Respondents to the Rising Stars survey completed a detailed questionnaire on their business strategies and plans. The responses provide in-depth insights into the success drivers for the Rising Stars. BY MARK BEYER
Half the respondents expect revenue growth greater than 30 per cent over the next three years (SEE FIGURE 1).
Commenting on this finding, Luke Martino, Managing Partner, Deloitte Growth Solutions, said: "Against the current economic backdrop, its both remarkable and encouraging that the surveyed private enterprises have expressed confidence in their business growth."
Revenue and profitability were seen as the key indicators of growth, followed by market share and returns to shareholders (SEE FIGURE 2).
BARRIERS TO GROWTH
The domestic and global economies were the major barriers to achieving higher growth. Respondents also cited ‘ability to raise capital’ and ‘shortage of experts’ as constraints on their growth.
"Confirming the complexity of our current business environment, there is a trend for prudent operators to employ people with the appropriate specialised skills and industry knowledge," said Mr Martino.
Quality people and quality products and services were seen as the key drivers of future growth. Innovation was also seen as an important contributor (SEE FIGURE 3).
"Quality should be the current buzzword," said Mr Martino. "Without quality people and quality management offering quality products and services, businesses will not be successful. We operate in a discerning market."
Developing new distribution channels ranked as the top growth strategy for survey respondents (SEE FIGURE 5). "A competitive market dictates the need for innovative marketing," said Mr Martino. "Penetrating new markets is essential for the growth of any business."
Other growth strategies revolved around strategic alliances and new product development. The Rising Stars have already selected strategic relationships with businesses with similar goals. They are also engaged in R&D to support the development of new products and services.
HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICES
Promotion of an innovative culture emerged clearly as the top issue in staff management. The Rising Stars believe their organisation’s culture plays an integral role in their growth and success. The majority also believe their organisation is already recognised as an employer of choice.
"While well entrenched in large corporations, the recognition and impact of the internal culture of a business is a relatively new trend for smaller enterprises," Mr Martino said.
Staff training and performance management were other human resource practices that the Rising Stars focus on. There was also a focus on staff retention, reflecting the high cost of recruiting and training new staff.
TECHNOLOGY AND THE INTERNET
The Rising Stars recognise the benefits of using technology and the Internet to optimise both customer-facing processes, such as marketing, sales and service, and internal processes and operations, such as staff intranets.
"There is a need for speed. It will multiply options," said Mr Martino.
Planned future investment is spread across a range of areas, led by staff recruitment and new technology followed by staff training and development and operations (SEE FIGURE 6).
Attitudes to outsourcing were evenly divided between those who favour outsourcing or sale of non-core functions and those who disagree with this strategy. Another one-third of respondents had a neutral view of outsourcing, indicating they were prepared to assess any outsourcing opportunity on its merits
(SEE FIGURE 7).
INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICE
All of the Rising Stars identify and disseminate industry best practice to help sustain their competitive advantage.
READINESS FOR CHANGE
Most of the Rising Stars are ready to act quickly in response to issues that may affect their growth. More than half said they were ready to act "now" and another quarter said they were ready to act within three months.
"There is a corporate graveyard littered with companies that did not intuitively find ways to confront uncertainty or change," said Mr Martino. "My advice to any person is to not rehearse for the future, but prepare for it."
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