don't have a big enough audience, then you don't have a business.
  • Not have too much competition. If there are too many people already doing what you plan to do, it'll be difficult to make enough money to sustain a long-term profitable business.
  • Be compatible with your knowledge/skill level. Your business will grow faster and things will flow much smoother if you have specific knowledge and/or skills related to that type of business.
  • Excite you. Choose something that you're passionate about, or at least something that really interests you. If you do that, you'll view your business as a source of enjoyment instead of just work.
  • Have realistic time requirements. You need to decide how much free time you have available for your new business and factor this into your decision.

How to Find Out if There is Sufficient Demand

The method you use depends on whether your business will be targeting customers located in your local area or whether they are located nationally and/or internationally.

Measuring Demand for a Local Area Home Business

If you'll be targeting customers in your local area, as one would do with a business like a home daycare service or landscaping business, the tips below should help you. Try to come up with some of your own ideas as well or variations on the ones below.

  1. Talk to friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, professional contacts, your barber, etc. When you attend functions involving school, social, and religious groups do some networking. Ask people's opinions on whether or not the service or product you'll be offering is something they would use or be interested in.
  2. Ask local business owners who have the same target audience if they would let you poll or survey some of their customers. Give the owner some incentive for allowing you to do this and make sure it's relevant so that the business owner's customers will appreciate him/her for it. Be thinking about what's in it for the owner as the basis of your approach.
  3. Follow trends in the news. Watch the T.V. news and check out the newspapers as part of your research. Keep abreast of the issues that are discussed most frequently and decide whether your business might fill a public demand or need.
  4. Use Google Insights to see what people's search patterns are in your city. This is a powerful tool for helping small business owners spot trends in their local area, and can be a big help in finding the best home based business for you.
  5. Use social media like Facebook and Tweeter to get a good general view of what people think of your business concept. If you receive a lot of positive feedback from people on these sites, chances are you will get similar results in your local area.
  6. Finally, if you have the money, you could hire an independent researcher. Professional market researchers can evaluate whether there is enough demand for a particular business in your area.

Measuring Demand for an Online Home Business

If you're starting an online business, your target audience is likely located nationally and/or internationally. In this case, there are some free online tools you can use to determine if there is enough demand for your online business. The first four tools below can be found on the Google Toolbar.

  1. Search Google Groups to do product or market research. Find forums related to your home business and check them regularly to find out what's important to people in your target market. Search for keywords relevant to your business across the thousands of Google Groups online.
  2. Search Google News and find news stories relevant to your business, E-zine, or blog within news pages stored in Google's news article database. It's a great way to come up with new ideas for content or to just keep up with the latest developments in your particular business or market segment.
  3. Search Google Directory for sites that match your search terms. It's an ideal way to find out how big or small your competition is for a new product, and for finding potential link partners for your site.
  4. Search Froogle. Online shoppers use Froogle to search for products and compare prices. The results page displays a product's picture, price, and provides links to online stores that are selling the product. You can use it to compare the price of your product or service with competitors' prices across the Web. If you have an idea for a new product, using Froogle is a quick and smart way to check out your potential competitors for that product idea.

Once you've gotten to know how to use them, these powerful tools can become a great help to you in finding the best home based business. They will save you many long hours spent on tedious research.

Keep in mind that it takes just as much time and effort to build a business that fails as it does to build a successful one. It's extremely frustrating when you've put in six months to a year of hard work and then decide to quit after you realize the business you started was not the best home based business for you.

Take your time and make your selection based on careful research and planning. And remember, the best home based business is the one that's right for you.

[?] Subscribe To RSS Feed

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines