It has never been easier to start your own business from home in your spare time than it is right now. Period. The opportunity for the individual is nearly limitless thanks to the many trail blazers who have already gone before us and thanks to a myriad of great tools, the chief of which is the internet.

The term “home based business” is usually used to denote a type of business where an individual works out of their home without the need for an office, staff, lots of start-up capital, or an excessive amount of tools. The most common type of home based business today is probably Network Marketing (also sometimes referred to as “relationship marketing”). Other types of home based businesses include enterprises such as starting websites, selling goods on eBay or Amazon, selling goods or wares out of your house, being a virtual secretary, affiliate marketing, to repairing cars, x-boxes, or phones, or even stuffing envelopes!

So where do you start?

Well, as Steven Covey (author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) says, “Begin with the end in mind.” When you are trying to figure out which business is the best one for you to start, first ask yourself what you want to get out of it. Is your goal to have more options in life? Is it to fire your boss and leave your 9-5? Is it a side project to pay for a vacation that you want to take or for your kids college fund? Or is it just so that you can do something that you love? Your reasons for starting it will help you determine which business you want to pursue.

Here are some other questions you should ask yourself:

  • How much capital do you have to invest, if any? – Some businesses are free to start while others can cost thousands of dollars. What do you have to invest?
  • How much time do you have to invest? – If you only have 4 hours a week to work a businesses, you will have to select a business that you can get up and running within your time constraints.
  • What are you skilled at? – Are you already skilled at something that you enjoy doing? Do you have a skill that others would pay you for? Do you enjoy working with people? This can be a great clue towards pointing you in the direction of the right business.
  • Who can you get to help you that is strong in areas where you are weak? – Some people think that partners are a bad decision, but I tend to disagree. If you have time but no money or money but no time, sometimes finding a partner to help you is your best option. Sure, you’ll have to divide up the money, but if you can’t get something started by yourself you are getting 100% of 0… and there isn’t a lot of upside to that. But you don’t always have to partner with someone; if you have the money you can probably just pay them, though sometimes partnership is better.

Take these questions and really think about them. Start to explore different business opportunities that are out there. Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about what they would start if they were going to start their own business to get some ideas. CAUTION: It’s usually not a good idea to tell everyone that you are going to start your own business. Unfortunately, sometimes even some of the closest people to you will tell you that you shouldn’t even try or that you aren’t cut out for that or many other stupid and foolish things. If you encounter that, forgive them and keep looking for the right opportunity. You CAN start your own business and you can succeed.