Summer 1986 // Volume 24 // Number 2 // Tools of the Trade // 2TOT2

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Business Fundamentals


Patricia J. Buchanan
Extension Coordinator - Affirmative Action
University of Missouri - Columbia

Fundamentals of Business. Dennis U. Fisher. Mississippi State: Southern Rural Development Center, 1985. 894 pp. $20 or $40 with slides. Available from Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39672 (601-325-3207).

Poor management has been primarily responsible for the fact that two-thirds of businesses with fewer than 20 employees fail within their first 4 years of operation. To help increase the survival rate, the Southern Rural Development Center has published Fundamentals of Business, a training manual designed to help Extension specialists conduct management training workshops for small business owners.

Developed by Fisher, business development economist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service at Texas A & M University, the programs are targeted at businesses in rural communities, where small, independent businesses tend to be the rule. The programs are said to be equally applicable to small urban businesses, but focus in general on downtown merchants rather than home-based operations.

The manual comprises 10 workshops, each including a program summary, workshop outline, handouts, background material for lecture notes, and overheads. Program summaries discuss content, intended audiences, and instructor requirements, also giving references and various options for conducting the workshops based on specific needs. Slide sets are optionally available for two of the workshops.

The introduction of the manual includes a detailed planning checklist and workshop evaluation form that is sure to be helpful to program organizers. Suggestions about operating strategy and audience development also can be found here.