Later this week, we’ll be revealing OBJ’s top 10 fastest-growing companies for 2022.
We feel sure that when you meet them, you’ll detect an underlying theme. In fact, learning about our top 10 is a bit like reading the story of the past two years.
With a pandemic sweeping the world - and our own neighbourhoods - what did we do as consumers? Well, we ordered stuff online and had it delivered. We treated ourselves to personal care items and upgrades for our homes. We took “vacations” in our backyards and we indulged in tasty treats that were dropped off on our doorsteps.
As a result of these behaviours, some companies struggled to cope with a dramatic loss of customers and revenues. Others found themselves in the opposite situation: overwhelmed with demand. The latter scenario was the case for many of our fastest-growing firms for 2022.
The companies are all headquartered in the National Capital Region and each has demonstrated substantial revenue growth over the past three years. But that’s where many of the similarities end. The top 10 definitely come in a range of shapes and sizes.
This year, we tried something a little different by asking these firms about the challenges involved with their explosive growth. Their responses mirror what is happening in our economy, much of which is a direct result of the pandemic. Pent-up demand is driving prices higher, creating inflation. There are shortages and bottlenecks at many stages of the supply chain. And qualified, skilled employees are an increasingly hot commodity, with employees expecting - demanding - a whole new work experience.
In fact, the overwhelming message from our top 10 was that their growth simply couldn’t happen without the right people. Whether they were struggling with finances, supply chain issues, or simply filling customer orders, it all came back to having the right number of employees with the right skills, willing to go that extra mile.
As one of our top 10 put it, “Supporting our employees and ensuring they are happy is our biggest priority because without them we would not be where we are.”
Similarly, “Growing a team through this type of growth has been hard, but ultimately taught us the importance of our people and team.”
Research over the past few years shows that these fast-growing firms punch well above their weight when it comes to economic impact. They contribute disproportionately to gross domestic product, job creation and total export values. In short, they are the superstars of any country’s economy.
But they face specific obstacles. For example, they need strong management that can captain and control surging growth. They may need help exploring new markets abroad, much sooner than other firms. They typically have trouble accessing financing that is flexible enough to support their dynamic needs. And, of course, they struggle to find the people needed to enable their growth trajectory.
As we look down the rocky path to economic recovery, just as we must help some companies get back on their feet, we should ensure that our fastest-growing firms have the fuel to keep running flat out, particularly in these difficult times.
Let’s celebrate our top 10 this year! Stay tuned!