Business Success: Factors Leading to Surviving and Closing Successfully
AbstractThis paper focuses on the startup factors that lead to new firms remaining open, and if they close, the factors leading to whether the owner considered the firm successful at closure. Two independent logit models were developed for closure and success characteristics using the Bureau of the Census' Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO). Business Information Tracking Series (BITS, formerly the LEEM), also from the Bureau of the Census, was used to evaluate business survival rates as the CBO had non-response bias with respect to closure. About half of new employer firms survive at least four years (an estimated one-third of non-employer firms survive this period), and of the firms that closed, owners of about a third felt the firm was successful at closure. Major factors leading to remaining open are having ample capital, having employees, having a good education, and starting for personal reasons (freedom for family life, or wanting to become one's own boss). If the firm closed, major factors leading to owners perceiving the business successful at closure are having no start-up capital or ample capital, having previous ownership experience, and avoiding the retail trade industry. Owners of firms with and without employees had similar rates of believing closed businesses were successful at closure. Owners who were young or started without capital had a higher likelihood of closure but when they closed, they were more likely to consider the firm successful. Gender, race and being older play a small, if any, role in survivability or in owners' perception that the closed firm was successful. Retail trade was the only variable that led to businesses being more likely to close, and more likely to be deemed unsuccessful by the owner at closure.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 01-01.
Date of creation: Jan 2001
Date of revision:
CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;
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