I recently received my issue of Inc. Magazine and it contains their annual list of the 500 fastest growing private companies.
It is amazing to see all of the small businesses out there, and how much they’re growing.
What better way to figure out which businesses are viable in down economies than studying lists like this?
What I’ve done is pulled two sets of data. The first set of data looks at only the top 10% (the first 50) of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies.
I broke them out based on industry so you can see what industries are growing the fastest in this economy.
The second set of data looks at the entire Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies list so you can get a better idea of what types of companies are making it.
Inc. 500 – Top 50
It’s important to note that nearly any business can make it through this economy if managed well enough. This analysis is really just to fulfill my inner entrepreneurial nerd. Onto the top 10% of the Inc. 500.
The winners in the top 50 are clearly government services, financial services, energy, consumer products, software and marketing. Government services did really well overall. Clearly, the government is not only a large employer, but it appears they provide a lot of business to private companies as well.
Financial services isn’t much of a surprise given that liquidity isn’t where it needs to be, and marketing is a no-brainer because businesses are doing everything they can to get customers in the door. To be honest, looking at these top categories makes complete sense.
Given the economic climate it makes sense that the government is the biggest customer, energy companies are doing well, people need money, and businesses need software and marketing.
Inc. 500 Top Fastest Growing Companies By Industry
Now, we’re going to take a look at the list overall. Sorry for all of the industries, but I didn’t want to group a bunch of them under “Other.” You’ll probably need to click on the picture to enlarge it. Government services is clearly still the leader, but you’ll notice that the only other real standouts are Marketing and Software.
One caveat to this data, it is only represented by the quantity of companies, not the aggregate change in growth. So, 80 companies in Government Services that only average 400% growth will appear more prominently than 40 Business Products Companies that average 4,000% growth.
Regardless, this data is still useful to examine. If you want to go into business right now, in this economy, it looks like Government Services is the place to be. Not only is it a leader in the top 10% (which indicates many of the companies had extremely high growth) but it also dominated across the list of all 500 companies.
What do you think of the data, are you going to start a government services business?