A survey of fast-growth companies performed by the Ivey Institute for Entrepreneurship, Canada asked business leaders to rank tasks and practices by difficulty and importance. Here are the five most important tasks identified by firms with the fastest growth rates:

  1. Attracting qualified people for key positions.

  2. Retaining key employees. One particular challenge for growth companies: compensating the founding staff. When rapid growth demands new employees and new skills there are often serious tensions between the new employees, who start out at competitive wages with defined jobs, and the veterans, who have brought the company to its lofty heights.

  3. Developing financial monitoring systems.

  4. Providing product support and customer service.

  5. Developing internal control systems.

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