Running a sustainable business for years and years requires hard work an–most importantly–extensive planning.

If it’s been something you’ve dreamed about since you can remember, or if you feel like a change of pace is required to jolt your shuddering career into action, the principles of success remain the same.

In this piece, we’ve put together a list of three different ingredients you need to have if you want to cook up a successful, thriving business for the long-term.

1. Planning

While it might seem that all businesses were forged simply off the back of one magical spark of inspiration, the reality is that countless hours of exhaustive planning are the foundation of their success.

Objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts are all fundamental parts of any functional business plan. You simply cannot afford to overlook any one of these aspects before taking the plunge and setting up your business.

The most common explanation for a fledgling business’ downfall is mismanagement of finances. You need robust financial backing.

Many companies – including some of the most successful globally – haemorrhage money every single year on the path to becoming wildly profitable.

Securing regular injections of cash allows these companies to survive and not everyone can rely on such a speculative and winding route to success.

Managing the funds you do have available to you as carefully as possible is key. Extensively consider every single purchasing decision you have to make and ask yourself: is this really necessary?

2. Resolve

Running a business has its ups and downs: that is inevitable. What is important is how you respond to these challenges.

Launching a brand new business is bound to have its share of struggles out the gate – especially when you’re trying to carve your way into a profitable niche. You’re vying for position with more established competitors. Tearing away their customers and bringing them on side is by no means a straightforward task.

You will run ill-advised marketing campaigns and you will encounter unexpected problems at the eleventh hour when releasing a new product or service.

Accept that these kinds of problems will affect your business at some point and you’ll be able to fight through any setbacks knowing that success lurks on the other side. Instead of allowing any issues to define your business and resign yourself to failure, you’ll be able to brush them off and continue to pursue success.

In some ways you’ve already done the hardest thing. You’ve started. You’ve taken the leap and gone through the company registration process. Now you just have to see it through.

3. Pragmatism

Even though it might seem slightly counter-intuitive having just extolled the virtues of doggedly sticking to the task, some pragmatism can go a long way in the world of business.

There are times when you’ve piled enough money into your concept and it just hasn’t come to fruition.

It isn’t admitting failure. It’s being brave enough to admit what you have currently isn’t going to work and being bold enough to fundamentally change integral aspects of your business to improve its fortunes.

There’s no shame in pivoting. Two business juggernauts that are the envy of business owners around the world have benefitted from pivoting. Twitter was originally conceived as Odeo, a directory for users to find and follow podcasts. When they realised iTunes was eating up the podcast space, they decided to pivot to a micro blogging platform. Now, Twitter is a social media behemoth.

Japanese manufacturer Suzuki is primarily known for its range of motorcycles but that wasn’t always the case. From 1910 to 1935, they were responsible for producing weaving loom machines that powered the nation’s silk industry.

Pivoting to a different approach has seen these businesses reach previously unthinkable levels of success. Having a growth mindset and being flexible enough to change your business’ practices as the market evolves is vital to long-term success.

Anthony Hanson is the founder of iFinance Department. They provide online accounting services and quality financial advice to small businesses to help them grow profitably.

Launching a business stock photo by ImageFlow/Shutterstock