This book has grown out of the ideas, discriptions and examples which the author has developed and refined over fifteen years of delievering courses about business. to students at London Business School and to managers in his capacity as management consultant, its aim is to give a practical understanding of aspects of business which are often seen as `difficult' such as cash flow forecasting. Many of the vivid examples included are from small businesses because of their more accessible concepts, acahapters deal with a separate topic and may be read in any order. Although businessesset great store by trying to be different from competitors, it is the author`s thesis that in the final analysis the same essential activities are to be found over and over again. This book explains what is involved in thee essential activities. `A business must sell things, repeatedly, over time, for more money than it spends in so doing. Otherwise, it ceases to be a business. There are no exceptions.