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Always start with yourself when assessing any work from home businesses. This may seem contradictory advice but it is you and only you who will be doing all the work on it. This is especially true of an online business because most people will be coming with few, if any, skills. They will have a steep learning curve before they even begin. It is online businesses we’re dealing with here.

First, ask yourself what you have to offer any buyers online instead of surfing looking for likely home business ideas. The key part of the business will be yourself, or at least the personality you present on the web. List skills, abilities, keen interests, topics where you have some knowledge or you’d be willing to learn about before you start your business.

Second, once you’ve chosen some areas of skill or interest, ask yourself how much you really know. Analyse that area, break it into sub-topics as far into detail you can go in note form. If you can’t get beyond a couple of levels of analysis, you probably don’t know enough to write about, give advice and actually help others with problems to do with the topic. On the other hand, there may be a topic you’re willing to learn about and you may be able to develop a deeper interest in. If you have a topic you know masses about, and you might call yourself an exppert in, you have a great advantage.

Third, ask yourself is the information and knowledge you have makeable into products or services. Think hard about this because this is what you will be selling and how you will make your money. If not, move on quickly. If it is, you’re still not finished. It has to be a product or service people actually want, and in sufficient numbers to make any profit. Check this in two ways. One is by using Google Keyword Tool(TM) to see how many people search for your topic and sub-topics each month. The other is to see what competition there is by putting your topic in inverted commas into Google(TM). Lots of searches and competition means the topic is wanted: the greater the search numbers and the lower the competition the better for any keyword.

Fourth, two other criteria to consider. If your product is seasonal decide whether your profits will be enough or decide if it could be developed to cover non-seasonal times. Also, decide if it’s dependent on good economic conditions – if there’s another downturn, how would your product sell?

Fifth, when you surf for work from home businesses, you can get excited about some of the prospects. But ask yourself, having gone through a process like this, whether you’d be able to maintain that excitement through the ups and downs of an online business. First and finally it’s about you: whether you’ll really enjoy being in that business.