Technology has made starting a successful home business easier than ever. With a computer equipped with Internet access, an email program and an all-in-one fax-printer-copier, you can launch a home business and serve customers located just about anywhere in the world. When choosing a home-business opportunity, ask yourself: Is there a legitimate need for this product or service? Will people buy it? Do I have a genuine interest in this product or service? If you don't, pick something you love to do, as it may be difficult to motivate yourself when the couch, the refrigerator and the TV set are just feet away. Can I afford the startup costs involved in setting up my home office or buying equipment? Familiarize yourself with trade groups that offer home-business opportunities Some home-business trade, advocacy or networking groups that offer startup tips and deals on services such as marketing and health insurance also list home-business opportunities. Be wary of Internet offers promising easy wealth The Internet is rife with bogus home-business get-rich-quick offers. Three common scams: envelope stuffing, home-assembly and pyramid schemes. Avoid opportunities that ask for substantial up-front money before you can get started. SEC scam page. Research a company before you agree to work for it Do your due diligence on a company before beginning work. See whether complaints have been lodged against it. Also check to see whether it is a legal entity. Read, read, read Learn about home-business offers and success stories by subscribing to a trade publication or reading a popular book on starting your business at home. Invest in the right software The difference between profit and loss can be small in a home business, especially at startup. Once you find the right home-business opportunity, keep track of your expenses and your orders with the proper software, from a mail-order management program to accounting software. Designate a particular space in your home for your office - a separate room dedicated exclusively to your business. Not only will it help you be more diligent in your approach; it also makes it easier to meet tax laws governing the deduction of the value of that space. Set regular hours for each work day, and make sure you stick to that schedule. Be particularly careful in making financial outlays for your new venture. Put off as many business purchases as you can until your customers or clients start paying you.