One of the great things about our society today is that it is connected by technology, and that makes it easier than ever to start a home business. If you are looking to make extra money, you can start a home business. It doesn’t even need to be an Internet-based business (although you can use the Internet for marketing). Here are some tips that can help you get started with a home business:

Know What You Can Do

The first step is to know what you are capable of. Before you start using a home business to make supplemental income (that hopefully evolves into something more), you should have some sort of plan. Understand yourself and what you can do. It helps to have some knowledge of what you are trying to sell, whether it is a product or a service. Consider your talents and abilities and start there. From making baby blankets to graphic design to tutoring, chances are that you have some ability that will allow you to make money while working from home.

Understand What You Need to Get Started

Once you know what you would like to do, it is time to figure out what you need to get started. You might need some start of capital to make some well thought out purchases. Some sort of business insurance might be needed. For some home businesses, all that is required is a semi-private space to work — and regular “business” hours. Consider what will be needed in terms of supplies, time, privacy, Internet/phone services and other items in order to make your home business work. Then set out to acquire the things that you need.

Create a Plan

When I started my home business as a freelance writer, I really didn’t have much of a plan. I wish I did. It might not have taken as long to achieve some measure of success. After close to a year of aimlessly trying to figure out how to make money writing online, I sat down, figured out what I needed, and created a plan of action. Once I had a plan — and followed it — things started working out. I’d say that things fell into place, but I had to position all the pieces before they would fall into the right slots. Create a plan with realistic goals, and create benchmarks that can help you measure your progress.

Be Willing to Work Hard

While things are likely to improve the longer you have your home business, the truth is that it is hard work to get started. You have to be prepared to put in some solid time and effort if you want to succeed. Most of those who “make it big” with a home business usually put in months — or years — of hard work before seeing dramatic results. While some people find an easy path to wealth, most of us have to do some work for it. Be prepared.

Plan Your Finances

You also have to be prepared to plan your finances around the irregular income that sometimes results from a home business. Understand that some months will be better than others. You need to set money aside during the good months so that you have a reserve to dip into during the bad months.

This might be the year to start a home business, but you really do need to be prepared if you want to succeed.  Do you have your own tips for starting a home business?