10 Commonly Overlooked Must-Haves For Small Business Week 2022 (2022)

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Small business owners and startup founders have a lot on their plate. While you might be starting, say, a photography business because you’re an experienced photographer, or running a dog wash business because you love animals, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily a master at every facet of your business. From accounting and billing to operations and marketing, there are a number of small business must-haves that, well, many don’t have.

So, we put together a list of the most small business must-haves, which many unknowingly lack, to help you put your business on good footing and on the map. With these simple, yet commonly overlooked tips and tools you can improve your process, increase efficiency and turn a higher profit.

Here are 10 small business must-haves in 2022:

1. Verified Online Listings

Every business has an online presence, including listings in business directories whether they set them up or not. Oftentimes, if your business has been around for a bit, someone might have already set up accounts on your behalf, from Google Business Profile to Yelp and any other relevant directories to your business and its industry. While it might sound like a good thing that the work has been done for you, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left for you to do.

To start, check the leading online directories, such as Google Business Profile, to see if there is a live listing for your business. If so, claim the listing so that you obtain control of the listing. This lets you verify the listing and ensure that it provides accurate information as well as enables you to reply to reviews.

If your business doesn’t yet have a listing, create your listing—your business can take advantage of the free marketing it provides so that you can get found online and get more customers.

To search for your business, claim an existing listing or create a new one for free, visit Google.

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2. The Right Legal Formation

Over 70% of businesses in the U.S. are registered as sole proprietorships. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this type of business formation, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right legal formation for your small business. Many small businesses start as a sole proprietorship only to later outgrow it. And yet many small business owners keep their business structured as a sole proprietorship—complete with the personal liability that comes along with it.

Generally, small businesses are advised to register as a limited liability corporation, or LLC, in order to help protect their personal assets and separate their business interests. To get started, learn how to set up an LLC.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in registering as an LLC but not sure how to go about it, there are a number of LLC formation services available. To find one that’s right for you, check out the best LLC services.

3. A Well-Designed Website

It’s one thing to have a website and it’s another to have a well-designed website that looks professional, upholds your brand and gives your visitors what it is they came to your site for. For example, those checking out a restaurant’s website are likely interested in seeing a menu, checking hours and making reservations. Whereas visitors to a spa might want to see a list of services and book an appointment.

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The good news is that it’s easier—and more affordable—than ever to build your own website that looks great and functions properly without any web design experience or coding knowledge. With the help of an all-in-one site builder, such as Squarespace or Wix, just about anyone can build a professional business website in hours and for around $15 per month. Learn more about the best website builders for small businesses.

4. Custom Business Email

It’s not uncommon to see businesses that use personal email for business use. And no, using your business name at gmail.com doesn’t count as a business email address. Instead, be sure to use an address that uses your own business’s domain name, such as name@business.com. Not only does it appear far more professional, but it also lends to your credibility and reputation.

Taking it a step further, be sure to use a generic email inbox on your website. For example, use contact@business.com for your contact page or sales@business.com for sales assistance. Again, it lends to your credibility, and it also helps your inboxes stay organized while reducing the number of emails you receive to your direct inbox. Set yours up in minutes by learning how to create a business email address.

5. Business Phone

Not to be confused with a personal number, many startups and small businesses don’t actually have a separate business number. Many also fail to have different phone lines for different uses, and those that do, often pay through the nose for it. Instead of using your personal number, which inherently will become plastered across the internet, making it greatly susceptible to spam, use a virtual phone number. This way, you can still use your personal phone, but with a separate phone number so that your personal number isn’t publicly available to the world.

If you are paying for a business phone and want to save money, consider switching to a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) system, which allows you to make calls with your phone or computer using the internet. Not only are the leading providers very affordable, but they also offer other money-saving features such as auto attendants and 24/7 virtual receptionists and call centers. Get more information about the best VoIP services.

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6. Location Tags

You don’t have to be the trendiest new bar to be a good candidate for a location tag on social media. If your business has a physical location, it’s worth a couple of minutes of your time to create a location tag with Facebook so that people can tag your business as the location on Facebook and Instagram. This helps give your business a good deal of exposure—and for free.

So, whether you run an auto detailing business or a brewery, if you have customers visiting your location, you should set up a location tag. Follow along to learn how to create a location on social media.

Don’t have a physical location? Consider swapping your home address with a virtual address. You can buy a virtual business address for around $10 per month from providers such as iPostal1 or around $100 per month for a virtual office from Regus to help safeguard your personal contact information and to create a more professional appearance.

