Recently, Oracle partnered with Inc. Media to learn the motivations, struggles and outlooks of those who are leading America’s fastest growing companies. To do this, we surveyed present (and past) members of the Inc. 5000.
The results—The Talent and Tech Driving America’s Fastest Growing Companies’ Survey―show that the leaders of these fast-growing private US companies are extremely optimistic about their companies’ growth prospects in 2017. In fact, they feel that the future is so bright, they are digging around for shades. Almost 9 out of 10 (89 percent) of these Inc. 5000 honorees said they’re either “extremely” or “very” confident about their companies’ prospects in 2017.
They are so optimistic that almost all (91 percent) plan to expand their workforces. Forty-two percent plan to hire “significantly” more employees.
But they are not stopping there. More than half of these SMBs will offer new products (61 percent), and move into new markets (65 percent). Over a third plan to open new offices (38 percent), and 32 percent plan to expand internationally.
However, like everything in life, 2017 will present some obstacles. The single biggest one these SMB leaders will face? Effectively managing their companies’ growth curve. This was a concern cited by nearly half (49 percent) of the leaders of these high-performing companies. (The average growth rate among companies in the latest Inc. 5000 ranking was 128% over three years, so these companies know a thing or two about growth.)
Second and third on the list were the ability to sell more and attract/retain skilled employees.
Just for fun (well, and to find out some key information), we asked participants what they would do if an extra $1 million fell into their laps. Again, growth was the focus. Forty six percent stated that they would upgrade and expand their sales teams; 44 percent would expand advertising and marketing; and 43 percent would improve business operations.
Survey respondents fully understood the role that the right technology plays in sustainable, profitable growth. About 41 percent said that investing in technology, including cloud services, is a top priority for the rest of 2017.
The single biggest reason the Inc. 5000 cited for moving to the cloud? Scalability and flexibility to support profitable growth (50%).
SMB leaders are also very focused on their markets and the competitors. Almost a quarter (23%) believe that the right cloud technologies will help them maintain a competitive edge. However, one concern—cited by 44% of respondents—is whether cloud services would integrate completely across all functional areas/product lines. Without integration, a company's collaboration and communication (which is important to 22 percent of respondents) will suffer.
Does this sound like you and your company? It could be. For more results and insights, please check out the new Inc./Oracle SMB solutions page.