The economic pillars of the business world have fallen, but HispanicBusiness Magazine's 100 Fastest-Growing companies have figured out that the recession need not be insurmountable.
Despite the economic climate, the entrepreneurs behind these businesses continue to grow, posting major gains in revenue during the last five years.
While no company is entirely insulated from the downturn, businesses on the fastest-growing list have found a way to immunize themselves from the worst of the recession and even capitalize on the missteps of other companies.
At the top of this year's list is MicroTech, a Virginia-based information technology company that has grown from $1.4 million in revenue in 2004 to $39.1 million in 2008.
The list includes a plethora of information technology, construction, and service companies, many of which have also enjoyed success largely because of federal and state contracts.
MicroTech, which went from 45 employees in 2004 to 250 last year, provides IT services to more than 60 federal agencies. They include the Social Security Administration (SSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
"We understand the business of government," said Tony Jimenez, CEO of MicroTech. "We understand commitment and we understand the importance of treating a customer how you want to be treated. I'm not sure we can continue the growth we're at now, but I don't think we're going to slow down a lot, at least not in the near future."
Service Sector Tops List
Of the 100 companies that make up the fastest-growing list, the largest sector is the service industry, with 45 companies. Construction is next on the list with 22 companies, followed by the wholesale industry at 12.
These three sectors produced nearly $6 billion in revenue in 2008.
In terms of geography, Texas and Florida are still the powerhouse hubs for Hispanic entrepreneurs, tied with 20 companies each in the Top 100.
But California is also well represented, with 17 companies on the Top 100.
No. 2 on this year's list is Los Angeles-based Sensis, an interactive advertising company that focuses on placing ads in both digital and print media formats.
Sensis' revenues have grown from $347,000 in 2004 to $7.4 million in 2008.
The company's growth can largely be credited to a shift in spending patterns and values in corporate America. As businesses have shifted their advertising spending from print to online platforms, companies such as Sensis have reaped the rewards.
While some ad agencies target Spanish-language advertising, Sensis is among a growing number of U.S. Hispanic-owned firms that offer a more sophisticated advertising plan, targeting Hispanics in both English and Spanish.
The ability to reach key demographics in targeted markets has helped fuel the growth.
"With digital advertising, you have the advantage of trackability," said Sensis President Jose Villa. "You have the ability to reach so many levels. We can reach a 25-to-34-year-old who is English-dominant living in a certain town. For every dollar spent, clients want to see results."
From a broader business perspective, the company has advanced its growth rate by seeking new clients.
"You have to stay aggressive with new business," Mr. Villa said. "We have pretty much invested all of our profits in aggressive attempts to reach new business."
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