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Finding the Perfect Fit

There are millions of business ideas out there, but only one can turn into your first start-up.

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This story appears in the November 2001 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

By nature of being one of the experts in our Expert Center, the homebased start-up expert, I tend to receive repeat questions quite frequently. Sometimes the questions are very specific, such as "How do I start an IT consulting business?" But more often, the question is this: "I want to start a homebased business. What do I do?" And that's about the toughest question around. Actually, it's not that it's tough-it's just that if I answered that question to its fullest, I would never stop writing.

I compare it to walking into a library and asking the reference librarian, "I want to learn everything there is to know about Shakespeare. Can you provide that information to me?" More than likely, he or she would point me in the direction of the nearest computer terminal or card catalog, offer me a pencil and paper and suggest I get busy researching. And that's exactly what I'd like to suggest to any of you who have the inclination to start a business but don't know where to begin. In fact, go to your local library, armed with a list of topics that interest you, whether it's data entry or skydiving. Do as much research as possible-collect industry statistics; information on potential competitors, start-up costs and ideal locations; in short, anything that will help you saturate yourself with knowledge.

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