Task 1.4: Data Analysis and Discussion

How Small- Or Medium-Sized Soft Commodity Businesses in South Africa Can Grow to The Next Level.
Task 1.3: Research Methodology
Lebogang Mokgosi
London Metropolitan University
Dr Petros Bouchoris
This research method aims to create a solid foundation for studying the difficulties and chances that South Africa’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) face so that workable plans for their growth can be made. This multi-approach method will use quantitative and qualitative research methods like polls, interviews, financial analysis, and other works. This study concerns some soft goods that small and medium-sized businesses have been exposed to. It brings up problems and suggests ways for these businesses to grow and reach their goals. There are different ways to study this system, which gives businesses the information they need to make intelligent choices and creates room for long-term growth in the South African soft goods industry.
Research Design
A mixed-method research approach will be used here because it worked well for the data analysis and the complex research tasks. Several qualitative methods, such as case studies, in-depth interviews, and others, will be used along with quantitative methods, such as polls and numbers about money. This is the point of the study, which will use all the different ways of gathering information to give a complete picture of the problems that small cloth traders in South Africa face. People with a stake in the issue, like business owners, experts in the field, and government leaders, can talk about their lives, thoughts, and points of view in in-depth interviews. These qualitative insights give SMEs complete, situation-specific data that helps them understand their challenging problems. Case studies can give cases from real life and show how different issues and methods can be used in real life.
Surveys and financial analysis are examples of quantitative tools that can be used to back up emotional findings with facts and numbers. When more small businesses fill out surveys, organised data is collected. This data can then be used to find trends and patterns across businesses through statistical analysis. On the other hand, financial analysis shows how well small businesses are doing economically and how much room they have to grow. These mixed methods help small businesses in the South African soft commodities industry understand their problems and opportunities using qualitative and quantitative detail. Researchers can use three types of data from three sources to increase their accuracy in their analysis and evaluation. This two-pronged approach aims to gather valuable data to help make intelligent choices and improve the industry.
Data Collection
Primary and secondary sources are used in this study to look into the problems and future of South Africa’s soft goods business. Several soft product partners would be involved in collecting primary data. We will learn a lot from in-depth talks with business owners, experts in the field, government leaders, and customers. These conversations will be semi-structured to be flexible while still covering important topics. These talks will be about issues small businesses face, how markets work, and how to grow. Getting to know the field better by talking to players directly is helpful.
A group of soft goods SMEs that are meant to be representative will also get surveys. With these objective polls, information on market trends, financial success, and following the rules will be gathered. The polls use quantitative and qualitative methods to give a complete business picture. With this method, statistical analysis can find trends, patterns, and connections in the data, improving the study results. Secondary data will help gather the primary data to make the study more prominent. Secondary sources include books, business reports, government documents, and online financial records. Using current data, the study may put its findings in the soft goods business setting. The study will be more credible and reliable by giving background, academic theories, and comparison analysis through secondary data. Two types of data are used in this study to look at the problems and opportunities facing small businesses in South Africa that deal with soft goods.
Data Analysis
Qualitative data from interviews will be subjected to rigorous thematic analysis to identify recurring patterns, key themes, and crucial insights. Qualitative data will be put in order using coding and categorisation. Rich conversation stories will be turned into valuable results by researchers. Find similarities and differences in participants’ answers to understand better the problems and opportunities facing small businesses in South Africa that deal with soft commodities. This thematic analysis will be used to make hypotheses and plan more studies.SPSS or Excel will be used to study poll and financial analysis data. Descriptive statistics, such as central tendency, dispersion, and frequency distributions, will describe the quantitative data and find trends. Variable relationships can be looked at with inferential statistics like regression analysis. By looking at measures of financial success, legal compliance, and market trends, researchers may find empirical patterns and support the qualitative observations they made in interviews.
