Posted: 08 Jun. 2021 10 min. read

High Growth Potential Businesses: Unleashing unrealised potential

Small Business, Consulting, Growth, Deloitte Private

Successful investors will understand the importance of identifying ‘growth stocks’, and the challenges that come hand-in-hand with this endeavour. Seeking investment opportunities in companies with sky-rocketing revenues presents the “investor’s gold-mine”. 

And yet, what if we could identify the mere potential for such growth in our local small and medium businesses (SMBs)? Through the identification of High Growth Potential businesses, investors, business-owners, and the economy at large could benefit through the assurance that transformative growth opportunities are not going unrealised.

Successful investors will understand the importance of identifying ‘growth stocks’, and the challenges that come hand-in-hand with this endeavour. Seeking investment opportunities in companies with sky-rocketing revenues presents the “investor’s gold-mine”.

And yet, what if we could identify the mere potential for such growth in our local small and medium businesses (SMBs)? Through the identification of High Growth Potential businesses, investors, business-owners, and the economy at large could benefit through the assurance that transformative growth opportunities are not going unrealised.

Since 2015, Deloitte has served as a proud Delivery Partner for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme: the Australian Governments' flagship program for productivity and competitiveness in the small and medium private business sector. Since its inception, the Programme has supported over 15,000 businesses, achieving an average of over $1 million increase in turnover, and providing over $302 million in matched grant funding.

Our role in this Programme, and experience working with a range of Australian private businesses, has enabled us to define and refine what we see as the key characteristics of a ‘high growth potential’ business. Identifying and striving for these characteristics in your business may ultimately yield a hidden gem in the SMB sector. 

The six characteristics of High Growth Potential SMBs:

We have put together a list of six key characteristics that we continue to see across the high growth potential businesses that we work with. See how these apply to you – or if there are any steps you can take towards realising your ‘High Growth Potential’! 

Innovative

Undoubtedly, High Growth Potential SMBs continually innovate to maintain a unique competitive advantage and ensure market space for growth. Through the effective exploitation of novel ideas, and the integration of a forward-thinking culture, SMBs are able to capitalise on improved processes, commercialisation of new products and services, increased profitability and enhanced efficiencies. SMB leaders who foster a culture of innovation ultimately highlight their commitment to developing capability and resources, maintaining competition, and ensuring high growth. 

Tip: Maintain a curious mindset and consider ‘thinking outside the box’ when it comes to your business, market and competitors!

Future Focused

High Growth Potential businesses focus on the long-term, not just the day-to-day. These businesses seek to successfully adapt to changing consumer needs and market environments. Notably, these businesses maintain a healthy balance sheet to support future growth, with key decision makers aligning about the future direction of the business. Certainly, in the fast-paced, ever-changing SMB sector, management teams often find themselves focused on the operational day-to-day survival of the business. However, those SMBs who manage to maintain a future focus, prime themselves to achieve high growth. 

Tip: Short term pain for long term game. Think into the future and play the long game – to win.

Digitally Enabled

SMBs who prioritise digital enablement are able to efficiently and effectively scale, thereby harnessing their High Growth Potential. Whilst many SMBs may consider adopting and adapting to digital as an afterthought, those companies seeking a competitive advantage to harness their growth potential ensure the prioritisation of digital enablement. Certainly, digital disruptors are slowly encroaching on the territory of traditional industries, thereby illuminating and expediting the requirement for SMB leaders to weave digital transformation into the fabric of their companies. 

Tip: Do you have a Digital Strategy? What is your next digital move?

Diverse

High Growth Potential SMBs maintain a focus on diversity to ensure creativity and innovation. For these successful businesses, diversity is a pre-requisite, whereby different people, skills and ways of thinking combine to create immense value. Diversity at the SMB level presents through a number of themes including diversity of composition, approach and style, understanding of biases and behaviours, and inclusive leadership. SMBs that display and uphold these characteristics are able to benefit through the provision of different perspectives, enhancement of their talent pool and enrichment of company culture, thereby strengthening efforts to grow and achieve success. 

Tip: Remember, two heads are ALWAYS better than one. Read: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/human-capital/articles/creating-high-performing-leadership-teams.html to find out how to create a culture of high performance in your team.

High Human Capital

High human capital, education, and entrepreneurial and management skills are essential elements for High Growth Potential SMBs. For such successful SMBs, there is a key understanding that the company’s greatest asset is not its financial capital, it is its human capital. When businesses prioritise their workforce development, in order to optimise staff performance, they may yield increased profits, income, and high growth outcomes. 

Tip: We are all in the business of people. They are your biggest asset – so look after them!

Clear Value Proposition

High Growth Potential SMBs have a clear value proposition which is widely recognised by market. It is critical that SMBs seeking growth clearly understand what they want to achieve and have a realistic and relevant strategy to achieve these outcomes. Such SMBs utilise their clearly articulated vision and mission to support company plans and prioritise decisions about product and service delivery. Through these focused efforts, SMBs can create a strong differential between themselves and competitors, attract relevant opportunities and increased customer engagement, ultimately yielding high growth. 

Tip: What do you stand for? Why would people buy from you? 

Where to next for your business?

For SMBs seeking to unleash their potential, ensuring the upholding of these six characteristics is no easy feat. However, upon successful adherence to these values, there is scope for significant dividends for both business owners, and the Australian economy at large.

For eligible businesses seeking an edge in the SMB sector, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme offers an opportunity for businesses to grow, innovate, strengthen, and realise their growth potential. We seek to support our clients to increase jobs, profit and capital raised, successfully sell businesses, develop and commercialise IP, and build stronger capabilities and resilience.

If your business is seeking an opportunity to take the next step towards becoming a High Growth Potential business, the Entrepreneurs’ Programme may be your next step. To assess your businesses’ eligibility, and read more about the Programme, please contact us or visit https://www.business.gov.au/EP.

More about author

Lexi Kowal

Lexi Kowal

Analyst, Consulting

Lexi is an Analyst in the Transformation and Operations team based in Melbourne, having completed the Summer Vacationer Program in 2020. Lexi holds a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from Monash University, and has worked for both the Victorian and Federal Parliaments. Since joining Deloitte, Lexi has worked on a range of transformation engagements across the Transport, Defence and Small Business sectors.