Searching out high growth companies – Part 2

SMEs will lie at the heart of economic recovery for the next decade, that’s why there is so much focus being placed on flushing them out and supporting them. This blog and the previous one focused on looking at the factors that can help us predict whether a business has the potential to grow. In my last blog I discussed the importance of looking for:

1.Leaders knowing what they are good and bad at – building on the former and addressing the latter

2.Business which are driven by purpose and making a difference in my view ones that enjoy a better chance of achieving and sustaining success

3.Well thought through decision-making based on expert inputs often deliver a better result than those based on impulse – think (but not for too long that you have missed the opportunity)

4.Personal clarity aligned to business vision delivers energy – is there momentum in the business or does a pedestrian culture prevail

5.A strong team bound together with a common vision, values, positive culture and conditions to allow personal growth is critical.

This weeks growth predictors include:

6. Entrepreneurs who build strategy through trial and error create momentum, just thinking about what you want is not enough. Successful businesses have a clear picture of where they want to get to then follow through with action. Strategy evolves out of a process of iteration. A just have a go mentality (controlled) delivers results

7. A business with an “edge” stands out from the crowd. This edge could be their brand, product differentiation, partnerships, attention to detail – businesses that are memorable get their rewards. A culture of innovation and creativity are drivers of the “edge”.

8. A proactive sales culture focused on delivering customer service (and walking away when there is no opportunity) is often indicative of growth potential. Delivering to the needs of the customers world builds a strong reputation and brand.

9. A tight grip on the business is achieved when there are effective measures and controls in place. Businesses which have an eye on the detail are the epitome of success. They recognise and invest in putting the checks and balances in place – typically around sales pipeline, short/medium/long-term finances, customer service, IT, production…..They know their KPI’s and surprises/shocks are less frequent because they are predicted. A bit like the fuel gauge on your car, a yellow lights tells you, its time to fill up. It gives you time to sort things out.

10. They invest in trusted advice and bring in experts to address issues the team/board are not capable of handling. Trusted advice comes in many shapes and forms, however my experience is, those entrepreneurs who appoint Non Executive Directors or have mentors benefit massively from their wisdom. They impart advice from experience and wisdom. They enable more effective decisions to be made.

Well there are far more than 10 ingredients, however businesses that do the above are well on track to getting what they deserve. In a single sentence great business have great leadership.

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