In the digital age, there are more options than ever for starting your own home-based business. That means more people are seeing the appeal of entrepreneurship, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your way forward is completely clear. How do you decide which business idea is right for you, and how do you get customers, grow, and succeed? There isn’t a single right answer to these questions, but these tips will help you get started and discover the right answers for you.

Finding Your Fit

One of the greatest predictors of business success is to start a business you’re passionate about. Is there something you always dreamed of doing, or maybe a hobby you enjoyed as a child? There is incredible potential to turn your passion into income, whether that’s creating something new, representing a product, or something else entirely. If it’s a product you’re passionate about, take a look at some of the more popular business startup ideas to sell online, including selfie drones, HIIT equipment, and smartwatches, to name a few. Creating your own website to sell a product may just be the perfect fit.

However, if selling a product isn’t for you, take a look at your knowledge and skills and consider starting a consulting business. Whatever your niche is, you may be able to offer your talent as an independent consultant. Becoming a consultant requires careful planning, including expanding your network of potential business contacts, determining how you will create proposals, and deciding on a pricing structure.

Getting Off the Ground

Once you have the right business idea and get some planning under your belt, your business won’t truly take off until you get your first customers or clients. Whether you have a web-based business or operate more in the “real world,” you need to market yourself online to find those customers. Marketing Land recommends getting your business listed on online review sites, such as Yelp and Yahoo Local. It’s also crucial to be active and engaged on social media. Another option is to put yourself out there through blogging, whether by offering your expertise on your own blog or guest posting on relevant blogs that will expand your customer base.

Keep Moving Forward 

In order to keep growing your home-based business, you have to develop strategies to stay productive. When you work out of your home, there are naturally going to be all kinds of distractions. Devise a way to limit these distractions, including creating a workspace that is separate from your daily life.

As a business owner, you are the boss, which means you don’t have someone else telling you what to do. This is something most of us love about working for ourselves, but it can be one of the greatest barriers to growth. If you have a to-do list a mile long, don’t try to attack it without a plan. Instead, think like a boss would and prioritize the most urgent tasks to do first.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools 

Everything you do is dependent on having the right business tools, so be sure to invest in a few indispensable tools. A good computer is an absolute necessity for just about any home-based business. Beyond that, each business sector will have different software needs, so be savvy about what software you put on it. PC Magazine recommends some of the best free and inexpensive digital tools that many business owners find helpful, including ones for project management and video conferencing.

Along with digital tools, you will need some basic marketing tools too. Even with an amazing web presence, good old-fashioned business cards are still essential and help you make solid contacts through in-person networking.

One of the benefits of starting a home-based business is that the planning stage is shorter and the startup costs are much less than traditional businesses. That doesn’t mean you want to skip these steps, however. When you’re ready to take the plunge, planning and putting the right tools in place will help you launch with success.

Guest Post by Amy Collett

Amy Collett is the creator of, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. She is the author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life. When she isn’t helping clients boost their careers or businesses, she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and training to become a yoga instructor.