THE fastest-growing firms in the UK are focusing on new markets, products and services to deliver up to 20% growth, according to new research.
Business coaching service GrowthAccelerator, which aims to help Kirklees firms become the best in Britain, carried out a survey among the first 2,000 companies registered for support under the scheme to help them achieve their full potential.
It found that one in five firms are pinning their growth hopes on expansion into new markets, while a similar proportion aim to diversify their range of products.
One in 10 aim to improve the level of service they provide.
Businesses surveyed cited sales, strategy and marketing as the biggest obstacles to growth – challenges that GrowthAccelerator hopes to overcome as its growth managers across the country match businesses with skilled coaches to help them grow more quickly.
Simon Littlewood, director at GrowthAccelerator, said: “To deliver significant growth, most companies need to do something differently – be that embracing new markets or diversifying their product range or improving service.
“Doing this unsupported can prove challenging, so we’re delighted to already be helping more than 2,500 businesses innovate to grow.
“Our growth managers are helping identify the growth opportunity and matching businesses with expert coaches to fulfil growth potential.”
The analysis of the GrowthAccelerator businesses also found that looking at different sectors and clients presented high growth opportunities.
Additional barriers for growth were cited as planning, management and access to finance.
Mr Littlewood said: “In recessionary times when budgets are hard to find, investing in external advice and training can make all the difference and deliver real growth.
“Businesses are taking advantage of the £7.5m GrowthAccelerator to support training budgets and bolster in-house expertise.
“Use of this funding is enabling them to deliver both considerable growth and increased staff motivation and loyalty.”
A poll undertaken on behalf of GrowthAccelerator talking to businesses who had either achieved 20% growth in the last three years or who are on track to deliver 20% growth in 2013 found five key areas contributing to their success.
Some 23% were working collaboratively with like-minded businesses or partners while 17% had secured access to finance.
Some 14% pinpointed training and development of employees as crucial while 13% cited advice and coaching and 8% said their success was due to being established in a growth industry.
GrowthAccelerator has been launched by the Government to focus on small and medium-sized businesses with the potential for rapid and sustained growth – to double their turnover in the next three or four years and achieve a growth rate of 20% year-on-year.
The UK-wide programme, which can apply to firms in any sector, has been backed by a £200m investment by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is being delivered in the Kirklees area by Leeds-based business improvement specialist Winning Pitch.
The firm specialises in helping businesses develop through marketing, team building, personal development and customised training programmes.
Companies eligible for the GrowthAccelerator programme have to be registered limited companies based in England, employ fewer than 250 people and have turnover below £400m.
Go to www.growthaccelerator.com