The Success Secrets That Helped the 'Best Practicers' Land on the Entrepreneur360

The Success Secrets That Helped the 'Best Practicers' Land on the Entrepreneur360
Image credit: AlleyNYC

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 Best Practicers, one of the six archetypes of the Entrepreneur360(TM) Performance Index. To see the other five archetypes, click here.

These star companies do everything evidence-based management wisdom says they should do and achieve everything they're going for. They set high-growth targets and are confident of hitting them. They are employee champions, staying highly attuned to staff needs and input and promoting more agile, decentralized decision-making, as well as innovative and proactive action. Company cash flow tends to stay strong. They're able to time their expansions well, and they keep up with changing customer needs and potentially disruptive technologies. It all pays off: These firms report not only sustained but especially rapid growth, and almost no problems in any area of management or performance.

Key characteristics

  • Best Practicers tend to be in rapid-growth industries, and are mostly national and international in focus rather than local or regional. They are also more likely to be urban-based.
  • Avoiding top-down, command-and-control management, they emphasize empowering employees through distributed decision-making, transparency, sharing information and frequent, deep communication both up and down in the organization.
  • They are big on rewarding employees, by sharing profits, promoting from within and emphasizing good benefits, good quality of life and a positive work environment.
  • They set high growth targets and make a point of clearly communicating those aggressive plans to employees, customers, suppliers and even the local community.
  • They see fast growth as a competitive edge in its own right and are driven to constantly increase market share.
  • They seek to be both brand leaders and innovators, and encourage risk-taking.
  • They rely heavily on internal metrics and external market research.
  • They expand proactively, without waiting to book the orders that would necessitate it.
  • They give to charity for its own sake, and not just to help the company grow.

Takeaway

The conventional wisdom isn't always right, but in the case of management best practices, it seems spot on. The formula isn't a secret: Pursue aggressive growth; lavish care and attention on employees; set up nimble and broad-based decision-making processes; embrace change and disruption; stay on top of data; and communicate with customers and suppliers.

A Head For Profits

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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Manufacturing
Accordant Media

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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Marketing and analytics
Adafruit Industries

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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Hardware
Aden & Anais

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Founded: 2006
Business Type: Retail
AppLovin Corporation

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Founded: 2012
Business Type: Advertising
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Founded: 2005
Business Type: Marketing
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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Staffing
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Founded: 2006
Business Type: Marketing
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Business Type: Health technology
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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Cloud Based Software
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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Branding
BrightEdge

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Founded: 2007
Business Type: Marketing
Concept Technology

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Founded: 2003
Business Type: Internet technology
Contently

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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Marketing
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Founded: 2006
Business Type: Media/Healthcare
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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Retail
Dragon Innovation

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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Manufacturing
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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Software
Duck Duck Go

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Founded: 2008
Business Type: Internet search
Duolingo

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Founded: 2011
Business Type: Language education
Evoke Brands

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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Social media
Evolve IP

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Founded: 2007
Business Type: Cloud services
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Founded: 2008
Business Type: Marketing
GothamCulture

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Founded: 2006
Business Type: Management consulting
Gravity Jack

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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Software
Grovo

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Founded: 2010
Business Type: Learning technology
Gusto

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Founded: 2011
Business Type: HR software
HitchSwitch

HitchSwitch

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Name-changing service
HRAnswerLink

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Founded: 2001
Business Type: Human resources
ICON

ICON

Founded: 1996
Business Type: Transportation
iCracked

iCracked

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Service provider/Repair
iDevices

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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Internet of Things
iMemories

iMemories

Founded: 2006
Business Type: Cloud services
Influence & Co.

Influence & Co.

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Branding
Infographic World

Infographic World

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Infographics
Intelisys

Intelisys

Founded: 1994
Business Type: Telecommunications
Jewel Branding & Licensing, Inc

Jewel Branding & Licensing, Inc

Founded: 2008
Business Type: Consulting
Killer Infographics

Killer Infographics

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Infographics
LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network

Founded: 1998
Business Type: Staffing
Little Passports, Inc.

Little Passports, Inc.

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Education
Mindblown Labs

Mindblown Labs

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Education
Namely

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Founded: 2012
Business Type: Software
NatureBox

NatureBox

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Food
Next Jump

Next Jump

Founded: 1994
Business Type: Software
olloclip, LLC

olloclip, LLC

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Manufacturing
Omni Online Solutions

OMNI Online Solutions

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Marketing
Ontraport

Ontraport

Founded: 2006
Business Type: Marketing
Orange Mud

Orange Mud

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Manufacturing
Ready Set Rocket

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Founded: 2009
Business Type: Marketing
Renhaus Visualization Studio

Renhaus Visualization Studio

Founded:
Business Type: Design
Revolution LLC

Revolution LLC

Founded: 2005
Business Type: Incubator
Richter10.2 Media Group

Richter10.2 Media Group

Founded: 2008
Business Type: Communications
Sachs Marketing Group

Sachs Marketing Group

Founded: 2010
Business Type: SEO
Shoptiques

Shoptiques

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Retail
Smashing Boxes

Smashing Boxes

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Web design
Spectrum Aeromed

Spectrum Aeromed

Founded: 1991
Business Type: Health care
Square 2 Marketing

Square 2 Marketing

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Marketing
Switch Communications, Inc.

Switch Communications, Inc.

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Cloud communications
Tapad

Tapad

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Software
The James Agency, INC.

The James Agency, INC.

Founded: 2005
Business Type: Marketing
Touchfire

Touchfire

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Tech accessories
Vacasa

Vacasa

Founded: 2009
Business Type: Property rentals
Volta Charging

Volta Charging

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Automotive
Wonderful Union

Wonderful Union

Founded: 2007
Business Type: Web Development & Live Events
Ytel, Inc.

Ytel, Inc.

Founded: 2012
Business Type: Software
ZinePak

ZinePak

Founded: 2011
Business Type: Marketing
ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter

Founded: 2010
Business Type: Recruitment