By Daniel Hunter

The UK’s fastest-growing companies are focusing on new markets, products and services to deliver up to 20 per cent growth, according to new research released by GrowthAccelerator.

Its analysis of the first 2,000 businesses registered for support in achieving their growth aspirations, finds that one in five (21 per cent) are pinning their growth hopes on expansion into new markets, followed by diversification of product offer (20 per cent) and service improvement (11 per cent).

The research finds these businesses say their biggest barriers to growth are sales, strategy and marketing. These are challenges GrowthAccelerator hopes to overcome as its Growth Managers match businesses with skilled coaches in order to help them fulfil their growth potential.

“To deliver significant growth, most companies need to do something differently — be that embracing new markets or diversifying their product range or improving service," Simon Littlewood, Director at GrowthAccelerator said.

"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 present high growth opportunities. Additional barriers for growth are cited as planning, management and access to finance.

“In recessionary times when budgets are hard to find investing in external advice and training can make all the difference and deliver real growth," Littlewood added.

"Businesses are taking advantage of the £7.5million GrowthAccelerator has available 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 per cent growth in the last three years or who are on track to deliver 20 per cent growth in 2013 found that their key growth enablers to date have been:

- Working collaboratively with like-minded businesses or partners (23 per cent)
- Access to finance (17 per cent)
- Training and development of employees (14 per cent)
- Advice and coaching (13 per cent)
- Being established in a growth industry (8 per cent).

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