Really Useful Products makes boxes. That doesn’t sound sexy, but its impressive growth story (this is its third consecutive appearance in the Hot 100) and £12.7m turnover made us sit up and take note. Former accountant Mike Pickles founded the business in 1999 when he couldn’t find the right kind of storage for his files and papers.
Having thrown “everything [he] had and more” at the business, he quickly gathered an impressive customer base, including WHSmith, Ryman and Viking Direct. Compound growth over the past four years is at 70 per cent, and RUP claims to have the largest range of strong, plastic, storage boxes for a range of needs. Using customer feedback, the business continues to expand its product range and is beginning to make an impact in overseas markets, which account for around 15 per cent of sales.