Beyond the Basics for Small Business

Small business does not mean simple. Get beyond the basics of your B2B or B2C small or medium sized business.  This program is designed for family-owned and closely-held companies in Burlington and the surrounding area. Learn about four specific topics that are important for small businesses:

  • Governance
  • Succession Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Attracting and Developing Talent

Each topic is covered during a full-day course. (You can register for individual courses or the entire program.)

The courses include different kinds of learning activities, including:

  • Group discussions
  • Lectures
  • Learning exercises
  • Break-out sessions
  • Mini-presentations
  • Role playing and other activities (as appropriate)

Succession Planning

  • The complexities of family and closely-held business succession.
  • Ownership succession versus management succession.
  • Leadership development for management succession.
  • Preparing a transition plan.
  • Communication strategy.
  • Best practices in succession planning.

Facilitator Bios
Dr. Frances Tuer, Assistant Professor, DeGroote School of Business
Gordon Pitts, Business Writer in Residence

Risk Management

Protecting Yourself without Sacrificing Growth – The art and science of taking intelligent risks

  • Maximizing sustainable growth by using risk awareness to assist in navigating the firm.
  • Identifying your risk profile – What kinds of risks should we take and which ones have we already taken?
  • Existential threats – technology disruption, strategic and operational failures.
  • Identifying weaknesses and developing mitigating strategies.
  • Developing a high performing risk culture – When staff know the risks worth taking and the ones that must be avoided or mitigated
  • Creating a process for collecting, actively managing and mitigating risks.
  • Establishing a risk profile, risk inventory and risk appetite.
  • Leveraging risk-awareness and appetite to grow in uncertain times.

Facilitator Bio
David K. Hurst
Christopher Brachman

Attracting and Developing Talent

  • Attracting talent, versus traditional recruitment.
  • Setting compensation.
  • Non-monetary compensation.
  • Unique advantages of small businesses.
  • Creating your “employment brand.”
  • Networking for candidates.
  • Exercise: Visualizing a business case from the candidate’s point of view.
  • Retention strategies.
  • Investing in talent (training, wellness).
  • Creating flexible career paths.
  • Exercise: Designing a retention plan

Facilitator Bio
Dr. Frances Tuer, Assistant Professor, DeGroote School of Business


  • The purpose of governance in family-owned businesses
  • Roles and responsibilities of shareholders, management and family
  • Boards of Directors/Boards of Advisors
  • Family Councils and Family Offices
  • Governance during Crisis
  • Decision Making/Conflict Resolution
  • Business and Family Values
  • Leadership

Facilitator Bios
Bio – Laurel Hubber
Bio – Paul Milne

  • td

    DeGroote Executive Education is proud to work together with TD.

    Designed in Partnership with the Burlington Economic Development Corporation
    BEDC colour

  • Dates and Fees

    More dates to be announced soon!

    Payment Policy

    Cancellation Policy

  • The Setting

    Classes are held at the:

    DeGroote School of Business
    Ron Joyce Centre
    4350 South Service Road
    Burlington, ON
    L7L 5R8

    The Ron Joyce Centre is easily accessible from the QEW and Go train service.

  • Learn More

    For more information, please contact Lynn Petruzzella, Program Manager, at or by telephone at 905-525-9140 Ext. 20509.

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