November 10, 2015

The 7 Defining Characteristics of Evergreen Companies

The October 2015 Issue of Inc Magazine has an article entitled “Built To Last” about a different type of start-up company. This type of start-up is called an “evergreen company” because its founders don't intend to sell it to another company. Instead, they intent to own (and run) the company for the long-term. This idea appealed to me as the owner of Redefined Horizons, a small publishing and education business for land surveyors and GIS professionals. Inside the article was a list of 7 characteristics of “evergreen companies”. Here is the list from the article:

Purpose: Being passionately druven by a compelling vision and mission.

Perserverance: Having the ambition to overcome obstacles and keep pursuing the mission indefinitely into the future.

People First: Engaging a work force of talented associates who excel as a team and are motivated by the mission and the culture (as well as compensation). Taking care of that team in the belief that, in doing so, the team will take care of the business, the customers, the suppliers and the community.

Private: Taking advantage of the ability of closely held private companies to have a longer view and more operating flexibility than public or exit-oriented businesses.

Profit: Measuring success by the number that provides the most accurate measure of customer value delivered.

Paced Growth: Having the discipline to focus on long-term growth strategy and steady growth.

Pragmatic Innovation: Embracing a continuous improvemtn process built around taking calculated risks to innovate creatively within the constraints of the business.

This is an excellent list! I'll have to consider how each of these 7 characteristics is displayed by my own small business.