7. CRM System

Customer relationship management (CRM) software may sound fancy, if not expensive. But if your business deals with clients and leads, then it might cost you not to have a CRM system. This is because, in reality, a CRM simply helps you organize your contacts, clients or customers and foster your leads. It’s what enables, say, a landscaping company to keep track of customers, with a log of services rendered, incoming requests, invoices due and bills paid.

Not only are many of the best customer relationship management tools easy to use, but many are available for free. So, not only can a CRM help you operate your business more efficiently, saving you time, but it also doesn’t have to cost you anything to use.

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8. Billing and Invoicing Software

Save time and get paid faster without a CRM by using a billing and invoicing software solution. There are many on the market that enable you to easily create quotes, send invoices and get paid without having to mail a bill or wait for a check. This is particularly helpful for service-based businesses, such as a property management business or a tutoring business.

What’s more, many are available for free, so you only pay for the credit card processing fees. Learn more about what you can do with the best free invoicing software.

9. Mobile Card Readers

Take billing and invoicing a step further with a mobile credit card reader. This is what enables you to accept payments on the go and as you do a job. For example, a towing business, a mobile dog grooming business or a bakery interested in selling at its local farmer’s market would be well suited to use a mobile card reader.

As straightforward as it sounds, mobile card readers are game-changers for many small businesses as they open up more opportunities to sell and save you time by eliminating the need to invoice customers. Instead, collect payment as services are rendered. For any unpaid invoices, you can set it up so that it automatically sends payment reminders. To get yours, check out the best mobile credit card readers.

10. Financial Tools

Whether it’s starting your small business or making strategic investments to boost your business, you need capital for your company to thrive. Fortunately, plenty of financial tools are available to help you get the money you need. One particularly easy and popular tool is using a business credit card. Most of these cards offer rewards programs that work in a similar way to the travel and cash points you may use for your personal cards. In this case, you can use your reward points and invest them into things your business needs.

You can also take advantage of a small business loan from a reputable lender. These loans can offer you thousands of dollars quickly with fair terms of repayment. While these typically require a strong credit score, they can be a lifesaver in raising funds to cover emergencies, renovations and other upgrades.

Bottom Line

Many of these small business must-haves do require a small upfront investment of either time or money. However, keep in mind that setting your business up with the right foundation and tools is an investment that will save you time and money down the road. Not only can these tools and tips make your life easier, they can also lend to increased productivity, and with that, higher revenue–something we can all get behind.

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FAQs

What are some small business essentials? ›

10 Small Business Essentials for 2022
  • A Business Plan.
  • Small Business Insurance.
  • HR Tools.
  • Accounting Software and Support.
  • Tech Protection.
  • Marketing.
  • DIY Legal Tools.
  • Collaboration Tools.

What are the biggest challenges to small businesses today? ›

Top 5 Challenges Small Business Owners Face
  • Lack of Funds. Nothing can hold a business back like money problems. ...
  • Lack of Time. Are you working on the business or in the business? ...
  • Trouble Finding Good Employees. ...
  • Difficulties Balancing Growth and Quality. ...
  • Ineffective Web Presence. ...
  • How Can You Manage These Challenges?

How much revenue is considered a small business? ›

What qualifies as a small business? Generally speaking, the SBA defines a small business as one that employs fewer than 1,500 people and generates a maximum annual revenue of $41.5 million (as of 2017).

What is a good annual revenue for a small business? ›

Small businesses with no employees have an average annual revenue of $46,978. The average small business owner makes $71,813 a year. 86.3% of small business owners make less than $100,000 a year in income.

What are the three important things in business? ›

No matter how bold or ambitious your plans are to grow your business, the key to your business's success lies in three critical, interdependent components: operational excellence, customer relations/communications and financial management.

What are the key 3 challenges facing most businesses? ›

When asked about the three biggest challenges facing small businesses today, the survey results were growing revenue, hiring employees and increasing profit.

What are the 5 big entrepreneurial challenges? ›

Below, we'll discuss some of the common mental hurdles we hear from entrepreneurs–and what to do about them.
  • Launching a new business can be scary. ...
  • Entrepreneurship can be lonely. ...
  • Entrepreneurship is non-linear. ...
  • Burnout is real. ...
  • Rejection is not an option, it's a certainty.
May 20, 2021

What keeps small business owners up at night? ›

A new survey from DaySmart Software says it is the number one challenge for small businesses in the U.S. According to the data, making enough money keeps 54% of small business owners up at night.

How do you prove you are a small business? ›

The documents that are often used as proof of business ownership when certificates are not available include the following:
  1. IRS form K-1.
  2. Business emails.
  3. Business meeting minutes.
  4. Business resolutions.
  5. Other business records.

