Originally launched in 1979 and based out of Manhattan, Inc. is one of the most famous magazines in existence that celebrates what it means to be an entrepreneur. The print edition has an estimated circulation of about 1.4 million copies, while the online page - the appropriately titled Inc.com - is said to receive about 33 million views monthly.
All of this is important because entrepreneurs are truly the key to our economy. According to one recent study, there were about 31.7 million small businesses in the United States as of 2020 - making up a massive 99.9% of all organizations in existence. Over the years, one of the things that Inc. has become famous for is their Inc. 5000 list - a yearly collection of some excellent growth stories that are designed to serve as inspiration for everyone else trying to follow a similar path.
Of course, the question remains: how do you go about getting yourself onto the Inc. 5000 annual list of the fastest-growing companies in the country? By keeping a few key things in mind.
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Cracking the Inc. 5000 List: An Overview
The good news is that making the Inc. 5000 list isn't necessarily as difficult as some might think. It's actually something that you can apply for, which you can do by visiting the official website at www.inc.com/inc5000/apply.
Keep in mind, however, that you need to meet a number of important requirements to even be considered. First, your company needs to be privately owned and, obviously, it must be based in the United States. It also needs to be totally independent - you can't be a subsidiary or a separate division of another, larger company.
Showing that you were able to grow using your own resources is very important in order to maintain the spirit of the list itself.
Next, you must have started earning revenue by at least March 31 of your first year of operation. Again, the emphasis here is on growth and these are all important benchmarks to illustrate that.
You must have had revenue of no less than $100,000 during your first year in operation, and had revenue of no less than $2 million by year four. Your revenue in year four must exceed your total revenue in year one. Also, keep in mind that revenue must be under a single LLC or corporation.
Should all of those things describe your company, you're free to apply whenever you'd like by using the aforementioned URL.
Especially for younger companies that are already on a growth path, making the Inc. 5000 list can be a massive boost. Almost immediately you get a level of national and global recognition that can propel your efforts even further. If you make the list, you get a company profile that will be housed on Inc.com. You're also exposed to potentially millions of media impressions on a regular basis.
In addition to that, the boost to brand appeal is something that cannot be overstated. Inc. broadcasts these results far and wide, including via national, local, and industry outlets. All of this gives you an opportunity to integrate a prestigious honor into your own marketing campaigns, thus amplifying your reach even further.
Over time, this has a ripple effect in the best possible way. Making the Inc. 5000 list is nothing if not impressive, which has the potential to be a great boost to employee morale. It can also be a way to attract and even retain top talent as you work to fill additional positions.
This can even lead to stronger sales momentum under the right circumstances, too. Because of the strict requirements and the objective nature of the list, making it can generate the type of credibility with potential customers that you really can't put a price on. Depending on the trajectory that your company is taking, it could even help garner the attention of investors as well.
But more than anything, one of the major benefits of making the Inc. 5000 annual list of the fastest-growing companies can be summed up in a single word: knowledge. This is an achievement that will open the door to business insights and resources that you may not otherwise have access to on your own. You'll be able to learn all of the best practices that you need to continue on your current trajectory, thus guaranteeing that the success you've seen up to this point only continues to increase as time goes on.
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