The Small Business Guild is a Texas-based company managed by a group of principals who are all veteran coaches, trainers, and leadership specialists.

The Guild is a subsidiary of Strategic Leadership Development International Inc., a Dallas-based firm founded by Dr. Mike Armour. Mike also serves as the managing principal of The Small Business Guild.

The Guild came into existence because members of its leadership team came to recognize an unaddressed need in the small business community. Even though small businesses number in the millions in America, training and leadership development programs are skewed heavily toward companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees. Largely ignored are the extensive training needs of small businesses, especially micro-businesses.

The very nature of small businesses means that their owners and managers must wear many different hats. They must be generalists, with detailed know-how of far-ranging facets of building and managing a business. Thus, if any element of the business world needs quality training, it's the leadership of small businesses.

Small businesses typically recognize the need for more extensive training. But they also face the reality that the same budget limitations which restrict the depth of their staffing also put a premium on training dollars. For most small businesses, indeed, many traditional training programs are either too expensive or too far out of the local area to be considered feasible.

Our goal at The Small Business Guild is to reverse this situation. We envision creating dozens of local franchises across North America that will help small businesses in that area create economies of scale — and thus immense savings — in fulfilling their training requirements.

Through frequent surveys of small business owners in a particular locale, and through periodic focus groups with local small business leaders, the Small Business Guild will maintain an on-going dialogue to identify training needs which these businesses share in common.

The Guild will then develop workshops tailor-made to address these needs. These workshops will be hosted at a location that is convenient for any business that wants to participate.

By sharing the cost of these trainings across multiple companies, participating businesses will be able to access a much broader range of training than they could afford on their own.