Telling the truth about SME life today


The List Group is a family-owned engineering business that proves you’re never too old to diversify and grow. Terry List started the business in 1971 when, as a draughtsman, he decided he could earn more money working for himself. The business chugged along for the next 15 years until things took off when it bought a larger competitor. “We nearly went bust in the process because we didn’t have the finances to do it,” List says. “That’s when I learned about cash management!” More acquisitions followed and The List Group now comprises three divisions: design, recruitment and technical documentation. “We decided to diversify because we’d saturated the design market,” List says. The divisions each contribute a third of the group’s overall turnover although recruitment has been the shining light in terms of growth in recent years. Sales jumped a whopping 373 per cent from 207,000 in 2005 to £21.9m in 2008 – making it the fastest growing private company in the country by a long shot. The recession will temper the company’s meteoric growth over the next few years – but List is circumspect about the future. While he acknowledges sales will likely plateau this year, he notes: “We’re always looking for acquisitions. Chances are there’ll be some good deals out there.”


Related Stories

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!