A study of business strategies applied by entrepreneurs in SMEs in the hotel industry in Vientiane to maximise competitive advantage

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Chaleunsouk, Thatsaphone
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Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Du Plessis, Andries
Seth, Nitin
Saifoloi, Malama
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Vientiane, Laos
hospitality industry
business entrepreneurs
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
business strategies
Chaleunsouk, T. (2017). A study of business strategies applied by entrepreneurs in SMEs in the hotel industry in Vientiane to maximise competitive advantage. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Business, Business and Enterprise Network, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Today’s competitive business environment is unstable and continues to change, so business owners are facing great challenges in designing suitable business plans, particularly in developing countries where there are few studies and limited knowledge on business analysis and organisational strategies. Organisations need effective business strategies so that they can compete and succeed. In addition, to understand business environment, it is important for entrepreneurs and top managers to analyse the business environment in which their firms are surrounded in order to make effective business plans and suitable strategies. As Laos is a small and developing country which SMEs are the back bone of the national economy, it is vital to apply business environment analysis and business strategies to enhance business performance and gain competitive advantages. This research study was aimed to investigate the level of awareness and understanding of hotel entrepreneurs towards the uses of business environment analysis tools in Vientiane. This study also concentrated on the perceptions of hotel entrepreneurs towards the use of PESTLE, Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT analysis. Apart from that, this research explored the level of awareness and understanding of hotel managers on strategic management and organisation strategies. In order to accomplish the aim and objectives of this research, the semi-structure interview was used as a qualitative approach to collect data from ten hotel entrepreneurs in Vientiane. Based on the findings, it was found that although the majority of the hotel entrepreneurs were familiar and use business analysis tools, more than half of them did not apply PESTLE and Porter’s Five Forces in their hotel businesses. Besides, the main difficulties of hotel SMEs to apply business analysis tools were a lack of concern about organisational plans, inadequate human resources and limited access to analytical information. Finally, this research generated answers to the research questions and met the research objectives. Practical recommendations from this research include the recognition of the importance of business analysis tools such as PESTLE and Porter’s Five Forces since these tools allow hotel entrepreneurs to design suitable business plans. Besides, SMEs need support from both private and governmental sectors in terms of analytical data and training opportunities to develop human resources in the business strategy area. Furthermore, hotel entrepreneurs should see the importance of strategic management and organisational strategies in order to enhance business competitiveness and success.
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