Baby or Puppy? Which Best Describes Your Business?
By Sandra Martini

There are essentially two types of businesses: hobby businesses and

If you have a hobby business and that works for you, then this article doesn't pertain to
you (you can read it anyway if you wish).

If you have a gotta-make-money-business however, you want to read on. . .

If you have 2- or 4-legged children, you know how adorable and frustrating they can
be at times.

While immersed in preparing for the day, my Llasa Apso Buddy was being a royal
brat. He had food, water, a toy, I played with him. . .none of it mattered. He wanted to
be in my lap.

Couple that with Junior (a cat) who insisted on sprawling across my desk using my
keyboard as a pillow.

Even explaining that "mommy has to work" didn't work.

And that's when I started to think about how our businesses can resemble either babies
or pets. And that, in this case, I'm happy that I had a business baby and not a business

Babies and puppies are similar in lots of ways:

- They are totally adorable and everyone asks how they are
- You want to spend a lot of time with them
- They both want and need a lot of attention
- You have to teach/train them
- Messes happen and you clean them up

There is, however, one major difference:

Babies grow up, move out, take care of themselves and often take care of you.

Puppies grow up, stay around and require additional care as they get older.

I'm thrilled to say that, in this case, I had a baby (business) who is now enjoying high
school and getting ready to go out on her own. :-)

Which best describes your business: baby or puppy?

Make it Real: My Request to You

Chances are, you're still asking yourself whether you have a "baby" or "puppy"

Here are a few clarifying questions to help you:

- A prospective client calls. Do you have a system for how to handle the inquiry or do
you wing it?

- You're on vacation (maybe I should just stop there). Are you enjoying or constantly
checking up on things?

- Does your revenue stay consistent/increase or dip while you're on vacation?

- Do you wake up to emails which state "New order was placed" at least 3-4 days a
week or. . .not?

- When you think of your business 3-5 years from now, do you smile or do your
shoulders drop thinking of all the work you'll be doing or do you question whether
you'll even be in business?

Baby businesses steadily improve, in all ways: profits, leverage, time off for you.
Puppy businesses don't and, in most cases, end up closing.

So ask yourself: Do you have a baby or a puppy?

See also: Do You Have a Business or a Hobby?

About the author: A Strategic Marketing & Profitability Mentor, Sandra Martini creator of
Escalator Marketing, shows creative heart-based entrepreneurs how to build sustainable
businesses without losing their integrity or their minds. You can catch up with Sandra on her
blog at
From the Desk of Sandra Martini or Twitter.

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Is Your Business a Baby...or a Puppy?