Established Small Businesses Improve Outcomes Through Changes in Management Behavior | 10-Year Series

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According to Intersise's 10-Year Report, companies that successfully completed a StreetWise 'MBA'™ program outperformed the private sector as a whole, consistently achieving net new job growth in both boom and lean economic years. Through an annual assessment, administered for three consecutive years following completion of the program, participants are asked to report on changes in their management behavior, and on business outcomes, over time. The data indicates links between certain qualities of management behavior and outcomes for established small businesses.

Program alumni self-report on their likelihood to (1) follow written goals or a growth plan, (2) regularly use financial data and analysis, (3) effectively market and sell products / services, and (4) locate and effectively respond to government contracting bids. On average, business owners are more likely to practice all four measures of strategic management after completing the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program.

Behavioral statistics
In particular, we see a sharp increase in likelihood to follow written goals or a growth plan; on average, from 26.5% pre-program to 74.4% (average for three-year reporting period). Not surprisingly, these findings affirm that the ability to create and follow a business plan is correlated to increased revenue and job creation.

After a large initial jump in the first year, constructive management behaviors continue to increase, but at a slower rate, for years two and three, and in some cases begin to flatten over time. This suggests the behavior changes have become habit. 

patterns of behavior change

“Interise helped me put in perspective the health of our business and how to map out a feasible action plan for continued growth. The other business owners were an invaluable part of the class and will continue to be a resource as our business grows” says Lara Harrington, co-owner of Boutique Fitness in New Bedford, MA, a 2014 StreetWise ‘MBA’™ Alum.

Participation in the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ leads to positive and persistent behavioral changes in business owners. Continued peer accountability and support are crucial to maintaining these changes, and thus to sustaining gains in revenue and job creation over time, particularly as established small businesses enter second-stage growth. We have heard from alumni that they want continued support to sustain the behaviors and strategies they put into place during the program.

Since 2010, Interise has been investing in a program of Network Engagement that supports alumni as they continue to scale their businesses. Looking forward, increased engagement will allow network members to make bigger gains in revenue growth, wealth generation, and job creation long after they have completed the StreetWise ‘MBA’™.

For more insights on the link between the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ approach, managerial behavior over time, and outcomes for established small businesses, see Interise’s 10-Year Report.   

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