Rapid Growth a Strain on Companies

October 3, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Although almost 80% of CEOs report having a business plan with measurable goals tied to its targeted growth pace, many say that fast growth has put a strain on their operation, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Trendsetter Barometer.
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The companies involved in the survey have averaged upwards of 20% in revenue growth over the past five years, and while this growth rates may appear to be every business owner’s dream, it can cause serious management problems.

 The CEOs listed the following challenges:

· providing sufficient internal resources was mentioned by 55%,
· attracting employees was listed by 48%
· reliability of overall strategic planning, 47%
· providing timely, reliable operational information, 41%
· restructuring the company in line with strategic plans, 37%
· the company’s internal communications network, 37%
· ability to forecast working capital and funding needs, 35%
· employee turnover, 34%, and
· providing timely, reliable financial information, 32%.

Managing Risk

Looking ahead, there is reason to believe risk management and controls will be receiving increased attention from “Trendsetter” CEOs. More than half say risk management and controls will be very important to the success of their business over the next one to two years.

These business leaders are from larger, more-complex businesses than those who see controls as not particularly important. Their revenues average $33.1 million, almost 40% greater than the latter group. Yet, despite their significantly larger size, they are projecting 15.8% revenue growth this year in a soft economy, a pace 22% faster than the latter group.

Financial Control

A quarter of the CEOs in the sample expect to increase budget expenditures for risk management and controls over the next year, by an average of 20%. In terms of establishing realistic financial controls and goals for their company, of the CEOs questioned:

· only 42% say they have been very successful,
· some 46% say that they have been somewhat successful, while
· a little over 10% admit to not being very successful

The group that has been very successful with their financial controls grew 87% faster than all others over the past 12 months, and is expecting to grow 47% faster, in the next year.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Trendsetter Barometer” interviewed CEOs of 427 product and service companies

– Camilla Klein                           editors@plansponsor.com

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