Module - Fundamentals of SME management

Fundamentals of SME management (Strategy, Marketing, Logistics)

Leader: Leeds Beckett University
150 pages training material in traditional form (with practical exercises, case studies, recommended reading, etc.) and at least 8 hours online e-learning part divided into submodules.

The Strategic Questions training module explores a range of entrepreneurship theories and practices. It involves an in-depth critical examination of business start-ups, the experiences of entrepreneurs and key aspects of business management.

Strategic bubbleSubmodules and description:

1. Strategy.

Strategic planning in SME and its family context.
Creating a family business strategy within a family and within a business without family constraints. Navigating self is not the same as navigating others. In families conflict and change is paramount.
Strategic planning under these circumstances faces different challenges and relying on non-family managers might be more important than one would think.

The course starts with strategic analysis, covering the tools creating meaning and importance of family business strategy to competitive positioning.
The usual techniques of strategic analysis like the competitor and environmental analysis tools are applied to special characteristics of family business while exploring an industry's structure and the competitive dynamics affecting profitability.

Contextualizing small family firms is especially important in this exercise because even the urban-rural context may significantly affect firm decisions, including employment growth.
Analyzing capabilities of family business includes clarifying the tangible and intangible assets that are available for the family that can be used to form a resilient and strong business organization.

The course shows how to complete a capabilities analysis and how to use this analysis to guide decision making in a family context.
Innovation activities during intra-family leadership succession are especially important determinants of future capabilities and economic performance.

The course provides the tools needed to analyze, evaluate and recommend specific actions in a family owned organizations to grow their value and avoid common growth pitfalls. The course teaches to determine how to build value by scaling existing markets, entering established markets or creating new markets through innovation and acquisitions.

2. Cases in family business strategy.

Cases are used to practice the process of determining competitive positioning by exploring firms' competitive position relative to rivals and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of generic competitive positions firms occupy normally.

Strategy maps provide an easy and intuitive tool to visually communicate information about firm positioning, and discuss which position is best for a particular firm to see maximum value.

The course covers not only available cases but also deals extensively about the issues how to approach and create cases for education and practice.
Dealing with general guidelines for the case study approach in a course may deepen the understanding the messages of such sources.
This is important because in family business context following examples and looking at cases has an especially important effect on the way business is done. Avoiding misinterpretation of cases and news require clear understanding of the methodological traps in this field.