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Old October 1, 2003, 12:05 PM
Michael S. Winicki
 
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Default The Inc. 500...

Yesterday I received my annual edition of the Inc. magazines fasted growing 500 privately held businesses in the U.S. And as usual there are a number of interesting tidbits that could interest those that visit this board.

One of the first things that grabbed me was the fact that fully 73% of the Inc. 500 were started with $100,000 or less. And a whopping 48% were started with $20,000 or less. That is an amazing figure but one that supports what I tell the beginning entrepreneurs I work with, which is basically the better the concept the less money you need to drive it. I've seen that happen time and time again. The bottom line is crummy concepts go through money faster than Godzilla through Tokyo. Good concepts are quite often profitable from day 1. That doesn't mean an entrepreneur is collecting a paycheck from the get-go but it does mean the basic expenses are at least being met.

Only 18% of the Inc. 500 target consumers as their prime customer. 67% target businesses large & small (large 37%, small 30%). 14% target government agencies key point here! Most of you don't realize how much the government buys--the government buys almost everything we buy as consumers. This is a good growth area that most businesses never consider getting involved in. And 1% of the Inc. 500 target non-profits.

And how did most of the Inc. 500 get funded? Not how most would think. Only 16% were funded by banks, VC's, and the SBA, the rest were funded by using personal assets, assets of family and friends or financing from suppliers. While they did not disclose a figure for how many used credit cards... I'm willing to bet the number is substantial, since they listed those using personal assets to fund their business at 53%, and the credit card thing would have been within that category.

A couple areas of industry weren't represented such as media companies. There were no media businesses listed.

There were also very few pure Internet plays i.e. ecommerce businesses. I think I only counted 1. But that doesn't mean hi-tech wasn't represented. There were several that dealt with software and telecommunications.

Marketing & advertising agencies were well represented as were the health sector, human resources, education and companies that dealt with financial issues.

Anyway I look forward to your comments on these topics (if there are any).

Take care,

Mike Winicki


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