The influence of personality on small business success : two South African case studies.
This study is concerned with the start-up of small business ventures and the ultimate success of these small businesses. Research was carried out in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, which is mainly a very rural, under-developed province. Unemployment is high and much of the population is faced with the challenge of earning income from means other than in formal employment. However, the failure rate of the small business start-ups is extremely high. The study addresses the question whether or not there are leading indicators that will help to predict future success in business, specifically whether the personal profile can indicate the probability of future success. In summary the research found that no significant correlation existed between business growth and personality profile when measured with the established business group, when using the DISCUSTM personality profile test. This could be due to either one or both the following reasons: • No correlation exists between personality profile, success and growth, or • the DISCUSTM personality profile test's entrepreneurial category job match is not valid and reliable, and an alternative personality profile for this particular job match category needs to be developed. Secondly, a significant relationship was found to exist between level of literacy and start-up success according to the longitudinal study of a student group. No correlation was found to exist between level of numeracy and start-up success. Although there was a correlation between personality profile test results and start-up success with the student group, it can not be stated at this stage that this is a leading indicator for future business growth and sustainability, as success was only measured at start-up. These start-up businesses need to be monitored at least over the next three years in order to measure the internal growth of the businesses as compared to those achieved by the established business group. This is an area for further research.