A stage five business has 26-100 employees and is usually generating between $3 and $10 million in annual sales. According to our Small Business Market Survey, there are only 300,000 of these “growth companies” in the United States. The key thing that propels these companies is a management team that is leading the company versus a business owner and a couple of managers that lead earlier-stage companies.
I’ll cover the seven deadly sins of these growth companies in my post tomorrow. Today, I want to point out a few of the traits of these businesses because they are profoundly impactful to their communities. I love entrepreneurs who’ve reached stage five and are pushing themselves and their companies to grow to 100 employees. That’s not to say that I don’t love all entrepreneurs; I do. But the men and women who lead growth companies earn my total respect. Here’s why:
Growth companies employ about 15 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census. Because these stage five businesses are usually generating more than $100,000 of revenue per employee, they are able to provide high-paying jobs, without subjecting their employees to layers of bureaucracy found in large companies. Employees are able to earn good wages, contribute meaningfully to the company’s success, and grow themselves as the company grows. The average revenue per employee of solopreneurs is $47,000 per year, while the average revenue per employee of the Fortune 500 is around $500,000 per year. These growth companies sit near the middle of that spectrum and are able to provide some of the best of both worlds to their employees.
But the income and growth benefits to employees are just some of the reasons I love the entrepreneurs who get to stage five. I also love them because they enrich the communities where they reside, becoming critical linchpins in their local economies. These entrepreneurs are typically very involved in community activities, sponsorships, and spending programs that provide jobs and dollars to other businesses that support the growth company.
But the biggest reason why I love growth companies is that the business is no longer just about the financial freedom of the entrepreneur. The leader of a growth company has the broader good in mind. I see it up close and personal every day, as employees and community members are blessed by the positive impact of these business. My hat goes off to the stage five business owner because she has achieved enough success to go beyond herself. She is making a major impact on her community. And the ripple effects are incalculable.
SBS Idea of the Day: Is your business only about success for you? Or do you have a dream and an ambition to see your business bless the lives of your employees, partners, and everyone associated with it? Set that kind of ambition, and you’ll tap into a power that will become an unstoppable force for good.