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Small Business Critical Appraisal: Sun WorldWide Express

Small Business Critical Appraisal: Sun WorldWide Express

1.0 BACKGROUND ON SMALL BUSINESSES Public perceptions of the small business have been influenced by politicians and theorists from the extremes of neglect and ignorance to hype and over-expectation. In the 1950's and 60's small business's were seen as out-of-date. By the 1970's and 80's they were seen as a great contribution towards the economy and by the 1990's, SME's were seen as the post to improving employment.

Record numbers of people have launched companies over the past two decades, from 2.4m to 3.7m (Appendix 1(i)) in the UK. A variety of competitive, economic, demographic shifts have accounted for this, "society depends on entrepreneurs to provide the drive and risk-taking necessary for the business system to supply people with the goods and services they need". (Scarborough and Zimmer, 2000, p. 34) On a global comparison, the increase has a common feature across all borders. The UK and Europe have similar profiles. The USA concentrates its workforce in larger companies compared to Europe and Japan. (Appendix 1(ii)) It is worth noting the difficulty to compare as definitions vary.

The failure rate for small businesses is high; primary cause is incompetent management. Successful entrepreneurs hold a positive attitude that these are just stepping stones to success.

2.0 BACKGROUND & HISTORY Sun Worldwide Express (SWE) is a courier company founded in 1999, pioneered by Mr. Desai and Mr. Thompson. The partnership emerged when one of the entrepreneurs risked facing job loss from the parent company; United Cargo Handling (UCH). Mr. Desai and Mr Thompson own an equal share of the company of 49% and UCH owns 51%, however, SWE operates independently. Initiation reasoning results from several factors, e.g. redundancy, experience development, customer support and determination.

2.1 SWE OPERATIONS SWE is concerned with business-to-business transactions in the Courier and Despatch sector. Service involves deliveries from small packages at very short distances at very short notice and to despatch or parcel delivery tends to demand speed and reliability, with time constraints usually on a 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour basis. The internet revolution has aided SWE for proof of delivery which is invariable required. (Appendix 2(i)) 2.2 COURIER AND DESPATCH INDUSTRY The sector has seen an increase in 1999, from £4.21bn to £4.5bn in 2000. (Mintel International Group Limited, 2000) The reason for such an increase is number of external developments impacting on the market SWE have to adapt to a rapidly changing business...

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