By Debra Cohen

December is the time when many of us begin to compile our list of New Year’s resolutions:  go back to the gym, lose 10 pounds, etc.  But, if launching a home-based business is on your “To Do” list for 2010, now is the time to take the first step.

Step One:

The simplest way to get started is by brainstorming on a name.  I remember when I first came up with the idea for my contractor referral business, I carried  a pad and pen with me all the time and, for fun, jotted down potential names for my new business. One night as I was watching television with my husband, the name “Home Remedies” popped into my head and it was at that  moment that my business took on an identity of its own and I realized that I was truly committed to my idea.

Step Two:

So now that you have some ideas for a name, maybe your next step will be to do a little research?  Find out what other products or services are out there and who your potential competitors might be.  You can take a trip to the library or just conduct your research online.  You might find it stimulating to learn more about your concept and it’s potential in the market or you might stumble upon organizations, chat rooms or other websites that offer support for your new business venture.  One more step forward.

Step Three:

Now you may begin to feel more comfortable discussing your idea with other people.  Seek out industry related business owners or professionals, family or friends, explain your business model and ask for their feedback.  If you want to take it a step further, make an appointment with a your local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) or SBA (Small Business Administration) representative.   You’ll be surprised by how verbalizing your idea will make your business seem more like a reality and will help give you the confidence to move ahead.

Step Four:

And in discussing your idea, perhaps someone will offer you a name of another person who can help you in business.  Maybe they know a small business attorney or accountant or even a potential client?  Now, you’ve begun the networking process and your next step can be to call that person and introduce yourself.  One more step leading you on your way.

If you dream of working from home and have a viable idea, get started by committing to take one step toward your goal each day.  And hopefully, your list of New Year’s resolutions will be a little shorter next December.

Debra Cohen is President of Home Remedies® of  NY, Inc.–a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) that serves residents of Nassau County, NY.  Ms. Cohen is also author of a business manual entitled The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network. To date, Ms. Cohen has assisted more than 300 other entrepreneurs launch successful HRN’s nationwide.  For more information about starting an HRN in your area, visit the HRN website at .