Most successful companies have a strategic business plan. Should there be one in your marriage or relationship? Absolutely. Let’s examine the fundamentals of a business plan and why you should incorporate one in your relationship. And heck if you are single and not ready to mingle, this is good FYI info:
What’s In A Business Plan?
Well, it all depends on the amount of effort and content you want to put into it. The U.S. Small Business Administration explains there are 2 main formats: Lean and Traditional Business Plans.
Lean Business Plans
A lean business plan is an outline that may contain a mission statement, some goals and also a bulleted list of activities your company does. “Things that we are into man!” It also may touch base on the money flow – incoming, outgoing, revenue, key partners, etc.
Companies create lean business plans often when they are starting up. It may also serve as a good briefing document for an easy read and circulation. “Ohhhh. So it’s for show. And might not help me make it to the long-term stage. I should probably not use this type of business plan for my relationship right?” Correct!
Traditional Business Plans
Here’s the meat and potatoes. A traditional business plan is well thought out defines what a company stands for and where it is going. A good one has baby sub-plans underneath it for each area of the company such as marketing, sales, human resources, etc. It often projects where it will be financially in the future. Not to forgot, updated constantly as changes and goals are met.
“Hmm, this sounds like a pretty good plan.” Then, you should probably create one for your relationships too, correct? Yasssss.
But we exchanged vows, does that count as my business plan for my relationship?
What the what? Maybe a very lean one. There’s all types of marriages out there, civil, religious, common law, etc. And I could be wrong, but, I don’t think the vows go quite in depth as much as business plan would. A prenup might. But I can’t speak from experience on that. When two broke, young college kids decide to elope, a prenup was not deemed necessary.
~ Here comes the bride…..and here comes her debt!
My point here: if two people are entering a relationship together, they be clear on what they want to get out of it. And of course, communicate and adapt when changes occur.
What gets in the way of creating a successful, relationship business plan?
Life. Lust. Other priorities. Time. Not thinking that you need one!
How long does it take to put a business plan together?
This is where I could write a book. Maybe someday I will. Until then, I’ll limit myself to no more than 300 words in this section to keep WordPress a happy green color.
For people to truly be able to get to know one another and what each wants to get out of a relationship, I think this takes 3 years. From my experience, 3 years is about the amount of time when a person has a life changing event and is challenged to a new situation. Job loss, death or suicide of someone close to them, in debt up to your eyeballs with student loans, parenting struggles and the list can go on really.
When your partner is going through something new or difficult, you can see if they are keeping a positive perspective in difficult times. How this event is going to change them, make them grow as a person or fall apart. This will even reveal if you aren’t the right person to help them get through what they need deal with.
Example: a buddy of ours started dating a girl who after a couple months got breast cancer. He was her champion. Went to all the appointments, surgery and even helped pick out wigs. A true, loyal partner. After she was deemed cancer free and in remission, she broke up with him. So, life events can change you and make you realize what you want to get out of your relationships and who you want to share it with (if anybody at all!).
OK. I’ll take the time and create a business plan. What should be in mine?
As with any company, a successful plan is tailored to your needs, goals and mission. In our Thanksgiving post this fall I touched base on everything we are thankful for and mentioned my mission statement: Wish well for others, celebrate successes, offer encouragement through failures and surround yourself with those who are healthy for you!
I actually created this statement a little over 10 years ago and went as far as putting it on coffee mugs for my staff members one year. I still enjoy getting pics of them using their mugs on their desks!
Overall, the mission statement hasn’t changed. The entertainment factor is reflecting on how much I do/don’t stick to it! But our goals, financial plans and human resource components have been revised substantially as we encountered life events over the years.
Hopefully after examining the fundamentals of a business plan, you can see why you should incorporate one into your relationship in order for it to be successful. Be clear. Communicate what you want to get out of it. Set goals. Identify all the factors that will either help you succeed in your mission and risks worth taking or steering clear of.
What’s in your business plan?