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GrowthAccelerator, the government-backed business growth advisory service, has identified a breed of rapidly expanding SMEs, dubbed ‘Hyper Growth‘ businesses in a unique study released today.

Capitalising on the recovering economy, these firms have blazed a trail of exceptional growth over the past year. High growth is usually defined as a 20 per cent rise in turnover or headcount for three consecutive years – Hyper Growth businesses have achieved this level of growth in just one year.

Hyper Growth businesses:

·       are GrowthAccelerator clients

·       achieved 65% + increase in Gross Value Added (GVA) and / or employment growth in year one of GrowthAccelerator (FY12/3)

·       achieved GVA growth of >£500,000 or employment growth of >10 people

The Hyper Growth businesses were identified from a representative sample of 500 GrowthAccelerator clients. Together these businesses generated £41.9 million in GVA and created 571 jobs. Growth Observatory, the research arm of GrowthAccelerator, undertook in-depth research among these companies – including psychological profiling of their leaders – to unlock the secret formula for their rapid ascent.

The findings are interpreted by a panel of leading business growth experts from across industry and academia in a report, The Hyper Growth Insights Study, released today.

Stephen Peacock, Director of Operations at GrowthAccelerator commented: “This study seeks to shed light on the attitude and approach of a select group of leaders from exceptionally high performing businesses.

“By looking at the nature, characteristics and approach of the leaders behind these businesses, we believe this report makes a valuable contribution to the high growth debate, raising implications for policy and action to stimulate and support future business growth.”

10 Secrets of Hyper Growth Leadership

The GrowthAccelerator report reveals fascinating insights into the managerial approach of Hyper Growth leaders and the cultures they foster, giving clues to the ingredients of their success:

1.     Hyper Growth leaders put people first: Attracting and retaining good people are the biggest challenges facing Hyper Growth businesses – they worry more about this than any other challenge, including losing customers and managing cash flow.

2.     Hyper Growth leaders aren’t too proud to ask for different opinions: They are receptive to advice and take it on board. The study outlines a spectrum of trust – Hyper Growth leaders are careful about who they go to for advice and are open to collaboration with those they view as peers.

3.     Hyper Growth leaders are chameleons: they adapt to the prevailing economic environment – surviving, and even thriving, in difficult times.

4.     Hyper Growth leaders spot and seize opportunities: They have a high level of alertness and quickly seize the right opportunities.

5.     Hyper Growth leaders boldly go where no competitor has gone before: Hyper Growth businesses are entering new markets at a far faster rate than average SMEs, and their leaders are significantly more confident in doing so.

6.     Hyper Growth leaders’ creativity doesn’t stop with the big idea: They drive innovation at a faster rate than average SMEs and also find creative processes to get their products and services to market quickly.

7.     Hyper Growth leaders are red hot: on the Insights Discovery® Personal Profile tool, more than two thirds of the Hyper Growth leaders studied demonstrated dominant ‘Red’ characteristics – competitive, demanding, determined, strong-willed and purposeful.

8.     Hyper Growth leaders rate their ability to motivate and inspire however they are less confident about personal development: They generate a positive team dynamic, empowering staff and fostering creativity, however they struggle to offer work / life balance or support team health and wellbeing.

9.     Hyper Growth leaders learn more from their mistakes than their successes: despite achieving phenomenal recent success, Hyper Growth leaders turn to the darker times in their past for inspiration and lessons for future success.

10.  Hyper Growth is no accident: Finally, Hyper Growth leaders are clear about their goals for growth and plan to achieve them. The targets they set are very ambitious and in the majority of cases, they meet or exceed these goals.