Inderscience Publishers

Key success factors of small businesses

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the success factors of small businesses. The study employed a multiple case–study research strategy involving in–depth interviews with owners of small businesses, a trade organisation and a government agency. The findings suggest that majority of small business owners place more emphasis on getting the job done and focusing on the customers. They pay little attention to developing formal business plans and strategies. Formal business plans and strategies were viewed as a necessity for financing purposes rather than as essentials for success of a business. The owners' definitions of success were found to be biased towards the more intrinsic factors such as self–satisfaction and independence. The choice of business form was influenced by cost factors and ease of business management, as well as aspirational factors such as possibilities of changing from one business form to the other as business growth dictated.

Keywords: small businesses, small firms, critical success factors, CSFs, forms of businesses, UK, United Kingdom, business plans, business strategies, customer focus, self–satisfaction, independence, cost factors, business management, entrepreneurship

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