Working at home is becoming increasingly popular these days. It has become an excellent option for stay-at-home parents and those who prefer to not commute. Working at home allows a person to work from the comfort of home without needing to venture out into the harsh landscape of the corporate world.

Many opportunities are available for those wanting to work at home. Working at home is by no means a new concept. Opportunities range from true home-based businesses like child day cares to Internet-based opportunities like affiliate marketing.

Working at home certainly demands hard work and dedication, but it offers a great deal of freedom to those disciplined enough to take it on. It offers the chance to spend more time with one's family and eliminates the need to spend hours in traffic each day commuting to and from work.

Before starting a home business, however, it is vital that you plan well and ensure that you have met all of the requirements to get started on the right foot. Evaluate each type of opportunity available to you. Consider what you might enjoy and what you would dislike.

Starting the business won't be easy, but it will be rewarding. There are a few key components you will need to provide in order to get started.

1) Telephone service with unlimited calling, caller ID, voice mail and call forwarding. Depending on your business, you may find yourself on the phone quite a bit. So, it's wise to plan ahead.

2) A datebook or calendar. A calendar is essential in making sure you meet deadlines, keep appointments, and stay on track.

3) Appropriate computer software, broadband internet, and computer security tools. Make sure you have word processing software for typing letters and articles. Broadband internet is vital - especially if your work is entirely online. Computer security software is a hugely important part of keeping your computer up and running. Few things are as frustrating as having a computer crash - losing your important data.

4) An efficient filing system. You will need a safe place to store invoices, tax information, mail, faxes, etc.

5) A quiet place where you can work. Especially if you are easily distracted (like me!) you will need a quiet place where you can get away to work for a while - shutting out all distractions. This room needs to be well organized and well lit.

Although working at home sounds easy, it can be a challenge. So it is vital that you prepare yourself well - physically and mentally. If you stay focused, stay determined, and do the right things, you will get off on a much better foot than you would otherwise.