Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

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

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Steve Roussas

Abstract

Some small businesses have slower growth as they age and have limited strategies to maximize profit, productivity, and job creation. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the strategies small business managers use to capitalize on growth opportunities. Area small business managers and support program stakeholders could gain new knowledge to develop effective support for mature small businesses. Twenty managers participated in this case study. These managers were from small businesses operating in the state of Florida for more than 5 years with less than 500 employees. The data collection approach included purposeful sampling and semistructured interviews with open-ended questions. In addition, literature on small business growth of policies and procedures was reviewed. The general systems theory conceptual framework was the guide for this study. The thematic approach was used to have the data analyzed using word frequency, text search, and coding. The themes emerging from this study were growth decisions and internal environment, growth decisions and external environment, using alternative growth strategies, heterogeneous growth strategy processes, consulting, researching, and planning growth, accessing support for growth strategies, and overcoming challenges with success attributes. These findings could assist area professional practitioners learn more about the decision making process used by small business managers including the indicators used to measure growth and identify growth opportunities. The findings could also contribute to continued job creation and economic growth of the local community.