Oracle wanted to learn the secrets of success from some of the fastest-growing companies in the country. How did they become so successful? What obstacles do they currently face? What got their business to where it is today, and what are their plans for this year (and beyond)?

To that end, Oracle teamed with Inc. Media to survey past and present Inc. 5000 company leaders. The members of the Inc. 5000 lead the fastest growing private companies in America. These are the men and women who took a great idea and turned it into a product (or service) and wrapped it in a scalable, repeatable business model, across a wide variety of industries (both B2B and B2C).

The results of the survey, Inside the Heads of Leaders of America's Fastest-Growing Companies, paints a picture of a very optimistic, hardworking group of small- and medium-sized (SMB) leaders. Curious to know more? Well, let's dig into the details.

Primary Success Factors

So how did these companies make the Inc. 5000? Well, as in all things, there is not just one reason. Success was based on a variety of factors, but we did see patterns in the responses. Success, it seems, comes down to doing three things right.

  1. Focusing on great sales and marketing (41 percent)
  2. Having the right management team in place (37 percent)
  3. Keeping costs in line with growth (27 percent)

Where did respondents not give much credit? Well, only three percent said that their ability to cut waste was the primary factor in their companies' success, while only four percent pointed to international expansion. Only five percent gave credit to expanding office or plant space.

Personal Qualities That Led to Success

Regarding the innate personal qualities that contributed to their companies' success, hard work was the top choice; 37 percent of the respondents named it as one of the top three personal traits that lead to success. This was followed by having a strong vision (36 percent) and industry knowledge or expertise (34 percent). Rounding out the top five was a willingness to take risks and perseverance (both tied at 30 percent).

Optimism and Plans for 2018

The study also revealed that the leaders of the Inc. 5000 companies are incredibly optimistic about their business prospects in the foreseeable future. Nine out of 10 respondents (92 percent) said they are either "extremely" or "very" confident about success in 2018.

Not only are they confident, but they are also acting on that more watching, wavering, and waiting. These high-growth SMBs plan to make some major investments this year. For example:

  • 91 percent intend to hire more employees
  • 57 percent plan on moving into new markets
  • 56 percent are looking to increase the output of their current product/service offering
  • 50 percent plan on offering new products
  • 35 percent intend on doing more business internationally·
  • 33 percent want to continue investing in cloud solutions (mainly for the scalability and flexibility they provide)

The competitive advantage of flexibility cannot be understated. Cloud applications make it easier to get new employees/users up and running, quickly add new solutions or components as business needs change, thanks to linear subscription-based licensing and all the backend technology being managed by the vendor. There is no need to worry about infrastructure, especially for brief periods of seasonal demand. High-growth companies can focus on what is important--growth.

Opportunities with Cloud Software

Fast-growing companies did sing the praises of cloud software. Over half (55 percent) stated that the most significant opportunity they have seen from leveraging cloud software is the scalability and flexibility offered. Almost 20 percent pointed to easy access to business metrics.

Top current uses of the cloud include:

  • Data storage--for warehousing large volumes of data (66 percent)
  • Human resource applications, such as benefits, recruiting, and payroll (62 percent)
  • Sales (54 percent)
  • Database--data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (45 percent)

To get more detailed information, download the survey results--Inside the Heads of the Leaders of America's Fastest-Growing Companies--today.

About the Survey

Oracle partnered with Inc. Media to survey leaders of companies that are current or recent Inc. 5000 honorees. The Inc. 5000 list ranks companies by three-year sales growth, among other factors. The top company on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list, Skillz, had a three-year growth rate of 50,059% with 2016 revenues of $54 million.

About Oracle Cloud solutions for SMBs

Today Oracle delivers an entire suite of business applications--for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Planning and Budgeting, Financial Reporting, Human Capital Management (HCM), Talent Management, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Support, and Customer Loyalty. Oracle's SaaS business applications are mature, highly functional and backed by the Oracle name as well as the millions of dollars invested in software development and infrastructure to build and deliver application suites. If you're a business manager looking to get your hands on the latest capabilities without the headaches often associated with hefty upgrades, contact us and explore the benefits of SaaS applications from Oracle.

Published on: May 9, 2018