Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Dr. Brodie Johnson

Abstract

The United States has a high failure rate of small businesses, with 30% of small business failing within the first 2 years. The objective of this case study was to explore strategies successful small business owners use to achieve profitability beyond 5 years. The purposive sample for this study included 4 owners of successful small businesses in Atlanta, Georgia, who have been in business for at least 5 years. The conceptual framework was built upon disruptive innovation and susceptibility theory. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and company documents. The analysis revealed 3 themes, market research, passion and determination, and innovation. Successful small business leaders use market research to understand the business environment and customers' needs. Entrepreneurs should conduct market research to develop strategies to remain successful. Innovation is essential for business success and successful entrepreneurs innovate to adapt to new business trends. Small business owners who innovate remain competitive and profitable. Business leaders will benefit from this study's findings by gaining insight into how the leaders of successful organizations implement strategies to stay profitable and competitive. Small business leaders may use the findings to enable economic development in various communities, and create valuable jobs for local residents. Social implications include the improved local and state economy and the standard of living in communities. Small business owners will be able to sustain their businesses and contribute to the prosperity of their employees, their families, health of the community, and the local economy.