2921 UK companies grew at 15% or more each year in each of the past 3 years. They did that while others thought growth was not possible.
Do you believe these myths?
1. You must be in a growth industry to grow
So many business people believe this yet is just a myth. While 17% of the 2921 are in financial services, 8% in energy, and 5% in high tech/ IT many of the remaining 70% are growing in tough industries such as construction, automotive and retail.
An employee said: “Our company is just bobbing along, going nowhere fast.” This comment really resonated with me because it seems to describe so many firms.
Are you happy for your company to just continue surviving during 2013?
2,921 companies in the UK alone grew at 15% or more over each of the past 3 years. Many are in tough industries including construction, manufacturing, property, training and retail.
We will soon publish a report on these impressive companies.
Will we turn the Olympics into our future success or waste it?
Is it all over?
Some people warn us of a “dip” experienced after the Olympics. Others just look at the negative side.
All that money, passion, heroism and heartache. All that effort. All the celebration and success … Is it really over?
Why are so many UK companies just giving up hope of growth?
Why do CEOs believe their companies cannot growth until the UK economy picks up?
The other day a very senior Manager in one of the UK’s largest banks told me. “There is no possibility the bank can increase revenue until the UK economy improves”. A CEO of a smaller company said: “With the way the UK economy stands, I cannot expect more than 1% increase in sales this year.” Those conclusions simply ensure that they will not grow. They are sealing their fate. What a waste! Other companies that are hell bent on business success will simply steal all the growth they could have had.
David Sangar, when he was Managing Director of Rollover, fell into hotdogs. He had totally other plans for the business. Yet strangely, thanks to hotdogs, he ended up being far more successful and becoming a multi millionaire.
David started the business by setting up sandwich shops. Then a pub coerced him into supplying them with one of the hotdog machine that he used in his shops- that used top quality, tasty sausages and french bread. Word spread and, before he knew it, Rollover was supplying far more hotdog machines than sandwiches. Funny how life turns out.
In time Rollover ended up supplying many of the football stadia, entertainments parks….even organisations as well-known as Legoland. When David came to sell the business it had reached £10m revenue pa and he received more money from the sale than he had thought possible! Quite a success story.
How on earth were hotdogs so successful?
Like all the other fast growth companies I have tracked to date Rollover did several things very differently to most companies:
When you think of hotdogs you think of cheap, plastic food. Rollover went the other way. They sourced Germany’s top quality bockwurst sausages- with at least 87% pork content and no GM ingredients- and they used French bread. As a result, they stood out like a lighthouse from all the competition. Customers must have been surprised to discover the hotdogs tasted really nice! As a result they added value to the venues that were Rollover’s customers.
Superb Customer Service
Rollover was also clearly different in the way they treated their customers. They bent over backwards to make them happy and to help them be successful. For instance, when a football stadium phoned up in a panic on the day of a match because they had forgotten to book them, David paid one of his staff double money to get everything there on time. They charged the customer nothing extra! Rollover spent lots of time with customers, discussing what worked and how else they might help them. As a result, contracts were extended and revenues increased.
In the early days of running the sandwich shops staff turnover was a major problem. The type of people they attracted tended to travel and left often without notice. It was a pain and got David thinking. So he went out of his way to build staff loyalty. As people were hired they add their own hand paint print to a wall. David sent each member of staff a birthday card each year with a personal message. What is more, when they hit targets he treated them really well. As well as regular meals out to celebrate new sales wins, when the company achieved its annual targets, David would take them all to Paris or Barcelona! With that, and being paid slightly above the industry norm, he had learnt how to win amazing levels of staff loyalty and to create a team that felt like a family.
Another superb story of fast growth- and how to achieve it. Thank you Rollover.
Does your business do anything similar? I would love to hear from you below.
People all over the world are sending in tributes about Steve Jobs. They are pouring into Apple Stores to tell the staff how highly they regarded him.
Do you remember that just a few years ago Apple was regarded as miniscule in comparison to Microsoft? Today the company is the highest valued firm in the world.
This is an inspiring story.
Steve Jobs dropped out of college after 6 months- sleeping on floors and returning coke bottles to pay for food.
At 30 he was fired from Apple, the company he had created! “We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier…. And then I got fired. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.” Said Steve
Yet today Presidents, business leaders and people all over the world are heralding him as one of the greatest business people, most successful entrepreneurs and impressive men in history!
Now that inspires me. Inspires me to think what we all can achieve if we follow our hearts.
We can be everything we dream of
When Steve was fired from Apple, he told Stamford University: “I felt.. I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.. screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me… I had been rejected, but I was still in love (with what I did). And so I decided to start over.
I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love… The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle… you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
So how is death a gift?
Then Steve went on to say: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. … And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped … living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
How does this inspire you? Do let me know by adding your thoughts below.
Tel: 0207 0604 006
A £40 million revenue company, ByBox, is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and Europe. Indeed they are in the “one percent” of companies that we have been talking about in previous articles.
Stuart Miller, their MD, told me what drives their success – and what is next.
ByBox has a network of storage boxes all around the UK and parts of Europe. These boxes make it really easy for engineers and sales people to receive the stock they need, saving them from having to drive miles to collect them. What is more, people like you and I will increasingly be using them as an easy option for receiving parcels from major brands.
They only trade where they have an unfair advantage. You see the boxes communicate electronically. So, as well as getting stock out to their people, ByBox also give their customers a way to get unused stock back far more quickly. That saves them an absolute fortune. Also, if an engineer elsewhere needs the same part, ByBox sends it direct. If it is faulty, they send it straight to the repair centre.
