By Maria-Jose Subiria
A business professor at Clayton State University in Morrow recently authored a book on strategic business planning, targeted toward current and future small-business operators.
Associate Professor of Management Gary May's book is entitled, "Strategic Planning: Fundamentals for Small Business."
According to May, who has been teaching at Clayton State for a decade, the book guides readers through the strategic planning process, including creating a clear vision, performing external and internal analysis, and developing strategies and tactics.
A small business has more success with a strategic plan in place, May said.
"You are more focused. You are thinking how you can be competitive," he said.
May said he was the second-generation owner of a family business in the Atlanta area.
He said that after World War II, his father founded a wholesale business, May and Company, Inc., which initially operated in the family's basement. The company distributed health and beauty products, and general merchandise items, to independent groceries in the Atlanta area, he said.
While growing up, May said he worked in the business until he was admitted to Duke University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration in 1968.
After graduating, May said he joined the family business as vice president and general manager, responsible for sales and marketing operations until 1985, when May and Company, Inc., was sold to McKesson Corporation, then a division of McKesson Service Merchandising. He was hired as director for training and management development, he added.
May said he retired from the corporation in 2000, and began his career as a professor at Clayton State, where he teaches upper-level strategic management courses and a communication and leadership course for entering graduate students.
May said his book is geared toward a business audience, rather than an academic one.
"Seeing the end result, and getting positive feedback from a number of small-business owners who served as readers for the initial drafts was very satisfying," he said. "One small-business president said, 'You covered clearly in 10 pages what most books take 50 to say.'"
In addition to his career as a professor, May said he owns a consulting practice, May Communications, LLC, which has been operating for 10 years. His practice provides senior executives and managers with personal coaching, which focuses on communication, leadership and development, and strategic planning.
May's book is available through Business Expert Press for $25 for the print version, and $15 for the electronic version.
On the net:
Business Expert Press: www.businessexpertpress.com
Clayton State University: www.clayton.edu