A Japanese plane is used to shape the bow’s core. Steve uses methods developed by Japanese master bowmakers.

Ever wanted to start your own home business startup, but don’t know where to start? Here are the essentials to get you started:

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  1. Does your setup comply with local health and safety by-laws? If it doesn’t, you can be shut down.
  2. Do you need to register and obtain a business license from the local government?
  3. Should you incorporate to take advantage of tax rules so as to maximize profit?
  4. Does what you are doing invalidate your home insurance? Ask your agent and get it in writing!
  5. Are you infringing on any patent or copyright laws?
  6. Is your buddy helping and picking up the odd dollar or two helping you? If so, you may be partners without knowing it!
  7. Are there any liability issues? What if your kiln sets fire to your neighbor’s house?
  8. Be careful about bank loans and private investors. They can dictate what you do and don’t do.
  9. If you’re looking for bank money, you’ll need a good business plan and profit forecast first.
  10. Don’t forget the additional costs, such as accounting fees, etc. You may have to file two tax returns, one for you personally and one for the business.
  11. Free samples cost you money but can be a good investment in your future.
  12. Although you may be in business, there is no substitute for genuinely caring for people and helping them with their problems and their needs.
  13. Trust is the basic foundation of any successful business.
  14. Focus and self-discipline are your best co-workers. Above all, have fun.
  15. Getting competent legal and accounting advice is always money well-spent!
  16. Find a specific need, fill it and do the job right.
  17. Make sure you know your costs and overhead.
  18. Self-promotion is essential. Use the Internet, network with friends and neighbors.
  19. Become known by volunteering at workshops and events pertaining to your project.

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This article was originally published in the NEW PIONEER ™ Summer 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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