How much can a small business make before paying taxes? ›

According to the IRS, a sole proprietor or independent contractor, has to file an income tax return if net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more in the year.

What are the 4 types of small business? ›

There are different types of businesses to choose from when forming a company, each with its own legal structure and rules. Typically, there are four main types of businesses: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), and Corporations.

What is the most valuable thing in a business? ›

Know their wants, needs and motivations. And understand why you do what you do and align yourself with helping people achieve what they value. Own it, make it your mission to make them successful and grow. This is the most important thing in business.

What are the 4 elements that make up a unique business idea? ›

4 Essential Elements of a Business Plan
  • Background Information. Background Information is an important element of any business plan. ...
  • Marketing Plan. The Marketing Plan occupies a central place in your business plan. ...
  • Operating Plan. ...
  • Financial Statements.
Jul 25, 2019

What is the most imp thing in business? ›

Networking. The most important part of a business is networking. Word of mouth is by far the most powerful form of referral, and it must start with the business owner. Talk to anyone that will listen about your business, and surround yourself with like minded business people to gain inspiration.

What are 5 things a business needs to accomplish? ›

5 Things Your Business Must Have to Succeed
  • Genuine need. True business opportunities meet needs or solve pain points people have in their lives. ...
  • Credible experience. ...
  • Adequate Resources. ...
  • Buying Customers. ...
  • Sound Business Model.

What are the two 2 most important parts of a business model? ›

Key takeaway

To recap an effective business model has to focus on two dimensions: the people dimension and the financial dimension.

What do startups need most? ›

Many startups fail within the first few years. That's why this initial period is important. Entrepreneurs need to find money, create a business model and business plan, hire key personnel, work out intricate details such as equity stakes for partners and investors, and plan for the long run.

What is the biggest challenge for most businesses? ›

Starting a business is a significant achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many common challenges every business faces, whether they are large or small. These include hiring the right people, building a brand, developing a customer base, and so on.

What problems could be avoided in business? ›

Avoid problems during business growth
  • poor market research.
  • insufficient planning.
  • drop in customer service levels.
  • lack of control.
  • inadequate management systems.
  • staff morale affected by increased workloads.

What are some current business issues? ›

6 Biggest Problems Facing Businesses Today
  • Communication Barriers.
  • Technological Advancements.
  • Money Management Problems.
  • Managing Workflows.
  • Problem Solving & Risk Management.
  • Supply Chain Issues.
Jun 17, 2021

What makes an entrepreneur successful? ›

A successful entrepreneur must be able to make wise decisions about how he uses his time, continually evaluating and prioritizing tasks according to relevance and importance. This means including short and long-range planning and the ability to participate in economic forecasting and market research.

What barriers do entrepreneurs face? ›

The 5 toughest things entrepreneurs face when starting a business
  • Lack of support.
  • Lack of money.
  • Lack of confidence.
  • Lack of a clear pathway.
  • Lack of experience and knowledge.
May 10, 2022

What are your biggest challenge when it comes to money? ›

Not Saving Enough

“I think our biggest struggle is we spend too much. We have a great combined income and no debt aside from mortgage. But money seems to just flow through our fingers like sand. In the last few years, we have been dipping into our savings instead of adding to it.

How small business owners sleep? ›

Our small business research

The In the Zone research also revealed that the average small business owner gets approximately 4.5 hours sleep per night, far less than the recommended 7-9 hours .

What are business owners worried about? ›

Insurance, taxes, advertising, legal fees, employee recruitment, retirement plans, changing technology—the list goes on.

How many employees do you need to be considered a small business? ›

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business has no more than 1,500 employees and less than $38.5 million in average annual revenue, depending on your industry. While these numbers seem enormous, it's crucial to note that nearly 90% of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees.

What size business is considered a small business? ›

SBA's Table of Size Standards provides definitions for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, that vary widely by industry, revenue and employment. It defines small business by firm revenue (ranging from $1 million to over $40 million) and by employment (from 100 to over 1,500 employees).

What is the example of small business? ›

Small businesses are either services or retail operations like grocery stores, medical stores, tradespeople, bakeries and small manufacturing units.

Will I get a tax refund if my business loses money? ›

A common business accounting question that tax practitioners often hear from small-business clients is “Why doesn't my business get a tax refund?” Taxpayers, in general, receive a refund only when they have paid more tax than was due on their return. The same is essentially true of businesses.

Is selling personal items considered income? ›

Sold goods aren't taxable as income if you are selling a used personal item for less than the original value. If you flip it or sell it for more than the original cost, you have to pay taxes on the surplus as capital gains.

