Limitations and Further research
Even though the research was carefully done and every consideration was put in place to ensure that the study was a detailed one, it cannot fail to pass that there were certain limitations. SMEs have unique characteristics that make them vastly different from other conventional organizations and there is therefore a need to ensure that the data collection strategies are more refined in order to closely capture the problem areas. In addition, research on the critical factors that affect the success of Thai SMEs was difficult to come by especially when one considers the fact that there is little evidence of an empirical study on the subject. This data would have been useful in collecting information from secondary data.
Another limitation was the challenge in studying the performance strategies put in place by these SMEs. It has been seen that a large number of Thai SMEs have a simple structure and by extension a basic method of management preferring to move away from any formal system of management. Further, the research was hampered by a lack of time and finances which forced the collection of data to be done through the use of e-mail survey. Bearing in mind the fact that a large number of the Thai SME owners are not familiar with the English language, large amount of time had to be put in to translate the questionnaire into the Thai language.
There were challenges that were met in the filling out of the questionnaire. Confusion with some of the wording as well as a lack of clarity was experienced as the questionnaire was taken through its pilot study. In addition, it is important to note that the picking of the sample size presented a problem especially since the researcher had to put into consideration the time and financial constraints. The research heavily relied on the honesty and accuracy of the sampled population in answering the questions and this is a subjective topic since one cannot guarantee that the respondents will always be truthful and accurate.
The study carried out came up with a number of variables that are important to the success of Thai SMEs and these questions raised would benefit from more research. A study with more longitudinal design would be more appropriate in finding out more complete analysis of the nature of performance in SMEs.
In addition, research could be carried out to find out the reason why Thai SMEs have simpler management systems. This is important in testing the hypothesis that the presence of education in the entrepreneur directly affects the type of management system that the business has put in place.
Researchers could also look into more detail the effect of help from financial organizations in the success of Thai SMEs. This is bearing in mind the fact that a large number of Thai SMEs have difficulty in accessing sufficient financial resources from the banks and government institutions.
It would also be more useful for future research to look into the aspect of the reasons why Thai entrepreneurs prefer to go into the starting up of SMEs. This would be essential in ensuring that the government puts in place specific programs that would ensure that these entrepreneurs get the help they need should they want to start up their own businesses.
The SME sector hopes to ensure its growth by diversifying into a number of areas such as those of transport of cargo, offering services such as setting up restaurants and car rental and the provision of entertainment and education services. Through the provision of these services, the SMEs hope to not only ensure their success but to compete effectively within the business sector.
4.1.3 Trading products and services
Those SMEs which focus on the trading business sector involve in the trading of products and services with other countries. Though they are few, they have a high possibility of growing, if all they take into consideration all the necessary requirements required of them by the government and the trading rules and regulations. These too have a possibility of improving the country’s economy. They take the products and services provided by the manufacturing and services business sectors in order to trade them. The clothing and textile together with the manufactured furniture, wood and plastic products take the highest percentage of those products traded by these SMEs, which is (42.63%) and (41.30%) respectively.
Table 4.1.3: trading products and services
|Product type (trading)||Percentage|
|Jewelers, Gems and Gold Smith||11.61%|
|Information technology (IT)||1.42%|
|Furniture, wood and plastic||41.30%|
Figure 4.1.3: trading products and services
The SMEs attract customers so as to promote growth of the organization. The analysis shows that the most common customers for the SMEs are local with (54.7%), the SMEs also attract international customers and results show that they take a percentage of (28.21%), and finally there are those customers who trade with the SMEs and they take a percentage of (17.09%)
Table 4.2: Customers
Figure 4.2: customers
The largest contributor to the growth of SMEs is seen to be local customers, followed by the international consumers and finally customers who come for trade purposes.
4.3 Business formation
There are various ways in which an entrepreneur may start up a business, and from the results, the SMEs which have been purchased take a percentage of (6.41%), those which entrepreneurs have set up take the highest percentage of (73.93%), those which are franchised are (2.14%) of the total and the inherited or the family owned business were (17.52%).
Table 4.3: Business formation
|Set up own business||73.93%|
|Purchased a franchise||2.14%|
Figure 4.3: Business Formation
4.4 Manager characteristics
The characteristics of the managers are determined on the gender, their education levels and the responsibility of the person in control and decision making of the organization.
It is evident that most managers are men making up well over (51.28%), as compared to women who had a percentage of (48.72%).
Table 4.4.1 Gender
Figure 4.4.1: Gender
4.4.2 Manager educational level
In considering the SME manager’s level of education and how this contributes to the success of the business, the results show that managers who hold an undergraduate degree are the highest in number making up (46.58%), of the sampled population. This was closely followed by those who held a post graduate degree(17.09%), mangers who held primary school and vocational training certificates made up 15.38% of the sampled population whereas managers who attained a certificate and diploma made up (10.68% )of the sampled population whereas those who those who attained high school level were (10.26%)
Table 4.4.2 Education level
|Others (primary school and vocational training)||15.38%|
Figure 4.4.2 Education level
4.4.3 Decision making
There are several individuals involved in descision making within an SME. This study determined that the highest percentage of decision makers came from the owner who represented 66.76% of the sampled population. Trained managers, trusted employees and members of the family made up 4.27%, 10.26% and 18.80% of the sampled population respectively.
Table 4.4.3 Decision making
Figure 4.4.3 Decision making