A few years ago, I did a deep dive into the personalities and motivations of the entrepreneurs behind Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies.
The following list should interest anyone who wants to try to emulate the business success of these focused innovators, or wants to market to them. Each paragraph contains a relevant insight about their strategy or tactics, and then a related pointer on how to grab the attention of these growth leaders.
1) These companies are founded on innovation. They present new solutions to their markets, not business as usual. If you are offering products and solutions that are new and improved, they’d better be genuine, because these firms have written the book on innovation.
2) These firms offer real value in the marketplace: new solutions, better service, lower prices. (How else do you break into today’s crowded markets?) Since these emerging companies create so much value for their clients, they expect value from their suppliers in return. They are most receptive to marketers who also put value and customer benefit first.
4) Their founders have leveraged personal relationships to get where they are today. They are innovative dealmakers. And they expect no less from you.
5) Being an emerging business doesn’t mean you lack experience; many of these entrepreneurs brought years of industry experience to the table. Expect entrepreneurial clients to combine small-biz focus with sophisticated business knowledge and toughness.
6) Deep personal interest in their products or industry often helps growth entrepreneurs persevere and succeed. They expect you to be as excited about your product as they are about theirs.
7) Growth firms pour cash back into the business. However successful these businesses have become, most of them are cash-poor, because they are always prototyping new products, services or markets. Address their management's concerns about price.
8) Growth firms operate globally. For them, borders are opportunities, not obstacles. They need solutions that will work around the world.
9) These firms are keen to keep growing. That means their needs are always changing. And it means your products and services must be able to serve these customers all along their growth path.
10) These companies are on missions. Many of today’s growth entrepreneurs believe their products and services really can make the world a better place. To connect with these entrepreneurs, your business brand, too, should stand for something that matters.