The Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that small businesses represent 97 percent of all businesses in the United States [5, p. 1]. The SBA defines a small business as “one that is not dominate in its field.” While the ma and pa shops fall within this definition, much larger firms are considered small under SBA criteria.The owner-managers of these small firms face unique problems—success or failure is keyed to solving these problems. Each year in the United States, some 500,000 new businesses start and 400,000 businesses discontinue operations [1, p. 47]. These discontinuances are not all due to business failure (a bankrupt firm). Some small firms are merged with larger companies, while the spark of life leaves other small firms because the owner retires without a son or daughter to take over the reins of leadership.The purpose of this article is to aid small business managers by (1) reviewing the process of beginning a business, (2) identifying some of the attributes that characterize a successful or unsuccessful small business, and (3) discussing small firms’ problems common to the frontier states of Alaska and Wyoming.
American Journal of Small Business – SAGE
Published: Apr 1, 1983