THE FAST GROWTH 50
It was a tough year for Alberta’s economy, and the challenges are reflected in the Fast Growth 50 list. Overall revenues for the 50 are down $1 billion, to $6.1 billion, from a year ago, and the number of oil and gas companies is down to four, from 12.
But the story doesn’t end there. It hardly even begins there. “What troubled times?” asks Chris Chivilo, president and CEO of WA Grain and Pulse Solutions. “Agriculture is booming but rarely gets a line on page 10 of any newspaper!” Yes, agriculture and forestry and other sectors are doing well. We also see more high-tech and professional services companies on the list than we have in the past.
Some companies have taken advantage of the slowdown. They’ve refocused on processes and core competencies and have been able to high-grade their staff. And of course good business people are finding a thousand different ways to thrive.
That’s why, this year, we’ve themed the Fast Growth 50 around learning. We asked people what they’re doing to build their business now. Some are expanding into other markets. Others are entering joint ventures. Still others are getting back to basics: focusing on strategy and market reviews and excellent service. “Ensuring we supply the work we currently have perfectly allows us to gain market share through referrals and word of mouth,” says Jarvis Nicoll, president of Canada West Land Services. “There is no reason to grow if you are going to lose what you already have.”
We hope you’ll find some words of wisdom in these pages to help you thrive in the coming year.