The thought of quantifying and qualifying your relationship with your husband- or wife-to-be may sound ludicrous. However, marriage is a formal agreement into which you are both entering. A vow is no different from a contract. And this venture is the most adventurous, daring and permanent of all. By putting it into a business plan, couples are forced to agree upon certain terms and conditions, ways of handling issues and what happens when one does not fulfil his or her obligations. In one form or another, these things should have been discussed by the time you decide to go through with an official wedding. The business plan simply puts it in quantifiable terms. This also helps each individual to have a tangible reference of shared priorities, desired outcomes and plans of action.
A business plan is defined as a formal statement of certain goals, why you believe you can reach these and your plan to do so. It usually has some background information, details regarding where funding will come from, the history and experience of the team involved and a back-up plan for “hiccups”.
The following structure of a business plan can assist you to create a document pertaining to your future marriage:
- Cover page and table of contents
- Executive summary
A simple preview of the main points and motivations behind your business plan.
- Business description
Here, you will describe the marriage, what you value as important, your careers, interests and personalities.
- Business environment analysis
In a business plan, this would include competitors, demand, age groups at which you are aiming your product etc… In the context of a marriage, it should refer to the experience you have both had in previous marriages or in the marriages of your parents. Ex-spouses and children from previous relationships feature here.
- Industry background
Go into more detail about previous relationships or marriages, how they added to your insight and how you can use this experience to make the most out of your marriage.
- Competitive analysis
Unlike the business world, the competition each spouse faces is usually in the form of the other’s career, children and personal commitments. How will these be balanced and handled tactfully and fairly?
- Market analysis
Analyse the success of your peers that have gotten married and what they are doing right and wrong, in your opinion. Establish ways in which you can learn from their mistakes and imitate their accomplishments.
- Marketing plan
List a variety of initiatives that you both plan to undertake in order to ensure that the other one gets what they need out of this marriage arrangement. As in the business world, you need to use strategies that will appeal to your target market (your spouse). Communication is important in order to collate ‘data’ and to use this in your manner towards and way of dealing with your spouse.
- Operations plan
Think about practical, physical things that you will need to do in order to make things happy between the two of you. This could include things like “do not drop my wet towel on the bed after a shower” or “refrain from making judgements on your friends before I have gotten to know them properly”.
- Management summary
This outlines who will be making which decisions, why and how. One of you may be more adept at making decisions in certain areas than the other. For example, as the wife, you may want to be responsible for the finances of the family because you have a bookkeeping background, you are not working full-time and you are generally thriftier than you husband-to-be, for example. As with any company, all decisions need to be approved by both members within the marriage.
- Financial plan
It is very important that you know where money will be coming from and what it will be spent on. Most conflicts within a marriage are about financial issues. Make sure that you are both informed and comfortable with the decisions about money and spending.
Decide on when you would like to achieve certain goals and your plans to do so. These could include buying a second car, building your own home, having children, starting your own business and so on. As time goes on, you may have to shift the goal posts, so to speak. That is fine; just remain focussed, yet flexible.
If you have any questions regarding the legal side of marriage, visit our Antenuptial Contracts category to contact the lawyers listed there.
Photo Credit: www.styleinspirationanddesign.com