Fast 50 small businesses prosper through economic hardship

Successful small businesses rely on more than luck to thrive during an economic downturn

If you are lucky during an economic downturn, you keep your revenue flat. If you are very lucky, maybe it grows a little.

But what if you see your revenue grow by 60 percent or more? In that case, you are more than lucky. You’re smart, too.

That’s a good way to describe the 2009 Washington Technology Fast 50. These companies have weathered the economic crisis and have thrived with compound annual growth rates ranging from a low of 60.2 percent over five years to a high of 258.6 percent.

It is easy to say these companies are lucky because they are in the government market, which historically rarely shrinks.

But it is more than luck. These companies were smart enough to pick the right parts of the market to exploit.

The five we have picked to profile exemplify those savvy decisions and bring lessons that any business — large, medium or small — can benefit from. Those lessons include focus, customer service and partnering.

The Fast 50 is only one part of our annual special report on small business. We also rank the Top 25 8(a) small businesses and the top Alaska Native Corporations and tribally owned small businesses, and we explore barriers and challenges for small businesses trying to crack the government market.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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