Craft retail entrepreneurs' perceptions of success and factors affecting success

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Paige, Rosalind
Major Professor
Mary A. Littrell
Committee Member
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Textiles and Clothing

Traditional crafts offer significant economic contributions to a region's economy, in particular through the revenue generated from small craft retail businesses. Because craft retailers operate within the small business sector, they are subject to high failure rates due to the challenges of operating in a highly competitive business environment. Little is known about small craft retail firms in terms of how they define success and the factors that contribute to their success;The purpose of this study was to identify and describe groups of small craft retail entrepreneurs based on their definitions and self-ratings of success. A second purpose was to compare and contrast the groups related to competitive strategies; product, pricing, and distribution strategies; personal values; motivation to start the business; gender; organizational culture; networking activities; and work ethic and competencies of the businessperson. A final purpose was to look within each group of craft retailers for correlations between their self-ratings of success and the aforementioned variables;Data were collected with a mail survey of small craft retail businesses selected systematically from mailing lists and names of businesses given to the researcher. Factor analysis, cluster analysis, MANOVA, ANOVA, chi square, and correlation analysis were used to examine the variables affecting craft retail success;Success was described in both intrinsic and extrinsic terms. Four groups of craft retailers were identified based on their definitions of success: Personal Expressers, Personally Expressive Goal Seekers, Culture Broker Goal Seekers, and Indifferents. The groups of craft retailers differed in their competitive strategies, product assortment strategies, personal values, motivation to start the business, networking activities, and work ethic and competencies. Within groups, self-reports of success were correlated with competitive strategies, product assortment and pricing strategies, personal values, gender, networking activities, and work ethic and competencies;The research provides several scholarly and applied contributions. For the scholarly literature, this study confirms that success is defined using personal as well as economic criteria. The results contribute to existing research on defining success, competitive strategy, craft marketing, small business, organizational culture, and networking. Finally, the results of this study can be utilized by current businesspeople in the craft retail industry or those considering a new craft retail venture.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1999