Key Success Factors of Small Business in a Southern Region of California

Xeng Xaychu Yang, Walden University


The United States has high failure rates of small businesses, with 50% of new small business establishments failing during the first 5 years, and 60% of small business owners failing within the first 6 years of business operation. Small retail services business owners help provide job creation as a driver of growth for the U.S. economy. The purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore the strategies small retail services business owners use to sustain their business for 5 years or more in San Diego County, California, with entrepreneurship theory as the conceptual framework. A purposive sample of 2 successful small retail services business participated in the interview process describing their perspectives. The research question aim was to identify strategies that successful small retail services business owners apply to sustain their business beyond 5 years. Coding keywords, sentences, and ideas from semistructured interviews and document analysis into categories was the key for the data analysis using method triangulation. Six themes emerged: (a) education and training skills acquired, (b) motivation, (c) brand awareness, (d) community involvement, (e) client loyalty, and (f) small business survival tactics. According to the responses of the participants, brand awareness and client loyalty were the most vital strategies to sustain business more than 5 years. The implications for social change include the potential to provide new strategies to support small retail services business toward sustainability; create strong relationships between small business; and enhance perceptions of community in order to increase sales, revenue, and job creation.