The role of small business, as part of the value adding chain in any economy, should never be understated. In Australia small business represents 96% of all private sector business, accounts for 47% of all private sector employment and the majority fail within three to five years of establishment. Despite this contribution the small business sector, and in particular the service sector component, appear to be underrepresented in the development of specific performance measurement models, which, within the academic and professional literature appear to focus on their larger firm counterparts. Given the unique position of small business service organisations the above suggests a critical need for the design and development of an industry specific performance model suitable for this sector. This paper represents the conceptual issues and preliminary literature review of a major project to develop such a model.