Small business owners know that it takes more than just a great idea to create a successful business. Rather, successful businesses need to be able to blend a great idea with a well-thought-out and repeatable plan.

Striking that balance has proven to be a big challenge for many small business owners.

"This is a tough time to be in business," said Gary Barnes, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Gary Barnes International. "More of us than ever are facing new problems and challenges."

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Barnes offers the following tips to help small business owners forge a clear path to success.

  • Create a road map: Start with basic goals and plans before forming a visual idea of what your business should look like. The road map will keep you on track as your business expands.
  • Overcome fear: Fear is a big factor in forming and running a small business. It is imperative to identify what is holding you back and overcome it before it sinks your business.
  • Manage time: Time management is a challenge for many people, but it is vital for small business owners to manage both their own time and their employees' time.
  • Leverage your strengths and weaknesses: Focus on your strengths and delegate others to handle the parts of the business where you are not as efficient. It is important to give up some control in order to prevent becoming overwhelmed.
  • Manage your cash flow: In today's economic market, the improper handling of cash flow is one of the main reasons small businesses fail. Correctly managing your expenses and income can prevent a headache down the road.

Follow David Mielach on Twitter @D_M89. Follow us @bndarticles, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.