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The attractions of running a business out of your home are compelling. The flexibility and convenience of a home-based operation cannot be denied. But before you quit your current office job or make a financial commitment, it’s important to take the time to reflect on some important questions.

Why do you want to take this step?

No doubt, finances enter into the picture. As you research your home-based business options, be sure that you obtain a realistic idea of just how much income each will bring in. Don’t fall prey to overly optimistic projections from companies that have a vested interest in your spending money to start your enterprise. Carefully research each option, reading reviews and experiences from other entrepreneurs before you sign on any dotted lines.

What are you passionate about?

Keep in mind that you will put countless hours into this undertaking. If it is something you love, you won’t mind the long days and stress quite as much.

What obstacles do you expect to encounter?

No matter how well prepared and motivated you might be, crises will definitely arise. Furthermore, you need to find a home-based business that will fit well with your personality. Actually believing in or being passionate about the goods or services you plan to sell can help as can understanding your underlying goals and traits. For example, if you are an introvert who feels more comfortable with numbers and data than you do with people, you might want to steer clear of direct sales of cosmetics or weight loss products to total strangers.

Whatever type of person you are, make it work for you by finding an opportunity that allows you to accentuate the positive. Introverted number crunchers, for instance, might feel much better operating a tax preparation or financial planning business.

How much time and effort are you willing and able to commit to your fledgling company?

A busy parent might have more difficulty devoting evenings and weekends to the running of the operation. Think about how you can juggle household responsibilities with work; use the fact that you are at your workplace most of the time. How can you divide your day into small segments in order to get small work tasks done even when family members are around?

What steps need to be taken before you get your business up and running?

These might include obtaining permits, registering your business with your city or state, coming to decisions about the equipment you will need, and figuring out if you will be going into this alone or with the help of one or more employees.

Conduct careful research about the types and extent of small business insurance coverage you will need. One note of caution: Do not assume that your pre-existing homeowners package will cover your commercial business. Insurance for a home business can be tricky so consult with your agent to ensure that you are fully protected against theft, injuries to third parties, property damage and any other business-specific needs that arise. For example, if you have created a product or service, you should have errors and omissions insurance to protect you in the event that you make a mistake or your product is defective and causes injury to a customer.

Adopting the home business lifestyle is catching on like wildfire. An estimated 69 percent of entrepreneurs now start their businesses at their places of residence. Once you have done your homework and found the perfect fit, you too can begin to market your goods and services from home.

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