By Daniel Hunter

Britain’s 1,000 fastest growing medium-sized businesses have collectively increased revenues by £45 billion in the past four years, according to new research from Deloitte.

The research, Businesses Leading Britain, part of Deloitte’s UK Futures research programme was published today to coincide with the launch of the Government’s latest GREAT Britain campaign.

It found that the top 50 of this group grew at a rate 73 times faster than the national average. These companies, all generating between £30m and £1bn in revenue, increased employment in this period by 25%, with the top 50 increasing by 54%.

The analysis found a series of common denominators between these businesses which point to three rules for growth. Firstly, sixty per cent are business-to-business organisations, and show real innovation by operating in niche markets. Secondly, the majority boast a strong visionary leader at the heart of the business, who excels at hiring and retaining the right people. Thirdly, the ability to spot export opportunities has been vital to their success, with CEOs spending weeks or even months abroad seeking out new markets.

David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte UK, said: “Medium-sized businesses are especially well placed to influence UK growth as they are equipped with both the flexibility and long-term aspirations needed to push for innovative strategies. Our analysis demonstrates how even during the economic downturn, a core of these companies have continued to deliver exceptional growth. Understanding the success factors of these companies is critical to the UK’s continued economic revival.”

London and the South East account for 41% of all businesses in the 1,000, but every region is represented demonstrating pockets of growth all around the country. Northern Ireland, the North West, the West Midlands and the East of England all boast success stories with four firms each in the top 50. In these regions alone, companies in the 1,000 have created 73,000 jobs in the last four years.

The report provides some evidence of rebalancing in the British economy, but also continued success for some of our traditionally strong industries. Technology, Media and Telecoms companies account for 8% of the 1,000 but 16% of the top 50, whilst Healthcare & Life Sciences account for 12% of the top 50 and 5% overall. The sectors with the largest proportion of companies are consumer business (33% of 1,000, 20% of top 50) and business & professional services (18% and 24%).

The report makes the case for government and business to work together to provide medium-sized companies with targeted financial and professional support. This call to action includes:

- A proposal to consolidate support provided by Government to smaller business. There are around 700 schemes for small and medium-sized businesses but few are in a position to monitor or properly utilise them;

- Tailored support for the CEOs of smaller businesses, helping them to develop relationships with new suppliers and clients, or in new markets, transforming these companies as they move from having £30m in revenue to £200m.

Sproul added: “In order for the success of some to become that of many, both government and business needs to reinforce its role in supporting those companies with the potential to strengthen the British economy. British companies retain a reputation for quality and innovation. Our brands hold cachet with international customers. We are world leaders in a number of industries. Now, after more than five years of economic struggle, recovery is taking hold. The companies behind our analysis will be critical in moving Britain’s economy beyond recovery into a new era of sustainable growth.”

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