Key success factors for small businesses : trading within the city of uMhlathuze.
This research focused on the success and failure factors that impact on small, formal businesses operating within the City of uMhlatuze which incorporates Richards Bay, Empangeni and surrounding former townships. The research on success factors in business supports government’s noble aim of wanting to eliminate poverty and thus creating employment. Small business plays a large role in job creation. This research is significant as its recommendations are of value to people venturing out into the commercial and industrial sectors. The research methodology employed was quantitative in essence though a qualitative component was included in order to ensure depth to the responses. The questionnaire elicited views on eighteen success and failure factors drawn from the literature review. A face to face questionnaire utilising a five point Likert scale was used. Each question was comprised of two parts, the first being theoretical, requiring the respondent to indicate whether or not the factor was important to success. In the second part respondents indicated their level of knowledge of that factor when they commenced trading. The open ended questions ensured that respondents were afforded an opportunity to mention additional issues relevant to the topic. A sample of 46 formal, established businesses that had traded for several years was used. Though this is a small scale study its findings are of value and the recommendations, if heeded will assist business owners to avoid failure and increase their chances of success. Findings were consistent with the literature sources. Key findings being that sound planning, strict financial management, self-discipline and good client and supplier relationships are vital if one is to succeed.