SBM Workshop 4: Managing operations, legal issues and risk


In this fourth workshop the process of operations management is examined with attention given to how small businesses get into trouble, and the steps that an owner-manager can take to turn around their situation.

The need to put in place systems to help maintain quality and to monitor the firm's operational performance are addressed. The need for risk management plans and strategies is explored.

This builds into the second part of the workshop where the legal issues that face small businesses are examined. Business corporate structure, the nature of franchising and the key legal responsibilities that an owner-manager must address are also overviewed in this workshop.

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 5 Business operations and ALT 6 Professionalism will be commenced.


Mazzarol, T. and Reboud, S. (2017), Small Business Management: 3rd edn, Tilde University Press, Melbourne. ISBN: 978-0-7346-1224-3. Chapters 12 and 10.

Mazzarol, T. and Reboud, S. (2017), Small Business Management: Workbook, Tilde University Press, ISBN: 978-0-7346-1226-7.

Lecture notes

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 5: Business Operations

  • ALT 5 Business operations

Action Learning Task 6: Professionalism

  • ALT 6 Professionalism