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A Business is a Lot Like Marriage: You Have to Plan
By Laurie Hayes

Today is Saturday. I was supposed to be
at a wedding.

Our good friends, the ones we go on family trips with and fishing and hunting
adventures were set to walk down the aisle at 2 o'clock.

The story begins like most others, boy meets girl, boy likes girl and girl likes boy
too. They had a lot of fun over the last few years; traveled, enjoyed time with
friends, enjoyed quiet time together, raised two puppies and a cat.

They had their ups and downs as most people do but were experiencing a few
more downs than ups as they headed into this year.

They determined they had two options. Break up or get married. She opted for a
July wedding. He wanted October.

As the wedding date drew closer their stress levels escalated as did the frequency
of arguments.

A week ago, they addressed issues they hadn't seriously talked about before -- the
subject of kids, a prenuptial agreement, how finances were going to be handled.
They discovered they were at opposite ends on almost every issue.

It was a difficult time for both because there was a lot of "housekeeping" to go
through. It became apparent that marrying each other would prove disastrous in
the end.

We got the call three days ago. The wedding is off.

Why am I telling you this?

Because marriage is a lot like running your own business.

You may have all of the love and passion in the world for it, but it is absolutely, no
if-ands-or-buts necessary to plan for your success.

Before you commit any time, money, effort, or tears, make sure you're doing what's
right for you. Identify your core values, your vision for the future, your desires,
needs and expectations.

Make sure you know everything you need to know about the business you want to
spend the rest of your life with (if that's your plan). What do you need to do and
who do you need to become to make sure the love remains?

Imagine both you and your business growing together and measure your feelings
as you contemplate this. If your love change, will your business allow you to
expand to include other products, services, programs or models?

Picture your business as a stone in your hand. Roll it over and examine it from
every angle. Look for the smooth lines. Find the rough edges. Know your business
intimately as you contemplate your future with it and decide if it's a right fit.

You certainly won't know everything about your business as you start out. It will
present you with surprises and challenges along the way.

The important thing to understand is there will be bumps and maybe even bruises,
but you know where you're going and that the vision for you and your business is

Decide in advance if you want to have "children." In other words, what dreams do
you have of expansion, creating multiple businesses, multiple products or services?
Take care of the "pre-nup." This means cover your legal requirements. Business
registration, type of ownership (sole, partnership or incorporation), insurance, by-
laws, licenses, trademarks, copyrights, and so on.

Address finances. Will you fund your business on your own? Seek start-up capital
and if so from whom? Will you extend credit or request payment up front?

Choices won't always be black and white either. Sometimes there will be a mix
required. Instead of "break-up" or "get married" look for alternatives. Perhaps
additional education or information gathering is necessary before you make any

Do the necessary exploration and vision-creation work first so you can head into
the future with excitement and confidence.

Start on solid ground and enjoy a long, happy life together.

About the author: Laurie Hayes, Director of The HBB Source™ helps self-directed
employees break free of their jobs to live their dream of running a home-based
business. To subscribe to her FREE e-zine for valuable tips, strategies and
resources to help you build your ideal business, visit
The HBB Source.
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