The Six Habits Of Successful Private Companies


It’s a good time again to be a privately held company. No pressure over quarterly earnings, no obsession with stock prices, no anxiety over what you can say to whom about how the business is going. Heck, nobody outside the owner has to know anything. Mark Zuckerberg probably wishes Facebook were still private.

Growth has been better among privates, too. Forbes’ 2012 roster of America’s biggest private firms, based on 2011 data, showed revenue growth of 12%, twice the growth of the S&P 500. More recent data come from a new study by KPMG and Forbes Insights, which found that 58% of private companies are poised for revenue growth of 6% or more over the coming year. Ten percent of the 473 executives who responded believed their sales will rise more than 20%. Projections are flattish to slightly up for S&P 500 earnings.

Forbes is also privately held, and we’re outdoing most of our publicly held rivals, even if we still talk about meeting revenue goals in hushed tones so as not to jinx them. Forbes has also been covering non-public companies since its launch in 1917. We care about the health of private companies because it’s the right thing to do, and because we sorta have to. They make up 99% of all businesses in the U.S. Continue To

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