Growth Businesses

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More than a fifth of businesses are considerably more optimistic about their business than their peers.


While overall business optimism is high, there's a group of businesses who are particularly positive about their growth expectations.

More than a fifth of businesses surveyed in our Navigator research are expecting standout growth of 15% or more in the next year. And they have a business strategy that is grounded in reality too; they know that growth equals change and 74 per cent anticipate the need to totally or substantially transform in the next 5 years - compared with just 45 per cent of businesses seeing less growth.

So what is driving these businesses to feel so optimistic and what unique qualities set them apart from the pack?

Read our findings below and discover how you could become one of them.

Growth companies are navigating uncertainty by adopting a business strategy that focusses on People, Planet and Purpose. What can you learn?

Introduce people policies

Growth businesses are ensuring success through their people

They’re more likely to agree that the mental health of their people is critical to the success of their business;

87% growth businesses vs 75% of all businesses

Be active in society

Growth businesses have a stronger sense of their impact on society

They feel an imperative to address inequalities in society;

80% of growth businesses vs. 62% of all businesses

Actively seek partnerships

Growth businesses prioritise strategic partnerships to drive growth

They focus on increasing trade to develop favourable partnership opportunities (52%) or capitalise on an innovation hub (49%)

Work together for our planet

Growth businesses are playing their part in creating a sustainable future

They feel they have a greater role in sustainable development goals;

82% of growth businesses vs. 63% of all businesses

Invest for sustainability

Growth businesses recognise the power of investors to drive greater sustainability

They say that the top pressure to become more sustainable is from investors (35%), while all businesses see the most pressure from competitors (36%)

Barry O’Byrne, Interim CEO, HSBC Global Commercial Banking

“These high growth firms are pursuing opportunities to enter new markets and embrace new technologies. They look at business through the lens of people, planet and purpose. Whether it’s investing in employee wellbeing, putting sustainability at the heart of their operations or recognising that their responsibilities extend beyond shareholder returns.”

What you need to know for your business:

  • People: Invest in your people - growth businesses recognise it improves productivity and well-being
  • Purpose: Explore the wider impact your business can have on the world around you - high growth businesses find that it aligns with their growth
  • Planet: Be active in making changes to your business model to become more sustainable.

Stuart Nivison, Client Network Banking, HSBC Commercial Banking

“The overwhelming message here is one of optimism with companies telling us they are adapting to changes in the marketplace and finding new markets to source from and sell to. The findings are reflective of the conversations we're having with our clients and our aim is to help them on this journey of change and growth.”

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