Entrepreneur360

How Staying in Front of the Pack Helped the 'Forward Thinkers' Nab a Spot on Entrepreneur360

How Staying in Front of the Pack Helped the 'Forward Thinkers' Nab a Spot on Entrepreneur360
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Through surveys and available data, we've examined hundreds of small businesses and come away with six archetypal sets of practices and characteristics that we believe are representative of most growth companies operating today.

The qualifications were simple: Companies had to be domestically owned, privately held, for-profit and have shown net capacity growth over at least two years, with an employee size in 2015 of 10 to 1,000.

Below, we examine the traits of Forward Thinkers, one of the six archetypes of the Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index. To see the other five archetypes, click here.  

Forward Thinkers surge ahead in growth and profits by being aggressive in adopting new technologies and processes, setting high targets and expanding proactively. While that high growth rate isn’t easily financed without outside funding, the Forward Thinkers seem to have little problem finding investors -- which may explain why they have unusually influential boards of directors.

Key characteristics

  • Forward Thinkers tend to be in mature industries.
  • They lead the Entrepreneur360™ in being driven by new production technologies and processes.
  • They set the highest average annual growth targets among Entrepreneur 360™  companies.
  • They expand proactively.
  • They are more likely than their peers to prioritize input from their boards of directors.
  • Their focus tends to be more international than local.

Takeaway 

It’s no surprise that technological and process innovation can rocket a company to success, particularly in mature industries that may have become sleepy. But fast, innovation-fueled growth also calls for extra attention on company components that may become stressed by the pace of change. What’s more, managers at cutting-edge firms need to be prepared to deal with what may be conflicting direction from outside investors and other stakeholders.

321GoProject

321GoProject

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Marketing
Avant

Avant

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Financial services
Bai Brands, LLC

Bai Brands, LLC

Founded: 2008
Business Type: Beverage
Bizness Apps

Bizness Apps

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Software
BloomBoard

BloomBoard

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Education technology
BucketFeet

BucketFeet

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Shoes
ClicksMob

ClicksMob

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Advertising
Craftsy

Craftsy

Founded: 2010
Business Type: E-learning
Crowdtap

Crowdtap

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Marketing
Enovative Group

Enovative Group

Founded: 2006
Business Type: Energy-efficient water systems
Gazelle Globalization Group

Gazelle Globalization Group

Founded:
Business Type: Translation
Her Campus Media

Her Campus Media

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Publishing
HoneyBook

HoneyBook

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Event planning
Interlude

Interlude

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Video
Localytics

Localytics

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Marketing
MediaBrix

MediaBrix

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Advertising
MJ Freeway

MJ Freeway

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Software for marijuana businesses
MobileX Labs

MobileX Labs

Founded: 2012
Business Type: App development
Noribachi

Noribachi

Founded: 2007
Business Type: Lighting manufacturing
Playwire

Playwire

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Video
QuotaFactory

QuotaFactory

Founded: 2002
Business Type: Sales consulting
Reelio

Reelio

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Social-media consulting
Rocksauce Studios

Rocksauce Studios

Founded: 2010
Business Type: App development
Spokeo

Spokeo

Founded: 2006
Business Type: People-search platform
Synduit

Synduit

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Software
TerraCycle

TerraCycle

Founded: 2001
Business Type: Recycling
United By Blue

United By Blue

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Apparel and accessories
VMTurbo

VMTurbo

Founded: 2008
Business Type: Software
Votto Vines Importing

Votto Vines Importing

Founded:
Business Type: Wine importing/distribution
Y Media Labs

Y Media Labs

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Mobile

 

Edition: December 2016

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