Over the last two decades there has been a substantial increase in the number and range of service sector SMEs. The management competence of the owner-manager and/or senior staff is crucial to their success. Developing appropriate competencies presents a particular challenge for professional
service SMEs, since the key players are more likely to be motivated by the perceived attractions of professional practice than the commercial and managerial aspects of the enterprise. Drawing upon the experiences of community pharmacists in the UK as an empirical frame of reference, consideration
is given to the key management competencies, both operational and strategic, which are required to operate a professional service enterprise successfully. Issues concerning the provision of management training for community pharmacists are also highlighted.