How to prevent professional isolation

This is something that is very much on my radar and a part of my business life. They say that no man is an island but as more and more entrepreneurial businesses are run from the home office isolation is a real problem that needs to be circumvented. Ros Howland from flyingsolo has this issue covered, so read on
outsiders may wonder how you can feel isolated when you've clients and suppliers to talk to and the family upstairs. But professional isolation is a soloist’s occupational hazard. Working an in new emerging industry or a regional area can compound the loneliness. I call it IPI: Incidental Professional Isolation. Simply by the pure nature of flying solo, you may lack:
peer stimulation; professional development; bouncing and brainstorming ideas; and debriefing. As a soloist you need to maintain motivation, avoid burnout and be reminded to pat yourself on the back.
Here’s how being organised give you this: Break it up.Take a lunch break.Schedule it into your diary,every day. Treat it like any other appointment. As well as providing a refreshed outlook your break may also give you: People contact: meet a friend or associate, but stick to your own time frame. Completed tasks: get a couple of personal tasks done, but be sure not to get stressed! Absence: it can make the heart grow fonder. Leave your home office at lunch and love it more when you get back. Cure: time away from your screen is the best cure for releasing blocks to your creativity. Network No I’m not talking about Twitter, or Facebook! Organise your time to attend some good old face to face networking functions. Look at traditionally quiet times in your industry and schedule in events so you don't feel it’s taking you ‘away’ from business.
Be clear and organised about what you want to achieve from each function. What sort of people do you want to meet? How many business cards do you want to hand out/collect? Know how and when you will follow up on each one. Be conscious of the opportunities you are seeking and offering. Make the most of a mentor, coach, or 'action partner’ If you don't have one – get one. There are several articles on this site with advice on business mentoring. If you already have one, are you sufficiently organised to get the most from each meeting? Or do you rush madly into each one? Do you achieve all your goals in-between meetings? If not, why not? What area do you need to better organise in order to gain maximum benefit from your coaching experience? Organise exercise This, too, needs to be scheduled and treated like any other appointment. If you work at home you’re missing out on incidental exercise such as: running for the bus, using stairs and walking to the coffee shop. Organise whatever suits you, whether its walking or dancing or doing jobs around the property, leave time for this daily.
Exercise increases production of the body’s feel good hormones, which not only help you manage stress and fatigue, but they make you feel good. And when you feel good, your customers feel good! For more from Roz Howland, head to http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/, Australia's online community for solo business owners.
Small businesses will receive tax relief as they struggle to cope with weakening demand brought on by recession, the federal government has announced.Construction companies will also benefit from measures unveiled in the 2009/10 budget, including a three month extension of the government's boosted first home owners scheme and a long-term $22 billion spending commitment on roads, rail and ports.The Small Business and General Business Tax Break will be increased from 30 per cent to 50 per cent for small businesses, the government said on Tuesday.The 50 per cent deduction will be available on new capital worth $1,000 or more, such as vehicles, purchased between December 13, 2008, and December 31 this year.The eligible items must be installed and ready for use by December 31, 2010."Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy, accounting for around 95 per cent of all businesses and around 50 per cent of the all private sector employment," the government said in the budget papers."This will further help them to invest, bolster economic acidity and support Australian jobs."The tax deductions will come at a cost of approximately $141 million to the government.Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said the government's plan to spend $22 billion on roads, rail and ports infrastructure would also benefit business, resulting in "35,000 buildings sites springing up around the nation."
Its high speed national broadband network, which is still in the very early stages of planning, was also highlighted as a positive for small businesses, providing up to 37,00 local jobs at the peak of construction.Construction companies will derive some benefit from an extension of the government's boost to first home buyers grants.
Since October 2009, first home buyers have received an extra $7,000 when purchasing an established home, and an extra $14,000 for new homes, on top of the $7,000 provided under the first home owners scheme.The boosted grants were due to end on June 30, but will now apply for homes purchased on or before September 30 this year.
The boosted grants will then be phased down to an extra $3,500 for established homes and $7,000 for new homes up to December 31, 2009.After that point the $7,000 first home owners scheme will continues in its original form."This extension will continue to stimulate housing activity, support the construction industry and assist first home buyers to enter the housing market," the government said.The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says there isn't much relief for business in the budget.The government is walking an economic tightrope "on a risky, high-wire act, albeit a calculated risk" and was pinning the recovery on being very short, ACCI's Chief Executive Officer Peter Anderson told reporters."The major weakness in this budget is its failure to apply substantial discipline to commonwealth spending to rein in the deficit in the event that the recession is longer or deeper than the budget forecasts."If the recession is short, then the budget may work, he said.
Business did welcome the $22 billion investment in infrastructure together with the investment allowance being extended for small business, Mr Anderson said."But on the negative there is very little in the way of sustainable relief in the costs of doing business."Meanwhile, Australian Industry Group chief executive officer Heather Ridout said the budget was supportive of the economy during tough times.It was also pressing the re-set button in a number of key areas including infrastructure, vacation and health which supported industry, she said."Just generally we think it's an important budget," she said.The Business Council of Australia (BCA) welcomed the budget's focus on education, training and infrastructure investment, but called for "aggressive" economic reforms and tough future budgets to return the country to surplus.The government must be on "permanent deficit watch", BCA chief executive Katie Lahey said."Tonight's budget confirms Australia's taxing and spending have been out of balance for some time," Ms Lahey said."We became far too reliant on corporate taxes, and far too relaxed about new spending."We need sustained fiscal discipline 365 days of the year, every year until we are back in the black, not just in the weeks leading up to the second Tuesday in May."

Budget for the entrepreneur

How is the budget going to influence the entrepreneur? Well if you are a property investor. We see that the vast infrastructure plan will lift activity from listed industrial companies and promote growth. However, some investors will be hit by the changes to concessional superannuation contributions.
If you are a first Home Owner the Fund will be extended by a further six months from June 30. People who enter into contracts on or before September 30 will still be eligible for a grant of $14,000 for an existing dwelling and $21,000 for a new home.
The more generous scheme will then been phased down, and end after December 31. Read more
As a small company owner I will be able to claim a 50 percent tax deduction on new capital worth $1,000 or more, such as vehicles, purchased between December 13, 2008 and December 31 this year. This is even better than the 30% tax deduction that I thought was being out into place.
Larger companies – particularly industrial and transport groups – are set to gain from the $22 billion infrastructure plan.