You've been with us for 15 weeks. From team building to negotiating, from delegation to human resources, you've come back every Wednesday for another helping of small business advice — and now it's time to graduate. (Sorry, we didn't bring a cake!)

We hope that over the last three months, you've learned or honed some techniques, discovered insights and picked up some actionable strategies to boost your bottom line. For our final installment of our Small Business Summer School series, let's take a look back at what you've learned and why it matters.

Taking the Time

Whether it's planning for a much-needed vacation, delegating business responsibilities or improving your sales cycle, time is what you need. Small business owners are frequently caught in the "time trap" — with so much to do, how do you spare a moment for anything that isn't immediately necessary? But taking a cue from summer, it's worth finding opportunities throughout the year to slow down just enough to take a deep breath and plan your next move. Maybe that's prepping your team for your absence, taking a hard look at what you can do yourself and where you need help, or finding ways to speed up your sales cycle by taking a step back and watching the process run. Bottom line? To get more time, you've got to make the time.

Leading the Way

Our small business advice also tackled one of the biggest challenges facing business owners at companies of all sizes: leadership. We gave you tips on how to better engage staff and build team morale, communicate with employees and offer constructive feedback, and create productive energy in your office to help both improve corporate culture and reduce total stress. Staff will follow your lead — when you promise, preach and practice the skills of a true leader, the results speak for themselves.

That's it, folks — summer school is out. But, as you know, when you're a small business owner, there's always something new to learn. We hope you'll continue to visit Thrive throughout the year for tips, advice and insights to help you, your employees and your business succeed. See you soon!

In case you missed any of our tips and insights, here's our summer school reading list in full:

The Importance of Taking Time Off: A Small Business Owner's Guide

5 Fantastic Company Outing Ideas for Summer

8 Tips to Help You Master Social Media Marketing

How to Negotiate (When You Really Don't Like to Negotiate)

Do You Know How to Delegate Work to Others? Take Our Quiz!

Are You an All-Star Recruiter? 9 Tips to Help You Conduct a Successful Interview

How to Predict Your Financial Future With Cash Flow Forecasting

Use the Summer for Measuring Website Effectiveness: 5 Metrics That Matter

Three Creative Ways To Boost Your Customer Service Skills

Everything's Zen at the Office: 4 Tips for Creating Workspace Harmony and Boosting Productivity

Shortening the Sales Cycle: New Ideas to Sell More in Less Time

Test Your Time Management Skills Knowledge: A Quiz for Small Business Owners

Why a Business Rainy Day Fund Can Help You Sleep Better at Night

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Tags: Summer School