Chapter 51: Ten Percenters: Fast-growth Middle-market Firms in Britain
David Storey FOREWORD By Peter Morgan, Partner, Deloitte & Touche This is the third part in our series of ‘Ten Percenters’ reports jointly contributed by Professor David Storey and Deloitte & Touche. Professor Storey has examined middle market companies – with a turnover of between £5 million and £100 million – which have grown rapidly since the early 1990s. Since such rapid growth firms constitute about one in ten of all companies in this size they are referred to as ‘ten percenters’. This report probes into what makes these ten percenters tick. It investigates my analogy of a boat moving swiftly down the river: for this to happen there are two strategies – one is to have a capable crew and the other is to have the boat backed by a strong current. Professor Storey finds that it is demand within the marketplace which is the factor most crucial to the ten percenter. He provides a fascinating insight into the variety of ‘market niches’ which ten percenters occupy. However, what makes this report interesting is that while there is almost a uniformity of focus upon growing niche markets – the elements of the ‘current’ in the boating analogy – there is much greater diversity in the internal organization of these firms. In short the ‘crew’ appear to be organized and managed in a variety of ways. In my view and that of Professor Storey, the report raises the fundamental question of exactly what constitutes management skills in rapidly growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). If management skills...
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