Business Strategies for Small Business Survival

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Business Strategies for Small Business Survival

Transcript Of Business Strategies for Small Business Survival

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Walden University
ScholarWorks
Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies Collection

2017
Business Strategies for Small Business Survival
Betty Wong Lum
Walden University

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Walden University
College of Management and Technology
This is to certify that the doctoral study by Betty Lum
has been found to be complete and satisfactory in all respects, and that any and all revisions required by the review committee have been made. Review Committee
Dr. Denise Gandy, Committee Chairperson, Doctor of Business Administration Faculty Dr. Kenneth Gossett, Committee Member, Doctor of Business Administration Faculty Dr. Rocky Dwyer, University Reviewer, Doctor of Business Administration Faculty
Chief Academic Officer Eric Riedel, Ph.D.
Walden University 2017

Abstract Business Strategies for Small Business Survival
by Betty W. Lum
MBA, Kaplan University, 2014 BS, Kaplan University, 2012
Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Business Administration
Walden University November 2017

Abstract Small business owners play a leading role in the United States economy by creating jobs and driving innovation. However, half of all new small business owners close their doors before their 5th anniversary. Following the entrepreneurship theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore what strategies 5 small business owners in the food and beverage industry in the San Francisco Bay area used to survive beyond 5 years of operation. Data sources included semistructured interviews and company documents. Data analysis included descriptive and process coding of the data and use of NVivo to identify themes. Based on thematic analysis of the data, the emergent themes included: human capital, business goals, and growth through innovation. Participants relied on business knowledge to start and sustain their businesses; set incremental goals for growth and aligned business decisions to achieve those goals; and maintained a competitive advantage by implementing innovative and creative changes to their products and services. The implications for positive social change include the potential to provide small business owners and potential small business owners with strategies to sustain their businesses beyond the 5-year mark, thus contributing to economic growth of their businesses, their employees, and their local economy.

Business Strategies for Small Business Survival by
Betty W. Lum
MBA, Kaplan University, 2014 BS, Kaplan University, 2012
Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Business Administration
Walden University November 2017

Table of Contents Section 1: Foundation of the Study......................................................................................1
Background of the Problem ...........................................................................................1 Problem Statement .........................................................................................................2 Purpose Statement..........................................................................................................2 Nature of the Study ........................................................................................................3 Research Question .........................................................................................................4 Interview Questions .......................................................................................................4 Conceptual Framework ..................................................................................................5 Operational Definitions..................................................................................................8 Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations................................................................9
Assumptions............................................................................................................ 9 Limitations ............................................................................................................ 10 Delimitations......................................................................................................... 10 Significance of the Study .............................................................................................10 Contribution to Business Practice ......................................................................... 12 Implications for Social Change............................................................................. 12 A Review of the Professional and Academic Literature..............................................12 Entrepreneurship Theory ...................................................................................... 14 Small Business ...................................................................................................... 15 History of Small Business Survival and Demise .................................................. 17
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Small Business and Business Leadership ............................................................. 19 Small Business and Business Strategies ............................................................... 23 Small Business and Organizational Change ......................................................... 35 Small Business and Finance.................................................................................. 37 Small Business and Owner Characteristics........................................................... 41 Small Business and Ownership Type ................................................................... 44 Small Business and Innovation ............................................................................. 46 Transition .....................................................................................................................51 Section 2: The Project ........................................................................................................52 Purpose Statement........................................................................................................52 Role of the Researcher .................................................................................................52 Participants ...................................................................................................................55 Research Method and Design ......................................................................................57 Research Method .................................................................................................. 57 Research Design.................................................................................................... 59 Population and Sampling .............................................................................................62 Ethical Research...........................................................................................................65 Data Collection Instruments ........................................................................................67 Data Collection Technique ..........................................................................................71 Data Organization Technique ......................................................................................74 Data Analysis ...............................................................................................................75
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Reliability and Validity................................................................................................79 Reliability.............................................................................................................. 79 Validity ................................................................................................................. 80
Transition and Summary..............................................................................................83 Section 3: Application to Professional Practice and Implications for Change ..................85
Introduction ..................................................................................................................85 Presentation of the Findings.........................................................................................86
Emergent Theme 1: Human Capital ..................................................................... 88 Emergent Theme 2: Business Goals ..................................................................... 92 Emergent Theme 3: Growth through Innovation................................................ 101 Summary of Themes ........................................................................................... 106 Application to Professional Practice ..........................................................................110 Implications for Social Change..................................................................................110 Recommendations for Action ....................................................................................111 Recommendations for Further Research....................................................................113 Reflections .................................................................................................................113 Conclusion .................................................................................................................114 References ........................................................................................................................116 Appendix A: Invitation to Participate in the Study..........................................................156 Appendix B: Consent Form .............................................................................................157 Appendix C: Interview Protocol ......................................................................................159
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Appendix D: NVivo 11: Frequencies of Themes and Sub-Themes ................................160 iv

1 Section 1: Foundation of the Study Small business owners play a leading role in the United States economy by creating jobs and driving innovation. The Small Business Administration (SBA, 2016) defined a small business owner as the proprietor of an organization with fewer than 500 employees. The problem is that over half of all new small business owners will close the doors of their businesses before the businesses’ fifth year anniversary. I explored the business strategies small business owners used that enabled them to operate a business beyond the 5-year mark. I collected data regarding business strategies of successful small business owners through semistructured, face-to-face interviews and company documents. The findings from this study may contribute to positive social change by helping new small business owners operate their businesses beyond the first 5 years, allowing for the creation of new jobs, reduction in unemployment, and increase in tax revenues.
Background of the Problem The United States is currently recovering from the Great Recession of 20082010. The recent economic downturn impacted both large and small businesses with small businesses experiencing a disproportionate decline (Belas, Bartos, Habanik, & Novak, 2014; Sahin, Kitao, Cororaton, & Laiu, 2011). Small businesses in the United States experienced a net job loss of over 3.2 million from 2008 through 2010 (SBA, 2013). Exploring the reasons why the last economic downturn hit small businesses harder than large businesses may help small business owners better prepare for the next economic downturn.
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