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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.

By Karen E. Spaeder

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

By nature of being one of the experts in our Expert Center, thehomebased start-up expert, I tend to receive repeat questions quitefrequently. Sometimes the questions are very specific, such as"How do I start an IT consulting business?" But moreoften, the question is this: "I want to start a homebasedbusiness. What do I do?" And that's about the toughestquestion around. Actually, it's not that it'stough-it's just that if I answered that question to itsfullest, I would never stop writing.

I compare it to walking into a library and asking the referencelibrarian, "I want to learn everything there is to know aboutShakespeare. Can you provide that information to me?" Morethan likely, he or she would point me in the direction of thenearest computer terminal or card catalog, offer me a pencil andpaper and suggest I get busy researching. And that's exactlywhat I'd like to suggest to any of you who have the inclinationto start a business but don't know where to begin. In fact, goto your local library, armed with a list of topics that interestyou, whether it's data entry or skydiving. Do as much researchas possible-collect industry statistics; information onpotential competitors, start-up costs and ideal locations; inshort, anything that will help you saturate yourself withknowledge.

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