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Small Business: Journey to Success

Handbook for Small Businesses

Small Business: Journey to Success by M.    Gordon Hunter
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This book is about small business. The small business sector is an important part of an economy. Small business employs 48% of the total work force in Canada and 50% in the USA. The contribution to GDP by small business is 29% in Canada and 30% in the USA. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail. In Canada, 75% will have failed after 9 years. In the USA, 50% will have failed after 4 years. Given the importance of this group of businesses, the question arises then about what factors contribute to the success of these businesses. This book addresses this important issue from both the perspectives of failure and long term success.

The journey through the book includes stops at many stories providing perspectives on small business. Chapter 1 defines small business and proposes a definition of successful ones. The chapter also includes a description of how small business is differentiated from large compa-nies. Chapter 2 provides a perspective of small business through the entrepreneurial process. Dimensions of the small business including Business, Family, and Ownership are employed to depict the small busi-ness evolution. Further, the small business is described in relation to aspects of performance, growth, and succession. Chapter 3 presents perspectives of entrepreneurs. Types of entrepreneurs include nascent, novice, and experienced. It is noted that experienced entrepreneurs may be regarded by the terms serial (owning small businesses sequentially) or portfolio (owning multiple small business concurrently). Chapter 4 describes Entrepreneurship Theory which explains what entrepreneurs do and why they do it. Chapter 5 describes Agency Theory. As a small business grows and more skills become necessary the entrepreneur requires a way to ensure employee attitudes and work activities are aligned with those of the entrepreneur. Agency Theory provides the context to understand this alignment process. Chapter 6 describes Stewardship Theory which involves a person stepping forward and subsuming individual goals to those of the small business. Stewards feel they have been entrusted with the resources of others and will exhibit behaviours beyond their own self-serving interests. Chapter 7 provides a description of The Living Company: Habits for Survival in a Turbulent Business Environment, by Arie de Geus and relates the many aspects of longevity to small business. Chapter 8 describes a project which investigated multi-generation small business. Chapter 9 describes another project which investigated how some of the multi-generation small businesses in Chapter 8 responded to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. Chapter 10 provides a different perspective of small business reporting on a project which investigated small business failures. Chapter 11 presents the main thesis of the book regarding the evolution of emphasis regarding the small business journey to success.

Academic Conferences Publishing International; January 2012
195 pages; ISBN 9781908272539
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Title: Small Business: Journey to Success
Author: M. Gordon Hunter; Dan Kazakoff