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It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted. Read more...

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Busy BeeIt's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted. Mary OíConnor.

Have you noticed more lately, than ever before, that when you ask someone how they are going or how theyíve been; the immediate answer is "Busy". The word busy has become vernacular. It is as though any other answer would have you appear boring or lazy or not in the race.

Are we truly busier today than ever before? How are we managing our time to avoid this confusion of busy-ness? Are we acting out our lives or being acted upon?

One of the most important steps in time management is to put first things first. The second step is deciding upon what the first things actually are.

Only 21% of small businesses in Australia have a business plan. The figures on small business failure within the first couple of years in Australia appear erroneous, based on which information you believe; however the majority state around 80% closure.

Thatís 80% of entrepreneurs whose dream has ended. I use the word dream, as I wonder how many of the 80% had a business plan. Vision without action (a business plan) is daydreaming, as Bill Gates once said.

My wife and I recently called upon a landscape gardener to look at our backyard. The lady was most impressive and really knew her stuff. She had started her business after years in the corporate world, and a natural talent and passion for her "hobby". I naturally asked her lots of questions about owning her own business. I also asked if she had a business plan. She answered, while pointing to her head, "itís all up here.." I joked about the fact that she should expect we would find it difficult to entrust our backyard to the ideas in her head rather than those visible on a drafted plan..

In working with small business owners and taking them through what I call a small business health check, itís surprising to discover where much of the businessí time is wasted in the thick of thin things.

Back to the busy little bee and we also recognise our disadvantage against one of natureís wonders, is that we are not instinctive creatures. As such, there is no failure in seeking help in areas where instinct would be an advantage. The unique gifts and artistry we bring to our small businesses create the business and opportunity itself. In asking the 50 or so questions I ask my clients about their business, I donít actually have the answers. They do. Iíve just learned the questions to ask.

The Small Business Health check quiz, gleans a 100% pass mark for the small business owner. What they then do with those answers ensures their success.

So here are 7 questions just to get you started.
1. Where do you want to take your business?
2. How do you procrastinate?
3. Do you have strategies in place to control negativity and self-limiting beliefs?
4. Do you dedicate set time to work on working on your business?
5. What are your plans for product expansion?
6. Where could you identify tasks that drain your energy?
7. Do you spend the majority of your time on high income generating activities?

Of course we then work together on agreeing upon 30, 60 and 90 day goals, unique buying propositions, time management strategies and an actual business plan.

Every ex corporate small business owner Iíve met shy away from business plans because they remind them of the shackles of the corporate world they sought to escape. So letís call them "Action plans"

For no matter how fancy or creative any "BP" is, itís useless without Action.

Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. Indihar Gandhi