a Complete Business Development Machine

Chapter 2. An Observation

An Observation


The table below displays the number of businesses in the United States between $1 and $100M in gross sales. It demonstrates how many of these businesses grow, and categorizes, in a broad sense, the major hurdles that all organizations face that impair growth.

At a glance, your attention may be immediately drawn to the fact that very few businesses advance beyond the $5M mark. There are many reasons for this. We have attempted to group the bulk of them under four categories to provide a context for the discussion that follows.

If you have not considered these things before, you may find this information initially striking, and then quite useful. I hope to draw you into the “useful” stage.

First, let’s briefly consider the data.

  1. As of mid-July, 2019, using the Reference USA database, we find that there are just over 11,400,000 businesses in the United States between $1 and $100,000,000 in gross sales.
    1. Around 72% (8,300,000) of these businesses are under $1 million in sales and the majority of them will never exceed the $1 million mark.
    2. Around 21% (2,450,000) manage to make the leap into the $1 to $5 million sales category.
    3. Only 3% make it past $5M in sales
    4. 2% past $10M in sales
    5. 1% past $20M in sales
    6. .03% past $50M in sales

I have been following this for the past several years and noticed three things:

  1. The total number is shrinking. In 2014 there were 12,700,000 businesses in the same range.
  2. The number of businesses in the lowest range, $1 to $1M is growing.
  3. The number of businesses in the highest range, $50M to $100M is shrinking.

You may find it encouraging to learn about the things you can do to move your business to the right on this table. That is what this book is about.