Home bases businesses are as varied as their are people working them and they range from excellent business opportunities to real rip offs that have as their only intent of making the originator rich. So, with all the options and all of the pitfalls out there how do you decide which one will work for you, your situation and your family? How do you decide which one is the one that will allow you to make money and have fun while you do it? Here are some tips that might help in making your decision.First, home based businesses are a valid work/business option for the average American family that can’t afford to begin a business the old fashioned way. The cost of beginning a business the traditional way can cost thousands or even millions in start up money while starting a home based business can be very reasonable ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. To begin your process of determining your best home based business options start by getting a pad and pen and begin to write down things about which you are passionate. What are your hobbies, what are the things you like to do, what are the things that you are now invested in with your money, time and resources, what are the things you like to talk about the most? When you have your list completed begin to prioritize them. These are going to be a basis for deciding what you want to do for a home based business. There are a lot of different ways to make money from home. You can work for your current or previous employer on a contract or consulting basis which is generally called “telecommuting” or you can find a business that you own and run that pays you for some kind of activity. Basically in most businesses you trade time for money. In a home based business you can find positions that will trade time for money or you can find businesses that give you money for your results. Some examples of home based businesses are Affiliate Marketing Businesses, Direct Sales Businesses, Multi Level Marketing Businesses, Network Marketing Businesses and Webstore businesses. Each of these have different values and benefits as well as start up costs and ongoing operational costs. You can go to a seminar to find out how to set up a website and start an affiliate marketing business where you have your own website and drive traffic through your site to some other site and when the customer buys something from that site you get paid a commission. People often end up spending several thousands of dollars for this approach but it can be very lucrative. Direct sales businesses generally have a product that you are responsible for selling to your friends, neighbors and through website traffic. The entry point in this business varies from product line and company to other product lines and companies. As you can see each business model is different and has a different cost associated with it.After you have created your passion/interest lists and you now know the types of home based business models you need to know why you want to develop a home bases business. It might be to eliminate debt, to pay for a child’s education, to be able to survive the current economic downturn or any number of other reasons but regardless of your reason why, you must know your why. It will keep you going when times are hard and you are not getting the results you want or need.When I went through this process I found that my wife and I found that we needed and wanted to pay off our credit card debt and to pay off our house. We wanted to be able to continue to fund our daughter’s college education, we want to travel and we want to provide for our financial future. We found that among our passions was shopping and saving. I love to negotiate and she loves the result of my negotiating. We know about coupons, discount shopping sites and all of the ways to get money back when you shop. When we evaluated all of the options we found a program that helped us to save money when we shop and helps us make money. With this program we were able to make money without having to recruit others (which many home based business models are based on), there was a product that had intrinsic value and the entry point was very low. Basically it met all of our interests and requirements and the return on our investment of time and money could be substantial. The company had a complete, easy to follow marketing plan and there was a proven track record that the program could work when you worked it the right way. The internet is among your best resources for researching home based business opportunities but don’t be fooled because there are a few people out there that have something bad to say about a person involved in the business or the organization itself. Everyone is going to make some enemies along the way. Ask the person to whom you speak for references. Ask for people that have done the business for a while and have been successful. Ask for someone that is just starting out and ask them why they choose this business model. Review the pay plan. Can you make money with it? Does it reward you for the things you are good at doing and want to do? If you hate sales and you are going to have to do a lot of sales this is probably not the business for you. If it’s mainly data input or sitting in front of a computer all day and you are a people person this is likely not the business for you. But, once you have found the one that fits your interests, your passion and you know your why you are in a position to be very successful with a home based business.