Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Patricia L. Fusch


According to U.S. Small Business Association, the failure rates for small businesses in 2014 were as high as 50% to 80% within the first 5 years of establishment. Failure rates were especially high among restaurant businesses. The purpose of this study was to explore the strategies that small business owners needed to sustain their businesses beyond the first 5 years. Guided by entrepreneurship theory as the conceptual framework, a case study was conducted with semistructured interviews of 3 successful Thai restaurant owners in Salt Lake City, Utah. Member checking and methodological triangulation with field notes, interview data, company websites, customer comments, and government documents help ensure theoretical saturation and trustworthiness of interpretations. Using precoded themes for the data analysis, the 7 themes from this study were entrepreneur characteristics, education and management skills, marketing strategies and competitive advantages, social networks and human relationships, technology and innovation, government supports and social responsibility, and financial planning. Two key results indicated the strategies that were needed for small business owners were entrepreneur management skills and government support for small businesses. These findings may influence positive social change by improving small business owner efficiency and sustainability, increasing higher business income, providing a better quality of living for employees and the well-being of the community, and benefiting the U.S. economy.