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Small businesses

Strategies Needed for Small Retail Businesses to Sustain Beyond 5 years.

Prospectus: Strategies Needed for Small Retail Businesses to Sustain Beyond 5 years.

Problem Statement

Small businesses form a valuable part of the economy of the United States of
America. However, they face the problem of entropy which can be defined as the closure
of a business organization. Abatecola (2013) revealed that 20% of the small business
operating within the American market fail within a period 5 years because of poor
entrepreneurial strategies. Thus, the general business problem is that new business
owners pursue their economic endeavors without referring to growth tactics or strategies.
The specific business problem is that there is lack of entrepreneurial strategies among
small business owners which could enable their businesses to remain in business for the
first 5 years.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to investigate the strategies
that small business entrepreneurs use to remain in business for the first 5 years. The
participants of the study are small business entrepreneurs who operate within Annapolis,
Maryland. The businesses will have had less than 50 employees and were profitable in
the last 5 years. Moreover, the study may become an instigator societal development by
encouraging the development of small businesses. Increasing the income that these
businesses bring in can lead to the development of the community without having to
depend on governmental resources. Increased employment will ensure that people are
living above the poverty line.

Nature of the Study

Qualitative research can be categorized into four groups: ethnographic,
phenomenological and case studies. Cronin-Gilmore (2012) defined ethnographies as
qualitative research designs that entail private or open participation in the daily lives of
the people endeavoring to explore their relationships, feelings, and beliefs (elements of
culture). As much as this research study entails the study of businesses, there is no focus
on the study of their cultures. The phenomenological is also not applicable to this
research because the purpose of this study is not to consider the individual world
perspectives on the subject matter. A case study, on the other hand, is most appropriate.
Cumming and Li (2013) identified the case study approach as a research design that
entails the investigation of a case with the sole purpose of producing similar outcomes.
That type of case study that involves two or more case studies is the multiple case study
approach. Determining the entrepreneurial strategies that small business owners are using
to succeed in their business for more than 5 years means that this research will have to
adapt to the descriptive, multiple case study design.
Research Question

What strategies are small business entrepreneurs in the American market using to
sustain their businesses for more than 5 years?
Interview Questions

  1. Describe the barriers that you encountered when trying to incorporate
    entrepreneurial strategies to your business.
  2. Which strategies did work that have enabled you to succeed for more than 5
  3. Which strategies did not work for your business?
  4. Which strategies would you recommend other business to pursue?
  5. Is there a specific strategy that you can identify with as one that has guaranteed your
  6. What else do you think I should know about your business that I have not asked?

Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

The theory of economic development is the conceptual framework that this
research will follow. It is a theory that dates to 1939 when Peter Schumpeter presented it
as the transformation through economic innovation (Acs, Audretsch, & Lehmann, 2013).
Moreover, the framework has its core innovation and strategic functions centering on the
solid operational basis that business achieves through decisions that ensure the continued
success and profitability of the business. The theory is applicable to this research study
since the study is focused primarily on the success of small businesses which are a part of
the functionality of the economy.

Significance of the Study

Small businesses are an integral part of an economy because of their support to
the health and wellbeing of the economy. These businesses could create a net of 62.9
percent of new jobs between 1993 and 2013 (Alkali, 2012). That revelation is significant
as it displays the direct participation of small businesses in the sustenance of the
economy. They are also a source of revenue for the government through taxes and a
source of livelihood for the people of America (Alstete, 2014). Thus, this study
incorporates the mindset of change in this industry concerning success of the small

businesses. Change can be advantageous to the sector as it will allow these businesses to
grow and expand. The development of these businesses means the transformation and
development of the areas in which they operate.

Contribution to business practicenot APA format

The year 2012 marked the year the profits of small enterprises totaled about two-
thirds of all the available enterprise jobs (SBA, 2014). Small business owners were also
able to employ 50% of the workforce operating in the private sector (SBA, 2014). This
was a advantageous to the small business owners with startups whose age is less than five
years of their potential to create high numbers of jobs (SBA, 2014). The years 2007 and
2009 mark the financial turmoil from which many organizations are still struggling to
recover (Street & Ward, 2012). Abidin et al. (2014) asserts that economic instability
identifiable when over 40,000 business owners filing for personal bankruptcy. Thus,
understanding the cause of the rampant bankruptcy among the business owners (which
could be poor strategies) in the hope of deciphering the potential causes of economic
instability is integral.

Implication for social change

Understanding the current strategies that small businesses use will result in an
increase the ability of these businesses to provide employment to the members of the
local community. Moreover, it will lead to the development of social amenities such as
banking facilities that will favor the locals.


Abatecola, G. (2013). Survival or failure in the organizational life cycle. What lessons for
managers? Journal of General Management, 38, 23–38.
Abidin, R., Hasnan, N., Abdullah, C., Mohtar, S., & Zulhumadi, F. (2014). The relationship
between social capital and technology transfer performance: A study on companies in the
technology park. Journal of Southeast Asian Research, 3(1), 1–9.
Acs, Z. J., Audretsch, D. B., & Lehmann, E. E. (2013). The spillover knowledge theory of
entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 41, 757–774.
Alkali, M. A. (2012). An empirical study of entrepreneur’s educational level and the
performance of small business manufacturing enterprises in Bauchi State, Nigeria.
Interdisciplinary. Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4, 914–923.

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