Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Ron Jones


Small business owners are the primary initiators of innovation and economic growth but fail at high rates. Fifty percent of small businesses fail within the first 5 years of operations. Through the lens of systems theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies some small salon business owners use to remain in business for longer than 5 years. Using purposeful sampling, the 7 owners of small salon business owners in the southeastern United States were selected based upon evidence of their strategies to sustain their businesses for longer than 5 years. Data were collected through semistructured, face-to-face interviews and a review of business licenses, certifications, and financial records. During data analysis using Yin's 5-step process of compiling, disassembling, reassembling, interpreting, and drawing data-based conclusions, 4 major themes emerged: (a) business growth strategy, (b) customer relationship strategy, (c) financial capital strategy, and (d) marketing strategy. The findings indicated that implementing strategies to maintain business growth, building relationships with customers, securing sufficient financial capital, and engaging in effective marketing are essential for small salon business owners to survive in business longer than 5 years. The implications for positive social change include the potential for small salon business owners to generate employment, sustain the livelihood of employees, contribute to the local economy, and reduce local unemployment rates.

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