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Have a plan for making a plan

Starting and running a business is a complex activity. First, you have to have a good idea, a "better mousetrap" or a better way of doing what has already been done. If you want to run a brewpub, you need to know something about brewing beer, something about running a restaurant and something about financing the capital costs and something about marketing. In a crowded field, you either have to provide some exceptional product or a less stellar product that is produced with incredible efficiency.

When you set up a new business, you probably have "strategic" ideas for where your business should go in the long term. Part of this discussion should occur when are speaking with your attorney to decide on your structure for your business. Whether a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a close corporation or a limited liability company, you should build into that organization the mechanism that will allow your company to succeed.

Optimally, you want an organizational structure that will allow both control and flexibility.  if you form a corporation or LLC, you want formal structure, for instance, to ensure that your limitation of personal liability is maintained, but you also want to allow for change and growth. Flexibility is important,  so that partners, members, or shareholders can be replaced should you need additional capital, if someone becomes ill or incapacitated, or even divorced.

By having a formal device for changes within your structure, you can avoid problems of indecision, where important decisions are ignored because there is no previously agreed to method for making them.

You can't guess every decision you may need to make in the future, but you can rest assured you will have to make a great many. While a great organization by itself will no guarantee success, without it, the likelihood of success for your business will be greatly reduced.

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