“If the restaurant can’t be bothered to replace the puck in the urinal or keep the toilets and floors clean, then just imagine what their refrigeration and work spaces look like.”

Anthony Bourdain1

For your business to survive long-term, it’s important to have your operations in order. Think of your creative work and client deliverables as the “front of the house,” e.g. the dining room. Then think of the gritty details of running the business—invoicing, cash flow, contracts, and proposals—as the “back of the house”, e.g. your kitchen.

As you work more closely with repeat clients, your operations will be visible. They’ll become the sort of customers who walk into the ...

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