Britain’s fastest growing companies are revealed in the latest Fast Track 100 league table published in the Sunday Times, which has become the UK’s barometer for privately owned companies.
Entrepreneurs such as those featured on the Fast Track 100 league table succeed because they can spot an opportunity where others don’t. Take the pubs, bars and restaurant sector as an example, which represent 10% of this year’s Fast Track 100 businesses; all are increasing sales at more than 50% a year. However, RSM Tenon’s quarterly business barometer indicates confidence is weak across the Hospitality and Leisure sector, with over 30% pessimistic about hitting profit targets this year. Yet Amber Taverns is going great guns, sales are growing 54% a year to £25m. How? Founded in 2005, the group has built its estate of 80 pubs in the north of England and north Midlands by acquiring closed or failing pubs relatively cheaply, refurbishing them to a high standard and installing flat screen TVs serving up sports and entertainment. It has secured competitively priced drinks from Heineken and it incentivises pub managers with a percentage of their pub’s weekly turnover. With operating profits of £4m, it appears a solid entrepreneurial recipe for success.
Another example is the retail sector. Despite the gloom of the high street and a series of high profile failures this year, including Comet, Peacocks, Clinton Cards and JJB Sports, this year’s league table shows new brands are emerging such as footwear designer Fitflop and Apple products reseller Stormfront.
In our experience, entrepreneurs are calculated risk takers; they are prepared to gamble on the ideas that they have if they believe the market is there. They are also people who learn from their mistakes. If they don’t get it right the first time, they get it right the second. Timing is everything and, crucially, many have a knack for taking that initial promise and turning it into something truly impressive.
Below are some facts and figures about the businesses featured on the league table:
- The Fast Track 100 companies increased their sales by an average of 89% a year over three years (compared to 87% on last year’s table) – from a total of £504m to £2.7bn
- Almost three quarters (73) of the companies had sales of more than £10m in their latest year (2011/12) and 16 companies reported sales in excess of £50m, including restaurant operator Cote Restaurants (No 36), footwear designer Fitflop (No 63) and online sports goods retailer Wiggle (No 90)
- 82 companies are majority-owned by an entrepreneur and / or founders, while only 11 are controlled by private equity or venture capital firms
- Services (51 companies) and retail (29 companies) are dominant sectors on the league table
- The 100 companies employed 14,000 staff in 2011/12 – the biggest employer on the league table was restaurant operator Jamie’s Italian with 1,725 staff.
- Half of the companies either operate internationally, or are planning to expand overseas in the near future.
RSM Tenon is well positioned to support clients through the life cycle of their ventures and we have the scale to advise you wherever your business may take you. Our team of experts have extensive knowledge and experience of helping small and medium sized businesses deal with the commercial and financial aspects of managing and growing a business as well as preserving and growing their own wealth. We can also introduce you to new opportunities through our network of clients and contacts.
To find out how we can support your business growth, please contact Jez Filley, Partner, Head of Audit on 0118 953 0353 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.rsmtenon.com