Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises — I. Close to the Heart
Type Two/Small Businesses: revenues of less than $5 million per year (for example, a small independent grocery store, a family-owned auto repair shop, a specialty food mail-order business).
Type Three/Professional Practices: independent firms that are owned and operated by professionals who usually are licensed to provide highly specialized and technical services (for example, dentistry, veterinary medicine, accounting, architecture, clinical psychology, organizational consulting, and coaching.)
Type Four/Focused and Independent Nonprofit Organizations: often small, usually governed by a small, carefully chosen group of like-minded people (often founders). Created for a specific purpose. Providing needed services in a selective niche (for example, shelter for homeless families or battered women, environmental action group to save a specific species, high status public policy think tank).
There are many ways in which these four organizational types differ from one another; furthermore, these four types are usually treated as separate and distinct entities. We propose, however, that these four types share many characteristics and that they often face many of the same challenges.
The Challenges of Enterprise
What is it that these four types of closely held enterprise hold in common and what are the challenges faced by entrepreneurs who lead these enterprises? We have identified seven fundamental issues that are embedded in and shared by most closely held enterprises. Each of these seven issues, in turn, poses one or more challenges for the entrepreneur who leads the enterprise and suggests one or more opportunities for effective psychological practices.