Finding a work at home job isn’t the only way to earn money from home. Lots of people decide they want to start a work at home business instead. Then the big question becomes “what are you going to do?” Getting a great work at home business idea can be tough.

Start Thinking

The first place to look is at your own interests. What do you like to do?

While it isn’t absolutely required that you have passion for the business you decide to go with, it’s a big help. Knowing a lot about whatever your business is about cuts down on the learning curve. You already know a bit about one type of person who would be interested in your business and product… you!

That said, don’t mistake your own interests for the interests of your entire target market, unless you’re going for a rather tight niche. There are usually a range of reasons why someone will be interested in something, and those reasons won’t always be your reasons. Assuming that all your potential customers think the way you do can turn away a lot of business, but it’s not a bad starting point when you’re beginning to figure things out.

Think on your hobbies. Think on jobs you’ve held in the past. Consider how people get started on those things, how they keep doing them, and what they can do when they get really good at them. If you like woodworking, for example, you could consider a business around people getting started in woodworking, improving their woodworking skills, how to sell the woodworking projects they’ve completed, or something else of that sort.

Pick out a few areas you’re interested in, not just one. You’re better off with a few options to consider, not just one idea that might not look so good after further investigation.

Look at Your Target Market

The next step is to figure out how much of a target audience there is for your each of your niches. You want a good sized audience available to you.

One way is to check on the number of searches on keywords relating to your niche. 100 searches a month is an awfully small niche, perhaps not impossible to earn from, but not too likely to generate a solid income, unless it regularly converts to high dollar sales. Most niches, you want more traffic than that, quite a bit more.

Check Out the Competition

You should always check out the competition when you’re getting ready to start a work at home business, just don’t let their presence scare you off. Healthy competition means there are customers out there, a way to make money. It doesn’t matter if they’re huge and have been around for 10+ years. Just check them out.

You want to figure out what you can do to stand out from the competition. Don’t copy them, be better than they are. If you really know your niche, you can figure out a way to stand out.

Figure Out How You’d Earn Money

This is a huge part of any successful business, no matter where you run it. You must know how you’re going to earn money working at it. These days, home businesses have a lot of options.

  • You can earn money through affiliate marketing, putting up links to related products that will earn you a commission for every lead, action or sale.
  • You can earn money by joining a network marketing company that offers related products, and sell in person, and in many cases even online.
  • You can offer a product or service to local businesses offline or online.
  • You can offer a product or service to online businesses.
  • You can create your own product for sale and sell it yourself or on sites such as eBay or Etsy.
  • You can earn money through ads posted on your information based website.
  • and so on.

Decide Where Your Home Business Will Be

This may sound kind of odd. A home business should be at home, right?

True enough, but will it be a physical business in your home or will it be online. These days I recommend any business having an online presence, but will that be your entire presence or just one part of it?

It’s not so hard as it may sound to get a basic home business website up. Hosting can be quite affordable, under $10 a month, and domain names are quite reasonable too, often under $10 per year. Most hosting packages include quick WordPress installation or a website builder. It will take a bit of time to learn how to run your site and make it look the way you’d like it to look, but they’re a very affordable way to get started.

You can of course pay a website designer to give your site a more professional look, but you’ll have to be ready to put some money into it. Lots of home businesses are started on a shoestring, so that may not be a great place to spend your limited budget. If you can afford it, a professionally designed website does have its advantages.

Site Build It is another option. It costs more upfront, but comes with a lot of tools to help you really get things going. You’ll get tools to help you further brainstorm your business as well as tools to get it running. A lot of people love its features.

Get Started

With some information to back you up, it’s time to figure out which idea you want to go with. Don’t spread yourself out by starting up with multiple ideas at once. That’s sure to mess you up. Pick just one idea and start trying to make it work.

This idea should be one that you’re confident you can make work. Hopefully you have some idea how you’re going to get things started. Don’t delay and don’t worry about getting things perfect. Just get moving.

This is the most important and most neglected step. One of the biggest reasons work at home businesses fail is that their owners don’t take action or quit taking action. You can’t succeed if you don’t even try.

If you’re going to have that website I so strongly recommend having up, get it up right away. Don’t stress about getting every page ready before you publish any of them, just get the basics up and get things moving.

Give It Time

Don’t expect your home business to be an instant success, no matter what you hear others talking about with their businesses, even if they’re similar. Most work at home businesses are not an instant success. It may be months before you get any income at all, and some people work for years with minimal returns. It’s the lucky few who hit it big on a new business, and many of those tried several other businesses before finding the one that worked.

It takes time to learn all the little things that go into making a business successful. Give yourself and your business that time, keep learning how to make your business work better, and plan on working hard. When you find the strategies and niche that work for you, it will be worth it.