Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Cute boots. A scarf (or ten) too many. The seasons are changing, and with the cooler air comes the need for some simple tasks that will make running your business during the holidays SO much easier. If you want want a better business before the barista has time to ask you, “hot or iced?” this Fall, let’s check out 11 quick things you can do this week to rock it all winter, complete with your estimated spend.
1. Review and update your client contracts. If you’re ready to set boundaries (aka actually have time to eat wings during football games instead of working all the dang time), it’s time to get the #1 tool in place to help establish boundaries between work time with clients and play time with friends + family.
Estimated cost: 1 hour
2. Have a contract ready for new hires. There’s nothing like hiring a team if you want to get more accomplished (and stay accountable). Getting clear on what you expect from your team members, and when, helps to keep everyone in line—including yourself!
Estimated cost: $255 for a template or 6-10 hours if you DIY
3. Make sure you have a contract for collaborations at the ready. A contract protects both parties and their businesses. It also specifies who is responsible for what, and how each party gets paid. So, basically a nonessential if you’re fine with working for free.
Estimated cost: $255 for a template or 7-12 hours if you DIY
4. Register your trademark... Hey, how about before you spend $5k+ on a new brand, you find out if you’re even allowed to use it legally. This is an essential in any business if you can’t afford a surprise rebrand.
Estimated cost: $2,000 up-front and $400 maintenance every 10 years
5. A copyright protects your creativity and your work in your business from copycats. If you’re getting noticed, it’s only a matter of time before someone rips you off. And if you’re not getting ripped off yet, you will. Having a registration isn’t just nice to have, it actually entitles you to special financial rewards if someone does steal your stuff.
Estimated cost: $55 per blog post or client
6. Set up your LLC. Are you a real business? If you haven’t gotten your paperwork in order to surrender the metaphorical business diapers and put your big boy pants on, it’s time. An LLC helps to protect your personal assets in the event of a legal dispute. Without an LLC, your personal finances, your home, your kids (okay, not really) are at risk. If you want to know what the steps are to do this in your state, check out this free book I’ve created for you.
Estimated cost: – varies by state but usually $50-200 per year
7. Get your bookkeeping under control. You need to know where your business stands financially so you can make smart, informed decisions. And keep the IRS off your back.
Estimated cost: Starting at $99/ month with Bookly – varies by bookkeeping company and software
Estimated cost: $79 or 8-10 hours to DIY research + piece it together
9. Grab your tax ID number. You’ll need a Tax ID Number to get a business checking account, but it also helps you to keep your social security number private when working as a small business. / Estimated cost: Free!
10. Take care of your state’s additional registration requirements. Each state has its own requirements for business registration. Find out what those requirements are by contacting your local Small Business Administration branch.
Estimated Cost: Endless hours of searching or click here for a step-by-step guide
11. Buy business insurance. Nope, an LLC isn’t insurance. It pays to protect yourself and your business because like fire insurance, you don’t want your house to burn down but you’re not devastated if it does (okay so maybe you’re emotionally wrecked, that’s fair). Find out more about what kind of business insurance you need over on a guest blog I wrote for HoneyBook.
Estimated cost: – varies by selection and industry
If you deal with these things one day at a time, it’s definitely doable to have a legit, secure biz faster than you can switch from work to Facebook. The best part is once you’ve taken care of everything above, it’s literally a matter of minutes each year you’re spending on these things.
Do this stuff now, love yourself for it later. And you will. If you want a super easy way to digest this information, I suggest you download my free book, Legalize Your Biz, by clicking right here.