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Dynamic Dozen companies fight for three-year growth

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When Springfield Business Journal launched its Dynamic Dozen awards in 2004, our intent was to honor local companies that reported the most gross revenue growth for the three-year period leading up to the award presentation. The idea was – and continues to be – to recognize companies that shine in the marketplace.

Still, there’s no doubt that in the last few years, the market has changed. As we approached the selection deadline for the 2011 Dynamic Dozen class, SBJ’s special products task force faced a quandary. Nominations went out, but several companies declined to participate, or, when they did give us their revenue data, it showed a drop between 2009 and 2010.

While we wanted to maintain our focus on showcasing growing companies, we realized fairly quickly that given market conditions – and the fact that the last couple of years have been rough all over – we might want to tweak our criteria.

For help – and because SBJ always relies on outside parties to select its award honorees, we put in a call to Dianna Parker, a member of the business faculty at Ozarks Technical Community College, which tabulated and verified this year’s Dynamic Dozen results.
After explaining our desire to focus on growth and to take into account recent economic realities, Parker had a suggestion, which ultimately was used to determine the ranked order of this year’s Dynamic Dozen.

As in years past, companies had to show gross revenues of at least $500,000 in each of the last three years – 2008, 2009 and 2010. They were scored, however, on compound annual growth for those years, and ranked on percentage growth between 2008 and 2010, meaning that even if a company showed a revenue loss between 2008 and 2009, as long as 2010 was higher than 2008, they were still in the running.

Clearly, even those companies that took a hit in 2009 did more than make up for lost ground in 2010. According to the full list of the 2011 Dynamic Dozen, this year’s class posted three-year growth rates between 21 percent for the No. 12 company to a mind-boggling 482 percent for No. 1-ranked Electronic Check Services, which brought in 2010 revenues of $81.9 million.

It’s unlikely that anyone who has paid attention to local, regional and national business and economic news would argue that times have been tough for businesses in just about every sector, with some industries, such as construction, taking the hardest hits.

The stories in this booklet, however, are a clear illustration that businesses need not take the recession sitting down. All companies, regardless of what they do, can figure out ways to fight back.

Here are a few growth solutions to glean from these companies:
  • Think outside the box. That’s not a new strategy, but it still seems to be effective. Just ask Morelock-Ross Cos., which has grown beyond construction to encompass 26 entities, including several Qdoba restaurants.
  • Don’t let blinders stunt your growth. A common theme among several companies is that they don’t get so focused on their core services that they forget to look for new ways to serve customers.
  • Dream big. Interestingly, not one of these companies indicated that they’re happy with where they are, even if maintaining the status quo might be the easiest option in a challenging economy.  On the contrary, most report new initiatives, higher revenue goals and plans for even more growth on the horizon.

Please join me and the entire SBJ Publishing Inc. staff in congratulating the 2011 Springfield Business Journal Dynamic Dozen.

Click here for the complete 2011 Dynamic Dozen overview.[[In-content Ad]]


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