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Enterprise in Action: A Guide To Entrepreneurship by Peter Lawrence

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Chapter 7

Cruising Altitude

At the end of Chapter 5 we had a quick look at an ensemble of SMEs in the start-up phase. We saw them cashing in on their experience capital and often benefiting from a degree of originality in their conception and purpose.

In particular we noted that:

  • In the early days the endeavours of these companies tended to be highly focused.
  • They (their founders personally) showed an aptitude for confronting problems and dealing with them, thus removing road blocks to early development.
  • They went at it, at the development of a customer base, with great energy and resolve.
  • When possible they would put muscle and money into promotion.

Our purpose in this chapter is to take the story on. To see the sort of things these companies did, the initiatives they took, the problems they encountered as they moved forward after a successful launch and short-term build-up.

Organic growth or acquisition

We should start with the basic question, how did companies in the study grow their business? And in attempting to shed light on this the Fast Track companies have a particular interest. They are the ones whose growth has been documented, and there is no doubt that they grow a lot quicker – that is how they got on the list. Also they are mostly fairly new which makes it easier to reconstruct their past.

So what was the predominant means by which growth was achieved?

Friends with whom I discussed the attributes of my original sample of 30 Sunday Times-listed Fast Track companies ...

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