The Perfect Home Business for You How do you know if a home business is a good match for you? Assess your skills and interests, and have a plan.

By Lesley Spencer Pyle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, "How do I know if a home business is right for me?" So many times, we want instant answers. If only the Magic 8 Ball from our childhood would tell us what to do. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. And one of the biggest mistakes women make is rushing into a home business without researching a wide variety of businesses to find the one best suited for her.

"I knew my business was the right match for me because of the joy it gave me," says Donna Bliss, owner of "I felt a drive and energy unlike anything I've ever experienced before. People say you have to believe in the products you're selling, but I didn't understand that concept at first. Once I decided I didn't need to be rich but just wanted to sell products I believed in, I knew I was doing exactly what I was meant to do."

So how do you know if a home business is a good match for you? The first thing you should do is spend time thinking about your strengths, your experience, your interests and, most important, your passions.

What do you truly enjoy doing? Take some time to do a very informal self assessment. Ask yourself, What am I good at? What am I passionate about? When you're passionate about what you're doing, working and making an income are met with enthusiasm and eagerness. Not only will you enjoy it, your customers and clients will enjoy doing business with you, too.

Next, ask yourself, What is my previous work experience and what types of skills do I have?

Once you've gathered that information, check out some books on home business ideas, such as 101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women by Priscilla Huff or The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century by Paul and Sarah Edwards.

Once you've come up with at least one business idea that meets your needs, consider its viability. Is there enough interest in your product or service for your business to succeed? And determine who your competition is. Can you differentiate your business from theirs?

Then develop a business and marketing plan to outline your idea and how you'll develop and grow your business. And commit yourself to working toward your goal for at least six to 12 months with the possibility you won't make much income.

As your business grows, it'll demand more time, so it's important to factor that into your planning. You may need to hire outside help for child care, housework or business assistance. It takes dedication and a delicate balance to start and grow your business without neglecting yourself or your family.

Wavy Line

Lesley Spencer Pyle is the founder and president of and , and she is the author of The Work-at-Home Workbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide on Selecting and Starting the Perfect Home Business for You. Pyle has been working from home for more than 13 years.

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