Exploring the Successful Skills of Small Business Owners in Arizona's Coffee Industry

Joseph Stephen Wilkinson, Walden University


The strength of the U.S. economy is dependent upon the performance of small business. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the skills and knowledge small coffee roasting business owners used to succeed in business beyond 5 years. The sample comprised consisted of 5 successful small coffee roasting business owners in Arizona who have been operating a minimum of 5 years. The conceptual framework for this study was entrepreneurial orientation. The data were collected from 14 semistructured interviews and archival data in conjunction with transcript reviews and member checking for accuracy until data saturation was achieved. The within methodological triangulation approach guided the data analysis. Using constant comparison analysis, keyword-in-context, word count, and classical content analysis as the data analysis techniques, 3 themes emerged: customer-centric success factors, human capital success factors, and commodity-advantage success factors. The results of this study may contribute to social change by improving common practices among small businesses to increase organizational longevity. Additionally, the results of this study may reduce the failure rate of small businesses, increase jobs and sales revenue, increase tax revenue, and reduce the unemployment rate.