Peter Wilson, Sue Bates – The Essential Guide To Managing Small Business Growth

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Author: Peter Wilson, Sue Bates

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The Essential Guide To Managing Small Business Growth

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  1. Leading the Team.

Power in the growing organization: making it safe to delegate.

Leadership and delegation.

Leadership style.

Working with teams.

Balancing attention to task with attention to people and processes.

Team roles: composition of the successful team.

Stages of team development.

Matching team processes to task situation.

Finding people for the team.

Aligning people with purpose: using performance appraisal effectively.

A workable appraisal system.

Conducting an appraisal meeting.

Systematic development of competencies.

Recruiting new people.

Selection interviewing.

Avoiding recruitment pitfalls.

Induction of new recruits.

Building and leading the team: the underlying skills .

  1. Culture, Creativity and Change.

Culture and the growing organization.

What is organizational culture.

Understanding the organization’s culture.

Is there a small-business culture.

The influence of founders and owners.

Structure, empowerment and the can-do culture.

Influencing culture positively.

Maintaining freshness: encouraging better ways of doing things.

Renewal through learning, contribution and growth.

  1. Managing Business Performance through Financial Analysis.

The financial statements.

Accounting principles.

Exploring the profit and loss account.

Exploring the balance sheet.

Presentation of accounts for sole traders and partnerships.

Maintaining adequate capital.

Cash-flow statement.

Why is profit not the same as cash?

Financial analysis.

Using ratio analysis to understand financial performance.

  1. Management Information Systems and Financial Controls.

Controlling profit and cash.

Controlling profit: the P&L account.

Managing strategy through gross profit margin.

Costing and pricing reviews.

Controlling cash: the balance sheet.

Controls on working capital.

  1. Planning for the Future.

Types of business plans.

The strategic business plan.

Stages of strategic planning.


Business review.

Customer feedback and market research.

Setting objectives.

Setting corporate strategy.

Financial adequacy.

Reviewing and revising the strategic plan.

Operational action plans.

Monitoring the strategic plan.

  1. Hazards on the Path to Growth.

Stay focused or venture into new markets?

Failure to let go.

A future role for the founder.

Appointing a successor to the founder CEO.

Family members on the payroll.

Failure to delegate effectively: undermining management.

Owner-manager guilt as a barrier to growth.

Author Information

Peter Wilson worked in manufacturing and retail management then joined the teaching faculty of the London Business School. He founded The Enterprise Partnership in 1983 to offer management development and consultancy services to SMEs. He has previously written books for the small business market.

Sue Bates worked in advertising and was marketing director for an International cosmetics company before joining London Business School. She is a management psychologist and lectures and consults in organizational development for SMEs, communications, management processes and leadership development.

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