In this third workshop the process of financial management within the small business is examined. Attention is given to understanding how debt and equity are used within the firm to build the foundations for a strong and sustainable business.
Also examined is the importance of cash flow management, and the need to generate good profit margins and appropriate levels of working capital. This is particularly important for firms that are seeking growth.
In second part of the workshop, the focus shifts to how human resources are managed within the small business. In particular the need to build competent teams and self-sustaining organisational structures not dependent on the owner-manager for day-to-day supervision.
Small group activities will focus on the application of concepts and theories to a small business project using Action Learning Tasks (ALT). In this workshop, ALT 3 Financial management and ALT 4 Human resources management, will be commenced.
- Topic 7: Small firms and human resources
- Topic 8: Financing the small firm (part 1) - debt vs. equity
- Topic 9: Financing the small firm (part 2) - cash flows, credit and working capital
Action Learning Tasks
Action Learning Tasks (ALTs) are designed to embed learning into practice and build on the existing knowledge and skills of those undertaking the program. As shown in the diagram below, there is an overlap between the 12 assessment areas within the Small Business Diagnostic and the 8 ALTs. It is therefore important that whenever ALTs are being undertaken, reference is made to the relevant areas of activity examined within the Small Business Diagnostic.
Action Learning Task 3: Financial Management
This Action Learning Task (ALT) focuses on the firm's ability to monitor and manage its fianancial performance and maintain control over the business. Of particular importance in this process is the firm's ability to achieve effective internal integration where the management team has a good alignment between planning and performance through the use of appropriate key performance indicator (KPI) benchmarking data. In order to effectively make use of this KPI data, the firm needs an effective management information system that can provide regular and timely data on business trends and performance levels. In undertaking this ALT, you should refer to the relevant textbook chapters, review the relevant lecture topics and associated readings, and address the task through with use of the documents listed below:
- ALT 3 Financial management - Introduction Exercise.
- ALT 3 Financial management - Action List.
- ALT 3 Financial management - Financial Diagnostic Spreadsheet.
Action Learning Task 4: Human Resources Management
This Action Learning Task (ALT) focuses on the firm's ability to monitor and manage its human resources and build high performance teams. In developing an effective HRM system, the firm's management will need to address the effectiveness of its process capability, which relates to its formal planning and control measures to coordinate its personnel. Also important will its ability to create a systematic quality assurance process within the firm, and integrate marketing and sales activities with operations. In undertaking this ALT, you should refer to the relevant textbook chapters, review the relevant lecture topics and associated readings, and address the task through with use of the documents listed below:
- ALT 4 Human resources management - Coaching Quiz.
- ALT 4 Human resources management - Coaching Guide.
- ALT 4 Human resources management - Performance Review Form.
- ALT 4 Human resources management - HRM Action List.