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If you follow step 2, chances are, if you hear same things repeatedly, you've found potential unmet needs or needs that aren't being adequately serviced by your competition. After all, if need is being met, it won't be subject of repeated questions.
4. Inventory your experience, interests and competencies
In order to decide what to focus on in particular out of a group of potential unmet or under-met needs, take account of your experience, interests and competencies. People are generally good at what they enjoy and are interested in, after all.
5. Fill unmet or under-met need
Once you've identified unmet need(s) in your sub-category, you can start thinking about how your business can fill that unmet need.
=> SURVEY THE MARKET AND YOUR COMPETITION
At this stage, you need to take your business idea and survey your niche market and your competition.
If you have competition, can you be better? If your market is dominated by a few large, well-established players and you really don't bring anything new or different to table, then competition is probably going to be too stiff. On other hand, if that competition is focused on high end of market leaving lower end largely uncatered for, then this could well be an excellent niche for you.
The bottom line is to identify your best competition in your niche and decide whether you can be better.
Only if you believe you can be best in your niche should you proceed. If not, keep looking until you find a niche perfectly suited to your particular blend of experience, interests and competencies in which you can be absolute best.
=> BUSINESS PLAN
Once you've identified your niche and surveyed your market and competition and are reasonably confident you can be at least as good as your best competitor, it's time to get down to brass tacks.
This is where you take your business idea and shape it into a battle plan. Formulating a business plan is goal-setting for your business. For a more detailed treatment of writing a business plan, read "Putting Plan Back Into Your Business Plan" at http://www.ahbbo.com/busplan.html .
Once you've thought through and recorded your business plan you should have an extremely thorough understanding of your industry and challenges you must overcome to make a success of your business. Take your business plan and establish objectives, goals (which support attainment of objectives) and tasks (which support attainment of goals).
Put your tasks and goals into action to achieve your objectives. Decide where you want your business to be in five years time and work backwards until you have 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 year objectives and goals to support them and tasks to support goals. The end result should be a daily to-do list of things that will directly lead you closer to achievement of your goals and objectives.
Once you have your daily to-do list, DO IT! The best laid plans of mice and men are useless if not translated into action. It's action that will propel you and your business towards success. Mere thoughts and plans are necessary but insufficient. They must be translated into activity.
If possible, transition from whatever you're doing now into your business. Test waters, in other words. If you're currently in a paid job, stay there and run your business part-time, taking risk on someone else's nickel until you can be confident this thing's going to float. Know when you're better off devoting your full time and attention to your business (i.e., know when an hour of your time is worth more when spent invested in your business than your job) for that is time to shift into full-time entrepreneurship.
=> MAKING THE LEAP
Finally, make leap with faith and courage. Sure, you'll have moments of self-doubt, thoughts of "can I do this?" when you're wondering where next order's going to come from and you think back to nice, safe, secure paycheck you used to be able to count on in your job. But recognize these insecurities for what they are. They are your mind playing tricks on you. You can do anything you set your mind to. You just have to want it badly enough. So, when time comes to make leap, do it and hold nothing back. Your success or failure is up to you alone. There are no excuses.
So, in answer to question "how do I start my own home business?", it's quite simple really. You do what it takes.
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com