Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Warren Lesser


Failure is an issue with small businesses globally; some owners of small businesses lack the knowledge of business administration and marketing strategies necessary to help ensure success. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore what marketing strategies some coffee shop owners use to sustain business operations during the first 5 years of operation. The targeted population consisted of 5 coffee shop owners in Arkansas who successfully implemented marketing strategies to sustain business operations during the first 5 years of operation. Goldsmith's 8Ps of marketing mix was the conceptual framework used in the study. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and a review of publicly available data and company websites. Data were analyzed using the principles of the content analysis method, which included identifying codes and themes. Findings indicated owners of successful coffee shops were actively engaged in the day-to-day business operations and in the community; provided premium products; used social media for marketing, promotion, and branding; used competitive pricing; were precise about the location; provided exceptional customer service and personalization, and had points of marketing differentiation to promote their brand. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential to support the welfare of the citizens of Arkansas, and owners of coffee shops across the United States that could provide independent coffee shop owners with marketing strategies necessary to sustain business operations, contribute to new job creation and regional economic sustainability.