The UK is home to some 4.8M businesses and 99% employ less than 50 people. The quest to identify and support high growth potential companies amongst this group is a major priority for public sector organisations keen to boost employment. My experience is that fast-moving businesses come in many different shapes and forms and entrepreneurs are made up of both introverts and extroverts. This is what makes the search for tomorrows big employers such an exciting job – the diversity.
My suggestions to those in search of growth potential companies is, look for the following signals:
1. Leaders/entrepreneurs who are self aware and know their strengths and weaknesses are more likely to get to their desired destination than those ruled by ego. Self awareness is often indicative of an individuals ability to change, embrace advice and personally grow with the business – they are ready and willing to bring in trusted advice when needed .
2. A business with a higher purpose is a magnet to others. Its more than just making profit, an organisation with ideals unites staff and engages customers and its broader stakeholders. Businesses that think this way tend to weather storms better than those that are “in it for the dosh”. They have not only a better chance of growth they also sustain it.
3. Quality decision making. Leaders can be judged on the quality of the decisions they make. Funders can be scared off by individuals who shoot from the hip, one idea after the next………. Venture capitalists and the broader funding community are more likely to support entrepreneurs who make considered judgements. Those who flit about from one venture to another without executing and following through tend to lose credibility. So many people talk about what they are going to do, we must find those who just do it and evidence success.
4.Clarity of intention. A business and team who know what they want by when are few and far between. Those who are clear, set themselves up for success. Closely linked to this point is that all shareholders want the same thing – the nightmare scenario is when the team are looking through different windows. Getting all parties on the same page is hard work. When 50:50 shareholders are not in agreement with vision, strategy and plan the only winners are the legal profession.
5.Strong team dynamics. A team that has the right mix of skills – thinking, doing, selling and controlling is one that is balanced. When they work in accordance with a united set of beliefs and values then the business can go anywhere it wants.
More to follow in part 2.