Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fast Growth Company Quiz

I accidentally found this quiz on a cached page at Google. It was written for PROFITguide in 2000 and taken offline sometime since then.

But it still has some interesting information, so take a minute and try the quiz. I've put the answers at the end of the post. There used to be an automated scoring page, but that's as dead as the sock puppet.

Do you have the right stuff to run a fast-growth company? Test your mettle and pick up a few pointers from our Growth Business quiz. Questions and correct answers are derived from Secrets of Success from Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies, by Rick Spence, a PROFIT book published by John Wiley & Sons in 1997.

1. According to Spence, how many hours per week do fast-growth entrepreneurs work?
a. 30 b. 40 c. 50 d. 60

2. According to a 1994 Statistics Canada study, what is the key characteristic of successful growth firms?
a. Perseverance
b. Skill at innovation
c. Quality of management
d. Motivation of workforce
e. All of the above

3. Almost everyone knows Yogen-Fruz, the Toronto-based frozen-yogurt maker (now CoolBrands). How did the founding Serruya brothers, barely in their 20s, get started in the face of tough competition from bigger firms?
a. They had a superior product.
b. They knew the market better.
c. They tied up the best real estate.
d. They built their stores in indoor malls while a U.S.-based competitor built streetfront outlets.

4. Many of Canada's fastest-growing companies were started by entrepreneurs who at the time had:
a. Only the vaguest notion of what they were going to do
b. A $1-million line of bank credit
c. A Royal charter
d. A fishing line and a paperclip that could be bent into a hook.

5. According to Spence, how did most of these entrepreneurs evolve their business into huge successes?
a. By borrowing more than they could afford
b. By buying an existing company
c. By getting to know their customers and adapting to market needs
d. By taking night courses and management seminars
e. All of the above

6. Why did Iona Appliances president Allan Millman realize his Welland, Ont. company couldn't get away with manufacturing kitchen appliances that were "just good enough" any more?
a. Because the appliances told him so
b. Because Iona's existing products didn't offer sufficient innovation or value to crack world markets
c. Customers were complaining about appliance quality
d. Because Canada's labor costs were too high to permit manufacturing of consumer products
e. None of the above

7. So what did Millman do to rejuvenate his company?
a. Launched a world-wide search for innovative new products
b. Licensed a design for a more efficient vacuum cleaner
c. Muscled into the U.S. market
d. Launched a line of 30-minute infomercial and started selling to U.S. consumers directly
e. All of the above
(Sadly, Iona [renamed Fantom Technologies] bit the dust a few years ago. But it was a bold effort that defied long odds.)

8. "One plus one does not equal two," says Robert Murray, co-founder of fast-growth trucking firm MSM Transportation in Bolton, Ont. What did he mean?
a. Having two partners run a company jointly is a counter-productive nightmare
b. Having two people run a company jointly is a way of generating more value than either could create on their own
c. A successful fast-growth company should not try to acquire other businesses
d. You don't have to be able to add to be a successful entrepreneur
e. None of the above

9. Which of the following management tactics do Canada's top growth companies use to reward their hard-working staffs?
a. Pizza parties or a free lunch in the office to celebrate a new order or contract
b. Cash bonuses amounting to 20% of profits
c. Group activities such as ski trips and hiking days
d. Showers in the office
e. All of the above

10. One chapter of Spence's book offers an in-depth look at one growth company: Toronto-based software developer KL Group [later renamed Sitraka]. What turned out to be the theme of this chapter?
a. Growth companies don't have any fun
b. Successful leadership of a fast-growth firm requires single-minded dedication
c. Canadian companies can't compete
d. Successful leadership of a fast-growth firm is an ongoing lesson in serial delegation
e. A two-letter business name isn't as good as a three-letter name

Your correct answers are:
1: d,2: e, 3: d,4: a,5: c,6: b,7: e,8: b,9: e,10: d.

If you'd like, you can follow this link to purchase one of the last remaining copies of my book.
And keep watching this blog for news about a follow-up book that will bring growth management into the 21st century.

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