Keywords: South Africa, small business owners, managerial skills, internal microenvironment, financial, marketing skills, human resources management, small firms, business development, entrepreneurs, unemployment, small business managers
Perceptions of small business owners on managerial skills: problems in business development in South Africa
This paper analyses the perceptions of small business owners on managerial skills, whether gaps exist between managerial skills that owners should have and those that they actually possess. The demographics show that 52% of small business owners in South Africa form part of the African population group, a male between the ages 20 to 39 years; the business has survived more than two years, operates a retail shops and has prior business experience. Managerial skills and business knowledge are an indication of how well a manager can perform important tasks and activities to ensure the success of the business. The study confirms that lack of managerial skills in small business owners was considered by the respondents as the main reason why small businesses fail in South Africa. Small business owners lack managerial skills such as financial, marketing and human managerial skills to operate their businesses successfully. The perceptions of the small business owners are that the managerial skills they possess, and those that they preferably should have, do not correlate. The challenge is to improve the managerial skills of small business owners as small business is considered to be the panacea for South Africa's unemployment problems.