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Training lack stunts growth

A LACK of management education could be stunting the growth of WA’s small businesses.

It has been found most small businesses owners spend just two days a year seeking training.

Curtin Business School senior lecturer Tim Mazzarol said the first thing most venture capitalists looked at before investing in a business was the quality of its management.

“Managing growth is a different mindset,” Dr Mazzarol said.

“Business owners need to realise the biggest obstacle to growth is the growth process itself.

“They don’t know how to manage the growth process. Delegation is a real problem for them.

“Grooming a team to take a business to the next stage is very difficult. They either can’t find the right people, can’t afford them or don’t trust them.

“That’s why franchising is such an attractive option. Franchisors have no problem with other people running their businesses.”

Dr Mazzarol said money was always an impediment to growth.

“To grow a business requires a lot of extra risk – particularly financial – has to be undertaken,” he said.

“And there is also the investment of a lot more time and effort. A lot of business owners have trouble letting other people handle some of the load.”

About 60 per cent to 70 per cent of WA’s small businesses do not grow because their owners are happy with the way things are.

“It’s a lifestyle choice,” Dr Mazzarol said.

“People often start a business to gain some independence and they don’t want to grow the business beyond that.”

Dr Mazzarol said the WA Government put a lot of effort into starting up their business.

“This is good but government should also be looking at the businesses that want to grow,” he said.

“However, owners that want to grow their businesses have to put their hands up too.”

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