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Tools to help your small business be successful

Many small business owners excitedly dream of opening their business only to find that the actual running of their business does not match up with their dreams. The reality is that running a small business on a day to day basis can be difficult and at times overwhelming. This makes it necessary to have certain tools that can help you efficiently and smoothly run and hopefully grow your small business into your dream. It is also important to realize that many of the factors that will determine if your small business is successful will come from you. This means that you will need to be highly dedicated to making your small business a success. Here are some tools to help your small business be successful-

- Have a "to-do" list-There is always going to be more things to do then you have time to get done. However, successful small business owners have a visible "to-do" list that helps to guide them. When you make your list you should also make sure that you are prioritizing it so you can focus your time and energy on not only what needs to get done but on tasks that only you can do. Do not forget to delegate tasks that can be done by someone else. Keep in mind that whether you use an electronic "to-do" list or old fashioned paper and pen just make sure that you are checking it often so that you can see that you are staying on task and not getting sidetracked by things that aren't that important. It can also be helpful to sync your list with your calendar so that you don't end up being double booked or missing important appointments.
- Set a timer-All to often it is easy to get taken in by a task that you should be able to do fairly quickly. For example-If you are going to handle your emails set a timer so that you get through as many as you can but don't waste a whole day dealing with them. When you set a timer and know that you only have a specific amount of time you are far more likely to work faster and more efficiently knowing that you have to move on to another task in running your small business.
- Have an organized work station-A recent study showed that one of the many complaints that small business owners have when running their business is wasting time trying to find what they need. The best way to handle this problem is to make sure that everything you need has a place. This way you won't waste precious time trying to find information or any kind of tool that you need in order to complete a task. Most small businesses start out with just the owner running things so you can set the precedent in your small business that everything has a place. This way as you grow and hire employees you can train them to put things where you can easily find them which eliminates the problem of wasting time trying to find what you need.
- Take breaks-Many small business owners find that they feel completely overwhelmed in the running of their business. Worse yet, they often feel that they can't take time off or nothing will get done. The reality is that if you are spending long hours at the office with no breaks you will quickly burn out. You need to make sure that you take periodic breaks to refresh yourself and allow your energy and enthusiasm to be rekindled. Keep in mind that these breaks don't necessarily have to be a full blown vacation (though that can help); you can simply get out of the office to eat lunch, take a nap, or even take a walk. You'll return feeling refreshed and ready to take on your next challenge as a small business owner.

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