How does owning a business affect my personal taxes? ›

For a sole proprietorship, your business income is reported directly on your personal federal income tax return, which means your business doesn't owe taxes separately. Instead, you'll pay taxes on your business's earnings at your individual federal income tax rate.

What are the 3 main characteristics of small business? ›

Ownership: They have a single owner. So it is also known as a sole proprietorship. Management: All the management works are controlled by the owner. Limited Reach: They have restricted area of operation.

What are the 10 types of business? ›

Here are the 10 types of business ownership and classifications:
  • Sole proprietorship.
  • Partnership.
  • LLP.
  • LLC.
  • Series LLC.
  • C corporation.
  • S corporation.
  • Nonprofit corporation.
May 18, 2022

What are the five 5 types of small business? ›

Small businesses can choose to organize as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation or limited liability company.

What does a business need to operate? ›

What Are the Legal Requirements for Starting a Business?
  • Create a LLC or Corporation. ...
  • Register Your Business Name. ...
  • Apply for a Federal Tax ID Number. ...
  • Determine If You Need a State Tax ID Number. ...
  • Obtain Business Permits and Licenses. ...
  • Protect Your Business with Insurance. ...
  • Open a Business Bank Account. ...
  • Consult the Professionals.
Mar 28, 2019

What does a business need to be successful? ›

10 Essential Things Successful Businesses Have in Common. Does Yours?
  • Willingness to take chances. Business owners who are willing to take chances tend to achieve more than those who play it safe. ...
  • Unique value. ...
  • Tenacity. ...
  • Customer-centric approach. ...
  • Good marketing. ...
  • Strong vision. ...
  • Passionate leaders. ...
  • Empowered employees.
Feb 2, 2021

What are 6 common customer needs? ›

SIX BASIC CUSTOMER NEEDS
Friendliness The most basic need of all and is usually associated with being greeted politely and courteously.Greet customer politely and courteously
Fairness All customers want to be treated fairly.Treat all customers equally
4 more rows

What are 3 important things every customer wants? ›

6 Things Every Customer Wants
  • Preparation. Customers want you to do your homework before talking with them. ...
  • Simplicity. Customers, like everyone else, must cope with the complexities of business. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Loyalty. ...
  • Accessibility. ...
  • Accountability.
Jan 18, 2013

What are the 4 main customer needs? ›

There are four main customer needs that an entrepreneur or small business must consider. These are price, quality, choice and convenience.

What is the single word that can best describe today's business? ›

The correct answer is OPTION C: Change.

What are the three types of business operations? ›

There are three main types of business activities: operating, investing, and financing.

What are the 10 essential good business practices? ›

10 Best Practices In Business Management
  • Engage Your Employees. Studies have found that 68% of employees are disengaged in their work. ...
  • Adopt Flexible Work Policies. ...
  • Lead by Example. ...
  • Develop an Open Management Style. ...
  • Reward Achievement. ...
  • Focus on Alignment. ...
  • Communicate a Clear Mission and Strategy. ...
  • Hold Regular Check-In Meetings.
Feb 17, 2020

What are the 5 critical success factors? ›

First, here are the 5 Key Success Factors:
  • Strategic Focus (Leadership, Management, Planning)
  • People (Personnel, Staff, Learning, Development)
  • Operations (Processes, Work)
  • Marketing (Customer Relations, Sales, Responsiveness)
  • Finances (Assets, Facilities, Equipment)
Mar 30, 2015

Which is the easiest business to start? ›

16 Easy Businesses to Start
  • Pet Sitting. Hero Images / Getty Images. ...
  • Residential Cleaning Services. Paul Bradbury / Getty Images. ...
  • Delivery Services. PeopleImages / Getty Images. ...
  • Grass Cutting and Snow Removal Services. Kativ / Getty Images. ...
  • Scrapbooking. ...
  • Hauling Services. ...
  • EBay Selling. ...
  • Gutter and Siding Cleaning.
Dec 13, 2019

Which business is best for beginners? ›

Here is a list of profitable small business ideas for beginners.
  • Virtual Assistant.
  • E-commerce Store.
  • Start a Blog.
  • Dropshipping.
  • Catering Services.
  • Party Services.
  • Daycare Services.
  • T-Shirt Printing Business.

What business makes the most money? ›

Profitability of the Largest Companies
CompanyProfit per Hour
1Apple$6,306,963
2Microsoft$4,478,884
3Alphabet (Google)$3,919,937
4Bank of America$3,130,881
46 more rows

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