These days, a lot of people are searching for a good work-life balance, and having a home based business is the popular option. The limitations of a full time nine to five job, demanding work commitments and commuting to the office have prompted a lot of people to look for an alternative way to earn money and live better lives. Home based businesses are trendy and people are now able to earn good money while working at home.However, a lot of people contemplate the idea of starting a home business, but never get round to actually start one. Some people start a home based business, but fail to succeed and give up. In most cases these failures are because people have failed to plan for their home business before they start.So, what must you do before you start your home business, if you want to succeed? You must do a lot of planning so that you can start the suitable home based business that you will enjoy working, and for which you will be committed. During this planning stage, you must ask yourself some critical 7 questions, outlined as follows:1. What are your interests, talents, personal traits and skills? Assess the things that you enjoy, can do and are good at. Your interests and talents are the foundation for any successful home based business. Your skills, which you may have developed from your work or from your education, are also very important, and you need to see how you can take advantage of that and use that to develop a money making home based business.2. How can your interests, talents and skills be turned into a business idea? Assess what type of home based business you can develop, based on your interests and skills. Everyone is good at something, everyone knows something. It may be a hobby, or it may be anything you are passionate about – think hard about how you can turn that into an idea for a home based business. Your home based business can potentially earn you a lot of money for the rest of your life, so you must enjoy working on it for the long term. This is why it is very important to have your home based business based on your interests and skills.3. Can your home based business ideas work? A home based business must suit your personal circumstances and situations. Do not get too excited about a business idea without doing this ‘reality check’. Your home based business will require you to invest a lot of time and effort as well as money, so it is very important that you assess if your ideas are realistic, practical and feasible.4. Can your home based business idea make you some money? Can you make some profits from this idea? This is the ultimate question you must answer before you do anything. You may be passionate about something, you may be very skilled at something – and therefore think that you can start a business based on this idea. But if you can not make money with the idea -then you can not start a home based business. Key things you need to assess are as follows:· Is there a market for this service or product?· Would there be people prepared to pay for this product or service? How much would they pay?· How much would it cost me to develop this product or to bring this service to the market?· Can I make enough income to live on?· How long will it take me to work on this business before I can expect some profits?So you will need to establish the profitability of your business idea. If it is not profitable, then do not do it simply because you are passionate about it. You want to make money, and not to have a hobby. It is important that you go through your list and assess the feasibility and profitability of each business idea. If there is more than one idea, create a short-list and do another thorough assessment of what would make you the most money, and therefore what you can pursue as a home based business.5. What business planning do I need to do? This is very important, but a lot of people starting a home based business often underestimate the importance of doing some planning for their business. Preparing a business plan for your home based business will establish the viability of your idea – you will know your ‘key success factors’ – that which you must do to succeed. What are the opportunities? What are the risks and challenges? How much money and time or effort will I need to start and develop the home based business?6. Who can I learn from? There is no point in trying to ‘reinvent the wheel’ or going through a long learning process, when you can quickly and easily learn from someone who has succeeded from a similar home based business. Get a mentor, or join a support group or forum of people involved in similar home based business. You will need a good support network of people who can teach you something that will make your business flourish, and also people who can keep you motivated in case you face some challenges along the way.7. Am I committed to make it work? This sounds very obvious, but a lot of home based businesses fail simply because people are not committed, focused and dedicated to work very hard and see their business through. Your home based business will be your project for the long term, and you need to work on it consistently until it brings you the profits you want.Simply do these 7 critical things before you start your business. Do your assessment and choose a business that you enjoy and that will earn you some money, and you will be on your way to prosperity!