People have seen my work and asked me, over the past 20 years, to build things for them. I liked doing it part-time, so in 2005, I "took my early retirement" to build furniture full time. Basically, I do what I like to do - and find out that people would pay me to do it. Not only do I like doing things, I like the challenge of satisfying the dreams of others. An incredible number of people have expressed fear or jealousy that I would be able to start a business.

It came directly from Michael Fortune. The image you project how you are dressed, your car, your attitude is valued by your potential customers and can help pave the way for how much they can expect to pay for one of your pieces. You might consider the same strategy if you are in the market for a husband or a wife. Complete the work in a timely manner and as promised. I think it's disrespectful not to go when you say you're done.

In my experience, one of the biggest challenges people face is deciding why they're starting a business, what they hope to accomplish and what they really want to do. Starting a business, especially from home, seems glamorous and free, but, in reality, it can put a strain on life at home if it is not done right. The people I've talked to often need help making decisions, which is essential in running a business.

If not, check with your county business licensing office. If you need a commercial license, you must also check for zoning problems. You will not be able to get a business license if your business address does not match the type of business you want to run. Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on goods or services they provide. To find out more about how sales tax will affect your business, check out our Information Guide, Small Business Sales Tax.

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