42 Unsexy but Necessary Things You Need To Run a Successful Business

42 Unsexy but Necessary Things You Need To Run a Successful BusinessEverybody wants the sex and sizzle of the promise of being your own boss and running a business. Yet there are a number of not-so-sexy but absolutely crucial things you need to have if you’re serious about running your business. Times have changed so you want to keep your planning short, sweet, and flexible but you still need more than just a seat of your pants whim.

If you don’t want to land your butt in jail, decimate your family’s financial security, or screw this up so royally that you have to sell everything you own and take a worse job than you left, make sure you have these 42 things handled.

  1. Business plan
  2. A legal entity structure for your business
  3. A name for your business
  4. Register your business name with your locality/state
  5. Obtain any local business licenses/permits required
  6. Clear business model
  7. A break-even analysis
  8. Profitability analysis
  9. Budget
  10. Clearly defined market that wants and will pay for your services
  11. Pricing strategy
  12. Profitability metrics
  13. Marketing strategy
  14. Marketing plan
  15. Business operations manual
  16. Business continuity plan (what happens if you get ill for an extended time or die)
  17. Obtain state tax filing account if your product/services will be taxable.
  18. A physical location for your business (even if it is a home office)
  19. Financing strategy to fund the business and your life at startup/through downturns
  20. A domain name for your business
  21. Clear branding (who you are, what you stand for)
  22. A basic logo or consistent way you reference and display your business name.
  23. Website on a platform that you own
  24. Set up record keeping for your business finances
  25. Purchase accounting software for your invoicing and bookkeeping system
  26. Familiarize yourself with common business deductions, income, and tax requirements (or hire an accountant)
  27. Business card
  28. Separate business checking, savings, and credit card accounts
  29. Insurance for your business (home owner’s insurance typically does not cover business activities, verify your situation)
  30. Health and disability insurance for you/your employees
  31. Understand employer responsibilities and differences between independent contractors and employees
  32. Create independent contractor agreements
  33. Client agreement and contract templates
  34. Liability insurance
  35. Clearly defined service that you offer
  36. Email address with your business’ domain name
  37. Credit card processor account
  38. Basic office supplies (no longer is someone stocking your cabinet with paper and clips)
  39. Backup system for your digital files
  40. A phone (ideally a separate phone number for business only)
  41. An e-fax or online system to send/receive secure documents (signatures, agreements, etc.)
  42. Clear boundaries of what will be work time and what will not be (entrepreneurial martyrdom is not a sustainable model of success).

Even if you’ve been in business successfully for years, if you’re missing one or more of these items, it is never too late to strengthen your systems and foundation.

Paula Gregorowicz is a small business consultant who helps business owners create more profits and playtime so they have more money in their pocket and more time to do things they love.

If you’re not profitable, you have a hobby, not a business. Get the 5 Profit Leaks That Are Costing You Money report to ensure you are making the money you desire and keeping more of the money you make.

2 thoughts on “42 Unsexy but Necessary Things You Need To Run a Successful Business”

  1. ” 42.Clear boundaries of what will be work time and what will not be (entrepreneurial martyrdom is not a sustainable model of success).”
    Almost spit out my coffee when I read this. Love the phrase “entrepreneurial martyrdom” because it hits the nail on the head. Great reminder!

    1. Thanks for reading Jen! Yes I read it in every magazine, you name it (Inc, Forbes, Fast Company, and everywhere online). Like in order to be a successful business owner you have to be a martyr and let all the other parts of your life and who you are fall to crap. To me that is no definition of success. Lots of highly paid, miserable folks walking the earth. I’d prefer success + meaning + time.

      (never waste good coffee ;_)

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