Small-business owners need to make time their ally

The Baltimore Sun

Time can be a small-business owner's best friend or worst enemy. It all depends on how you use it. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day to get things done. Time is extremely valuable to business owners - especially if you bill for time. Wasting time can be harmful to your bottom line.

To operate efficiently, your business might need systems for managing time and keeping track of who's working on what and for how long.

Most successful small-business owners are also successful time managers. They tend to share certain traits and strategies. One of the most basic time management devices ever invented is the simple "to-do" list. Each day, just jot down all of the things that need to be done, all on one sheet of paper.

Delegating more work can also help ease your time crunch. Many business owners find this difficult.

Periodically analyze how time is spent at your business. Divide the day into small time blocks and record what you, or others, were doing in each block. Now compare this real use of time to your goals, expectations and mission priorities. If they do not align, you'll need to take action. One step might be to set clearer time-management goals for yourself and your employees.

Banish procrastination from your place of business. Growing, successful businesses don't put things off.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of the Greater Baltimore SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit To send a question to SCORE, e-mail

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