Each year, Fortune magazine announces their list of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the US. It is a privilege to work with some of these companies and their insightful leaders who frequently share their keys to entrepreneurial success with us.
Whether you aspire to make the Inc. 5000 list or just achieve this kind of revenue growth and sustainable business model, their lessons learned have a place in any business leader's resource library.
For emerging growth companies in a crowded, often commoditized marketplace, these companies narrowly position themselves to be a market leader in newly defined space.
Willingness to play the long game
James Sydor, CEO of Sydor Optics, guides this 68-year old business in a way that would make his father proud. He believes his investments in people, equipment and partnerships are "the right thing to do"—and they've paid off in triple digit growth for the last five years they've made the list. Sydor makes careful investment in R&D, starting small and stepping up volume with customer growth. Their structure for this allows them to keep revenue growth and capital investment in step.
Big fish in a small pond
John Carney, leader of Carney, number 557 on the list, speaks to our B4C customers about repositioning their businesses: by changing the message, he changed the market's perception, won more contracts, expanded relationships with existing customers, and attracted top talent. The result: higher margins and higher revenues from the customers who value you the most. The hardest part? Saying no to an "everything to everyone" opportunistic approach.
Monkey-free corner office
For Michael Pavia, President of Sydor Instruments, two time winner, positioning has helped him focus lean resources (R&D, marketing and sales) on best-bet markets. His linear, deliberate approach is to make a plan, do the work, and take what the market will give you.
Even in these small, fast-paced, resource-constrained companies, their leaders don't try to do it all. They recognize their team's core capabilities, and hire for or outsource the rest. The best CEOs count on their skills to recognize opportunity and build key relationships, trusting and empowering their teams and partners to deliver on the strategies and tactics that will grow their revenue.
Want to make the list? Set a strategy, be specific, and get the right help to execute it.