HR & Management

UK’s fastest growing businesses invest in staff when money is tight

3 min read

02 January 2013

In a bid to achieve growth, the UK's fastest growing businesses plan to work with like-minded peers and pour their resources into their staff.

Working with like-minded peers and investing in training for staff are the ways business leaders plan to pursue growth in the new year, according to GrowthAccelerator’s survey of 500 businesspeople leading some of the UK’s most promising enterprises.

The findings demonstrate that the owners behind the UK’s fastest-growing businesses are so confident in their business models, that they are indeed investing money rather than cutting corners. Through a bid to help their staff achieve their full potential, 86 per cent predict they’ll grow up to 20 per cent this year.

The majority of respondents said they wanted to grow their workforce. The one piece of advice they would give aspiring high growth businesses, they said, would be “to continue investing in staff even when money is tight.”

Simon Littlewood, head of business growth services at GrowthAccelerator, said: “In prioritising investment in staff training next year, fast-growing businesses are showing they have faith in the strength of their business models.”

High on the list of activities fundamental to growth was forming partnerships and networks. Working collaboratively with like-minded businesses and organisations was cited as the biggest contributor to respondents’ growth to date. Business owners who had received formal advice and coaching said the “creation of new networks and relationships” had been one of its biggest benefits that helped them to achieve growth.

“We’re seeing an emerging trend for businesses seeking an external perspective on their perceived and actual business challenges, to ensure they’re primed for optimum growth. We have 2,000 businesses signed up to GrowthAccelerator, and they are telling us that getting a fresh outlook, energy and ideas from trusted advisors are invaluable to them, and that’s exactly what our growth managers and growth coaches are doing,” said Littlewood.

“Those polled were realistic about the financial environment – identifying the recession and general economic climate as the biggest barrier to growth next year – and said growing and investing in their workforces remained their top priority.”

The optimism of high-growth business owners does not look set to dampen, the majority of which cited their ten year ambition as “achieving 20 per cent growth or more, year on year.” The business owners GrowthAccelerator spoke to were aiming to exceed that level of growth; a remarkable achievement.

The impact of the recession was hard for many companies but there is, nonetheless, huge ambition and drive among the UK’s business owners.