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Lifecycles and crisis points in SMEs: a case approach

Jimmy Hill (University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Northern Ireland)
Clive Nancarrow (Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)
Len Tiu Wright (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 November 2002



Reports on a study of the business activities and the emergence of the learning of marketing skills by eight entrepreneurial small businesses: four in the British Isles and four in the mid‐west of the USA. Using a qualitative methodology, a case approach is taken to study the obstacles to growth in a sample of these firms. Details these obstacles and reports how such obstacles were negotiated and overcome, enabling the firms to continue on the entrepreneurial growth curve. Also examines the nature of marketing development as a company grows from a small business to a medium‐sized one. Offers observations and conclusions on lifecycle growth in SMEs. As a small business reaches a given size where the costs of its internal administration and selling activities make it less viable, the SME is forced to look for new ways of growing through additional financial help, broadening its customer base and developing greater skills at corporate presentation.



Hill, J., Nancarrow, C. and Tiu Wright, L. (2002), "Lifecycles and crisis points in SMEs: a case approach", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 361-369.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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