Find Your Ideal Business in 5 Simple Steps The dream isn't out of reach if you're willing to follow these steps.

By Lesley Spencer Pyle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Have you always dreamed of owning your own home business but never been able to figure out exactly what business it is? Does that innovative idea of yours often look so near--and yet so far? You're not alone. According to a survey by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Kansas City, Mo., one in 12 Americans wants to start his or her own business, but only half succeed.

So how do those fortunate ones succeed in starting their own business? They have a plan and the determination to implement it.

Here are five simple steps to make that dream of yours come true:

  1. Define your dream: Write down your goals. Have you ever gone to a grocery store without knowing what you want to buy? Chances are you always have a list with you, at least a mental one. Your dream business demands similar action. Write down the list of things that you want to achieve from this business. For some entrepreneurs, it's enough money to lead to a comfortable life. For others, it's providing employment. For another group, it's both. A defined dream means you know which direction to take in search of it. This is the first step to goal setting and is immensely helpful.
  2. Find what interests you. Many of you may read this as "What am I good at?" and toss it aside because you don't think you're particularly good at anything. A murder mystery author need not commit a murder to write the novel, and the same is true for your home business. Remove the mental block that says you have to be gifted in your chosen field of business. Expertise can be built and does not have to pre-exist. Write down all ideas that fascinate you and fulfill your goals.
  3. Do your research. The internet is a powerful tool for extracting information in minutes. Make use of this powerful medium to research the list of potential business ideas you are interested in. Things to determine are:
    • Is there a similar product or service already?
    • Is there a market for this idea?
    • Who are your customers?
    • Who are the industry giants and how do they operate their businesses?
  4. Eliminate lesser options. Once most of the questions are answered for each business on your list, it's time for the elimination round. Keep striking out the ones that are not a good fit. Again, things to consider are:
    • Your budget--don't forget you can outsource.
    • Feasibility for starting the business from home
    • Investment of money, time and energy
  5. Never give up. If the research and tasks seem too overwhelming, ask for help and divide them into smaller chunks. Get a core group of family or friends together to brainstorm, then divide up each idea or task into smaller, more manageable objectives. Nothing worthwhile comes without an investment of time and energy. Remind yourself of how much you want it and what the reward will be. As the Nike slogan goes, "Just do it!" You'll be glad you did.

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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