By Daniel Hunter

Far from being the sole preserve of start up businesses, high business growth is also set to come from companies which are at least five years old, according to new figures released by GrowthAccelerator.

An analysis of companies set to achieve high growth reveals 30 per cent are aged five to 10 years and 29 per cent are more than 10 years old, with some having been in business for more than a century.

“High growth is often perceived to be the exclusive domain of start ups or young enterprises which are new and nimble enough to grow quickly," Simon Littlewood, Director at GrowthAccelerator, said.

"This research shows that growth can come at any stage in a business’ lifetime. Many of our most prosperous, ambitious organisations are those which are setting and achieving new goals whether in their 5th, 50th or 100th year of trading. With the right support and guidance, the growth opportunity exists no matter what the business age.”

These findings are echoed by GrowthAccelerator’s team of expert Growth Managers, who say the opportunity for high growth can come more than once in a business’ lifecycle, and that high growth is not, and should not, be limited to ‘young’ companies. The majority say the biggest catalysts driving these periods of high growth in businesses over five years old are changes to management or ownership of a business, or shifts in the wider economy.

The research also highlights that businesses between five and 10 years old face unique challenges which can impact their ability to achieve their growth potential. The GrowthAccelerator Growth Managers say that the most common challenges at this stage include a lack of confidence among management teams in how to approach their next phase of growth; boards focused on managing ‘day-to-day’ rather than creating a long-term plan, and innovative businesses needing support in turning new ideas into new products and services. In terms of facilitating growth, they say having an innovative approach to running the business and developing products/services, and continually reviewing the business plan are the most important things a company can do to sustain long term growth.

“What is clear is that established companies are as capable of delivering high growth as innovative start-ups, but they face a unique set of challenges — and opportunities - as they mature," Littlewood added.

"The steps they need to take to achieve their growth potential are often where the biggest challenges lie, which is where GrowthAccelerator can help. Our Growth Managers work with businesses to identify opportunities, and ensure they’re on the right path to achieve them, before they’re matched with an expert coach who will work with them to unlock that exciting growth potential.”

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