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Private Firms Hoping to Innovate, Achieve Growth 

Part of business growth is the ability to innovate.

While the economy has been limiting the progress of many privately held companies, these firms are finding new ways to prepare for growth and inspire innovation among staff. According to the recent Trendsetter Barometer survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers US, private companies are switching up their processes and embracing new ideas to ensure growth and success in the upcoming years.

"Private-company executives recognize that achieving their business goals requires putting innovation at the heart of their efforts," said Ken Esch, a partner with PwC's Private Company Services practice. "We especially see this with private companies that sell abroad."

New Products and/or Services Could Lead to Growth
Many businesses that want to expand their customer base in local and foreign markets are looking to build new opportunities for their prospects and current customer base. The survey revealed 39 percent of private companies said creating novel products and services never before seen by the marketplace is part of their growth strategy, while 37 percent of businesses said they are focusing their efforts on products and/or services that would be new to their companies but not something that hasn't been seen by the marketplace as a whole. Successes with these innovations could be the different between achieving higher sales numbers, and failing to meet targets for the year.

However, creating innovative new products is not as easy as it may seem. In fact, many firms struggle with building a list of products that they believe with be successful in different geographic markets. According to the survey, 29 percent of private companies say that difficulty tailoring products and services across geographic markets could affect their potential to pursue top growth objectives, while 62 percent of survey respondents believe that entering new regions will help their private firm continue to grow.

"Developing products and services for a highly diverse customer base across geographies - and then finding innovative ways to reach those customers - is critical to success in foreign markets, said Esch. "Having the right partners there can also be instrumental to success. That said, we've recently seen a number of private companies reconsider their initial partners and alliances abroad as they become more familiar with key foreign markets, signaling their increased sophistication."

Businesses Must Continue to Invest in Top Talent
When private companies are able to land the best possible job prospects, their potential for innovation grows, along with the ability of the company to prosper. However, it is rather difficult to afford top talent, with 71 percent of private companies saying that wage pressure, healthcare expenses and other talent-related costs could play a role in limiting growth in the upcoming year.

"Private companies recognize that to keep pace with aggressive growth plans, they must have a strong bench to support their objectives," said Esch. "Hiring continues to stay at the margins, however, as business owners remain cautiously optimistic about the economy."

Landing the top employees doesn't always have to be as difficult as many businesses make it out to be. A recent article for Mashable spelled out some ways businesses can recruit the best available job prospects during rapid growth.

  • Keep up with the competition: Many companies are doing all they can to make their firm look like the right place for employees, which is why businesses may have to go the extra mile when recruiting talent.
  • Make moves quickly: Professionals who are in the job pool often want to be offered an interview quickly, instead of waiting several weeks or months to hear back, in which their interest could wane.
  • Master the networking process: Firms are able to learn much about their candidates through the internet and social media streams, making it less important to headhunt. Rather, place a larger impetus on networking.

While companies are looking to innovate and create new offerings to help grow their revenues, it is all about landing the top employees to help them get to where they want to be.

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