Integration of Findings
Understanding the problems and opportunities facing South Africa’s small businesses dealing with soft goods requires qualitative and quantitative data. The study gathers information from polls, in-depth conversations, and other research to picture the work setting fully. Study validity and reliability are improved by beating research limitations by combining data from several sources. In-depth talks give you a more complete picture of how the business works. These detailed studies shed light on the problems small businesses face, market trends, and growth goals. The results of a quantitative poll back up the findings and allow for a more in-depth look at things like market trends, financial success, and legal compliance.
The study uses qualitative and quantitative data to look for patterns, connections, and trends in the soft product sector. This combined approach looks at the research problem in great detail, which helps researchers understand how hard it is. Putting together qualitative and quantitative data allows experts to determine the problematic chain of events and causes that affect the growth and development of small businesses. When data are put together, theory and practical ideas are made. Using many different data sources, the plans try to solve the real problems that small businesses face in the South African soft commodities market. Since this is the case, the ideas are sound in theory, reasonable, and doable. Consequently, lawmakers and people in the business can use them.
Development of Recommendations
Quantitative and qualitative research will be used to find solutions to help South Africa’s soft products sector succeed. They must know about best practices, business standards, and academic ways of doing things so that their ideas will be helpful and appropriate for the South African market. The ideas will look at their usefulness, potential, and significance. These are the kinds of ideas that could start a new business that will last for a long time. Because soft things cause different problems for different companies, the plans will be concrete to ensure they can use them. The ideas combine what works in the field with academic knowledge about the problems so that people, especially business owners and leaders, have the tools to deal with the issues they face.
SMEs may attract new clients and be more inventive, adaptive, and resilient using the tethered concept, which will help them succeed in the competitive and fast-growing commodities sector. This will help these companies do well in the commodities industry, which is very competitive and increasing. The fellow will get a complete picture of the sector’s complexity through various quantitative and qualitative tests. This way, their solutions will be helpful and accurate for small business owners who use them to solve everyday problems. The goal is to help South African manufacturing companies grow through imports or exports and ensure they have steady long-term income. The important thing about the research projects in which small businesses are part is that they aim to help these businesses deal with problems, chances, and global competition in a good way. The main goal of the plans is for those involved in selling soft goods in South Africa to grow, be strong, and be successful. This will be done through combination and working together.
Ethical Considerations
This project will take honesty, respect, and secrecy very seriously. Putting the public in front of the people getting the information, on the other hand, makes the core of this pledge more evident. So, people who want to participate in the study should carefully look into its goals, methods, and possible outcomes before agreeing to participate. People who participate in the study can be sure that their private property will be safe, which lets them make intelligent choices about the survey. Extra safety measures will also be added to secure members’ information. The privacy rules will protect all the data sent and kept that way. The study team protects the privacy of the people who took part and sets up protection for collecting and handling data by following these rules.
Professional groups and associations will set the ethical standards and objectives that will be used as a basis for the study. So, the researcher should follow the rules set by the institution review board, the code of ethics for his field, and research laws. The study is said to follow these rules to ensure it stays responsible and works with the people who are taking part and other important people in the study. As part of the study, all contact with partners must be transparent, honest, and focused on ethics. Practitioners and ordinary people will be able to talk openly and personally with each other to gain their trust and make sure that subjects know about the study and feel safe sharing vital information. As soon as ethical problems are found, they should be discussed publicly to ensure that the analysis’s results are fair and accurate. In other words, the whole study course will be built on ethics: data mining, data sharing, and data release. Ethical study aims to promote the honest and moral sharing of information with a focus on respect, privacy, and honesty.
The above study method carefully and thoroughly looks at the problems and future of South Africa’s small and medium-sized soft product businesses. This study uses qualitative and quantitative methods, three types of data sources, and ethics as its primary focus to provide helpful information that could help the soft commodities business and encourage long-term growth. The study examines the business world and gives specific ideas on improving classroom understanding and valuable business solutions.
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Markham, C. (2019) The art of consultancy. London: Legend Business Ltd. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/londonmet/detail.action?docID=5841945.
Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2023) Research methods for business students. 9th edition. Harlow, England: Pearson. Available at: http://catalogue.londonmet.ac.uk/record=b2709801~S3.
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