Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Susanne D. Hartl


Small Business Owners, Cash Infusions, Uncertainty, Pandemic, Scenario Planning




This qualitative case study explored how cash infusion uncertainty impacted small business owners’ growth goals and strategies. Small business owners navigate varying business environments and use tactics or long-term strategies as they desire to grow. Scenario planning is a tool that entrepreneurs can use for understanding past events or trends to identify actions for managing uncertainties and turbulent business environments or capitalize on opportunities. Potential themes of this study’s research were the presence of cash infusion uncertainty for small business owners, that uncertainty hindered small business owners’ desired growth, and that strategic planning aided growth attainment. The interview data were analyzed using a progressive coding process within NVivo, a qualitative data analysis software. This study revealed that combinations of small business owners’ classifications and industry categories impacted their cash infusions, growth, and strategy setting. The study also revealed multiple and converging macroenvironmental factors, especially the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic, affected small business owners’ uncertainties and growth. A prominent finding was that young entrepreneurs with newer businesses had more aggressive growth goals than their older counterparts with very mature businesses. Another finding was that certainty sometimes existed for entrepreneurs, and uncertain situations plagued small business owners. The findings pointed to entrepreneurs benefitting from applying scenario planning and strategic planning to maximize their success. Reflections included future cash infusion uncertainty and scenario planning research opportunities and a potential entrepreneurial venture.

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