Last month, the 26th annual 2014 Profit 500 list was released featuring three of our own; ECS Coffee, Snuggle Bugz, and Maplelea! These are three companies that have truly come a long way, so we’re excited to share their inspiring stories of growth.
Profit 500 is a list ranking Canada’s fastest growing companies. The ranking is based on a five-year revenue growth, which demonstrates that the companies have proven itself viable, found a stable and scalable group of customers, have sustained growth for longer than many companies even exist, and likely have a strategy to keep the momentum going.
WHY IS THE PROFIT 500 LIST SO IMPORTANT?
Unlike other popular lists featuring companies that have made it, Profit 500 features the businesses that are currently making it. They are the ones invisibly growing and making Canada stronger. Although these companies may not be the biggest or most notable Canadian companies, they are the ones that create jobs during downsizing, secure international sales while national trade deficits grow, and continue to bring cutting-edge technology to market. For example, during between 2008 and 2013, the companies on this list have created the equivalent of 33,972 full-time jobs. Profit 500 features a list of companies that are risk takers, determined, and have shown perseverance to succeed.
Growth ‘08-13: 1,026%
Included in the top 100 is ECS Coffee, a small company that started as a part-time business out of a garage in North Burlington, Ontario in 1997. Seventeen years later, ECS Coffee is now a successful specialty retailer that sells coffee equipment and supplies with four retail locations and an online storefront. The story of how ECS has grown and met success is a great example of how and why companies need to stay innovative and evolve along with the market.
“I’ve learned, in almost 18 years of business, that you have to consistently reinvent yourself as the market changes,” – Neil Madden, CEO of ECS Coffee
One of ECS Coffee’s biggest transformations was probably in 2011, when Madden dropped their traditional coffee service to focus more on the retail operations. It was definitely a risky move but it allowed him to meet his ultimate goal of providing strong customer experiences. He did so by ensuring that his sales staff were educated on all the products sold at ECS, so that they can be demonstrated to customers even without the actual service. A couple years later, ECS launched their own private label products to cater to a niche market that wasn’t being filled. With big name competitors like Keurig and constant market changes, Madden understands that the best way to succeed is to continue transforming his business. He is now prepared to make ECS Coffee’s next evolution and we are excited to see what the future holds for them.
Growth ‘08-13: 548%
With less than eight years under their belt, we’re excited to see Snuggle Bugz at #114! Founded in November 2006, Snuggle Bugz was started from a vision to provide quality baby products and excellent customer service to parents. Only four years later, they opened their second location and was seeing great success from their online store. Snuggle Bugz also realize the importance of providing strong customer experiences and staying innovative. With the use of social media, they have been able to build a strong community of parents and they continue to add different features to their business to strengthen their business.
Growth ‘08-13: 340%
At #177 is Maplelea, another specialty retailer that sells a line of high quality, Canadian themed, 18” vinyl play dolls. They are supposed to be “an inspiration to and a reflection of, Canadian girls from coast to coast.” Besides being a unique collection of premium dolls, Maplelea was developed with the primary objective to enlighten young children through educational entertainment. Their high quality craftsmanship, strong online storefront, distinctively Canadian designs, and fun additionals such as designer outfits, have allowed this company to experience rapid growth in recent years.
THEIR KEY TO SUCCESS
One thing tying these businesses together is their drive for online growth with their eCommerce sites. Not only do they understand that trends are changing, but they act on it by staying innovative and continuously trying new things with their business.