This unfair advantage leaves ByBox’s competitors standing.
Stuart explains that, when market demand drops, it is “lazy thinking” to focus simply on reacting to whatever sales appear or to assume there is not still a major opportunity for growth somewhere. He says you need to understand the market and your customers enough to “spot where strategic new opportunities lie.” This is what gives you the unfair advantage.
Customers at the heart of the business
At ByBox they have an “absolute fascination with how to resolve customers’ problems – in a way that will benefit them enormously.” This clearly underpins their impressive growth. In fact, the challenge Stuart is resolving now is how to get the balance right, so that both the customer AND ByBox gain. His intention is to find ways to develop solutions once and sell them many times over.
Rag Tag Bunch of Pirates
This is the affectionate description Stuart uses for his team. The strength of the relationship they have may well be THE most powerful growth driver in the business. He “creates a framework that harnesses their power”, then giving them an unusual amount of freedom to work the way they want to. He loves nothing more than to see his people, many of whom have had challenging pasts, prove that they can do anything they set their hearts on.
How closely does ByBox match the other one percent companies?
As you will remember one percent companies do things differently in four main ways.
How does ByBox compare?
ByBox is like the others because:
They are totally customer centric
They have created an environment in which their people shine
Areas ByBox are developing:
While their vision does align the Leadership team, this is an area Stuart wants to strengthen still further
They are developing a far stronger marketing engine to ramp up awareness and drive revenue even more
How does your business compare? Do let me know by click here to email me.
The world of high technology today is enough to mesmerise anyone. It is a battle of the fast growth giants. Many of the main players have only been around for a few years but they are massive. The strategic game is complex and fast moving. Who will win? That is anyone’s guess.
The massive drive for growth by each main “contestant” and their battle strategies can inspire and teach us all a great deal:
It is interesting how Zuckerburg’s desire to be part of a group played so powerfully into our desire for social connection. Who would have guessed Facebook would have soared past so many competitors. Years ago we were told, if Facebook were a country, it would be bigger than Italy (60m people). Just a couple of years later there are 800m active subscribers of which over 50% log on every day! Revenues of $4.27 billion in 2011 mean it is still a relatively small player but growing fast. The other day I heard about a company that shut down because “Facebook had poached their staff”. Now that is the sort of thing that only happens in war time……
The most fascinating thing though- with so many people tracking what other people are doing, Facebook is, in effect, powerfully changing the way people search the web!
Google versus Facebook
Google thought they had control of the web market but, due to this change, during 2011 they found Facebook was stealing their share of advertising! That battle is far from over though. After all, Google is still much larger, more than $35bn and growing at around 30% pa. They came back fast with a very impressive counter attack. Google+ is so good with so many new features being added it has caught people’s attention. Their CEO, Larry Page described it as “a totally magical experience.” What is more they trumped Facebook by improving on some of the things we hate – like Facebook’s annoying approach to our privacy! As a result, just months after the launch Google+ already has 65m subscribers. In fact nearly 25% of those joined in December alone.
Facebook wants to go public later in 2012 and is expecting to raise a lot of money. So CEO Zuckerberg is leading a counter attack, with has his staff working around the clock to pull ahead yet again. If you pass their Palo Alto building you will see the Lockdown light on the top of their building!
Of course Apple is one of the leaders of this war at the moment. Everyone wonders where they will head next and how long their massive growth will continue. Sales of iPhones and IPADs seem to keep on going up and up. For the last 2 years, even while consumers want to save money, they have been at the top of people’s Christmas lists.
Their plans obviously go far further than that though. With the mass of app.s, their move into iCloud and astute ways of acquiring massive databases of target customers, it will be interesting to see where they end up. Not to mention the revolutionary television we have heard rumoured for so long.
A weird anomaly is that Wall Street values the stock so relatively low. Morgan Stanley worked out they must only expect 2% growth pa! From a company at over $108bn revenue pa that grew over 60% this year with signs that that massive growth will continue!
Amazon versus Apple
Oddly, none of the IPAD competitors seem to have gained much traction- until the Amazon Fire came along. PCWorld indicates well over 3 million were sold in December when it launched. It is, of course, far too early to know if it will really manage to take share from Apple.
Amazon is coming at the whole tech industry from a totally different angle. They already have a massive grip on publishing and a massive database. So with the dramatic race to gain customer data and consumer concern about what companies will actually do with that data, the trust that Jeff Bozos’ has built should position them extremely well for the next round of battles.
Their growth stands at around 40% with revenue for 2010 at $34bn.
Samsung versus Apple
Here the war becomes even more complex. On the one hand Samsung are gaining impressive traction with their touch pad Android phone and are one of the more successful suppliers in the tablet market- though the market share for the Galaxy tablet is tiny in comparison to Apple of course.
By far the largest company in terms of revenue, at $220bn pa, Samsung are not growing overall like the other contenders. Yet they walk on dangerous ground. 8.7% of their DRAM chip revenue comes from Apple, who buy massive quantities for their iPhones and IPADs. An interesting position for both companies!
Where will the battle go next?
During 2012 no doubt the whole landscape will change a great deal. The wonderful thing about wars is that is gets people inventing wonderful solutions at the speed of light!
What do you think the likely outcomes of this war will be?
What good things will be created for us and which companies will come out as the winners?