Management practices for sustainability of small, technology oriented businesses
MetadataShow full item record
The focal point for this research is a drilling automation small business. Questions regarding survival, growth, innovation, flexibility and professional management related to this technology business are seeded as the root for the research. Topics were selected based on the experience of the author as an attempt to provide answers to such questions. In a broader context, small businesses make an important contribution to the economy and job creation. Low survival rates raise questions about the factors that influence the success or failure of such businesses. Researches have attempted to identify such factors. However, there are limited theoretical models that were generated based on a small business setting. Many factors and their interactions among each other could determine the survival of a small business. However, there are techniques and philosophies that enhance the potential for success. Some of those techniques and philosophies proposed by authors researched are the Lean Startup methodology, analysis of roadblocks and speed bumps on the Product Development Process model, participative management, competencies alignment and outsourcing. Correlations between the small drilling automation business and research are made in order to generate the answers to the questions proposed initially. Ultimately, in regard to the company I work for, generation of intellectual property via outsourcing, deep knowledge of the potential market, financial flexibility obtained from capital and other resources by means of the relationships established helped the company to survive startup and grow. Founding expertise translated into good behavioral focus supported a sustained growth stage and competitiveness. There are applicable models and methodologies that serve to guide to faster innovation where associated risks are managed by having the multiple solutions available. The level of informality tolerated within the firm should be related to the level of performance, so for us there may be benefit to a more formal evaluation of the strategy, uncovering relationships and details not anticipated, that could lead to different decisions. Overcoming capital restraints to earn financial flexibility was particularly beneficial to our initial success. At current size and complexity level, it would be beneficial for our company to evaluate more formal tactical management.