So you want to start a small home-based online business? Looking for some tips to help you get started? Pay attention to these 10 tips that everyone who is starting a small home-based online business needs to follow!

1. Business Plan
There is no excuse for embarking on any new business venture without a comprehensive business plan. Your business plan represents your written commitment to your business, and provides a roadmap for success.

2. Time Management
Most new business owners are shocked at how time-consuming the process of getting a new business of the ground can be. Smart business owners manage their time so that they can work smarter instead of harder.

3. Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
As a new business owner, often it is tempting to try to tackle every challenge on your own. However, even if you do have time to do everything that needs to be done, it is not likely that you are actually good at doing everything that needs to be done. Learn when to outsource.

4. First Impressions Count
Do not ever lose sight of the fact that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t cut corners with poor quality web design or hosting. The cost will be great in the long run.

5. Networking
There are many benefits to building a network of your peers as you start your own business. Whether you join professional organizations representative of your industry, or become an avid user of a forum for online business owners, you will find having other professional contacts to be of a great benefit to you.

6. Dedicated Work Area
If you run your business from your kitchen or family room, you are going to have a hard time concentrating on your work. Additionally, your family isn’t likely to take your business seriously if your work area is set up in front of the television or pool table. Pick a spot in your home and designated it as your home office area.

7. Ongoing Development
Once your website is done and up and running, it is time to start working on it again. Websites are never really complete. In order to effectively market your online business, you need to keep updating your website with fresh content so that users are likely to come back and so that search engines will index it.

8. Online Community Involvement
Since your business is online, that means your customers are online too. Seek out blogs and forums that are likely to appeal to people who are good prospective customers for your business. Become an active contributor, and you will build credibility that is likely to lead customers to your door.

9. Become an Online Marketing Guru
The online marketplace is constantly changing. In order to effectively market your business online, you need to stay abreast of the latest technologies and techniques available to help you promote your business.

10. Customer Service Matters
No matter what business you are in, you are in the business of providing customer service. Even if you never see your customers because they are doing business with you online, you still have to follow the basic principles of effective customer service.

Starting your own can be both highly challenging and highly rewarding. By following these 10 tips for starting a small home-based online business, you’re on your way to a long and profitable future.