Monday, January 7, 2008

It's time for a BOARD MEETING!

Happy New Year! It's time for your annual BOARD MEETING. If you are married, sit down with your spouse. (If you are single, sit down with yourself or a business buddy.) The agenda is simple and yet extremely effective for long range business planning. The goal is two-fold. First, determine where you'd like your business to be at this time next year. Second, communicate and share mutual goals with your spouse. This beginning of the year board meeting will include your spouse in your business (and vice versa) and will set a standard of team work within your household.

Take this meeting seriously, give it the respect it deserves. Do this without the children underfoot (this may require a little planning and perhaps even a night out with a babysitter - YOU PAY!)

Together, sit down with your calendars for the year. What events are in place for both of you? When will your spouse be in and out of town? What meetings (including kick-offs and conventions) do you have coming up? If you are attending your company's annual incentive trip, what are the dates? What activities do the children have and when?

Take some time to reflect on last year. Running a home business has its own set of challenges and certainly impacts family life both positively and sometimes negatively. What worked well last year and what needs to change? Be prepared to hear some things you might not like, but try not to get defensive and take it personally.

Share your business goals for this year with your spouse. What are you working towards this year? What would you like your income to be at the end of 2008 and how will that help your family? Is there another family bill that you will commit to paying this year with your business income (this is music to every spouse's ear!) What company incentives are you working toward and what's in it for your family? What help do you need from your spouse? How do you need to help him/her? Men (spouses) don't like surprises!

Finally, present your business plan. What will you need to do to accomplish this goal? How many parties and recruiting appointments must you hold each week? What will your work schedule be in terms of evenings or days when you will be out doing parties and appointments? Be ready to tweak and fine-tune based on input from your spouse.

Treat your business like a business. Have a plan, work it, and give your spouse the job of holding you accountable to the plan. You will find that communication is the key to smooth sailing in a home-based business. Put a post-it note on your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator and don't take it down…_________________(fill in your spouses name) doesn't like surprises!

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