By diving into the US census data and combining that analysis with the latest Inc 5000 fastest growing US businesses, an interesting picture emerges. This can be done for any State. Don’t you love metrics?  How does your business compare?

Key Observations

  1. There are 597,484 businesses in MA.
  2. 76.3% of firms are one man bands (or women).
  3. 90.0% of firms employ 4 or less people.
  4. 98.9% of firms employ 99 or less people.
  5. Only 0.5% of firms, 2997 employ more 500 or more.
  6. The 597,484 firms trade within 18 industries.
  7. 4 industries account for 52%, or 310,899 businesses:
    • Professional, scientific services
    • Construction
    • Other services
    • Healthcare and social assistance
  8. Manufacturing represents only 13,111 out of 597,484 or 2%
  9. Software is trapped within Information and represents 10,329 businesses or 1.7% of the total.
  10. Cross referencing the list of the 5000 fastest growing businesses in the US, the Inc 5000 reveals only 201 MA based businesses made it onto the list . I say only but 201 is not a bad number.
  11. However another way of looking at it is as follows: the minimum growth of sales to get on the Inc 5000 is 4%, defined as sales of 2007 compared with 2010, therefore a huge proportion of MA based businesses are not growing. To be precise 597, 283 out of 597,484 didn’t grow by 4% or more.
  12. Of course sales growth over 3 years doesn’t necessarily convert to a long term, profitable business but sales growth definitely helps.
  13. Can we learn from the 201 that are growing? The activities they perform are all over the map. Casinos to manufacturing to army intelligence. Of the MA businesses in the Inc 5000, 14% or 29 businesses are in IT Services, 20 are in Health, 20 are in Business Products & Services and 18 are in Software. That’s 43% of the 201.
  14. Top of the pile for MA based businesses – Foxwoods, the casino group with growth from 2007 to 2010 of an eye popping 16,093%. According to Inc Magazine numbers they went from sales of  $105,500 in 2007 to $17.1m in 2010.
  15. Second was HubSpot, the inbound marketing software platform, with growth of an equally judderingly awesome 6,015% growing from $255,000 in 2007 to $15.6m in 2010.
  16. The top 10 MA businesses appeared within the top 200 slots of the Inc 5000, demonstrating a minimum growth of 1,690%.

I’ve inserted below the tables I complied for your joy and edification.






I would challenge any CEO to be aware of where their business fits into the national Eco-system, the local Eco-system and the fastest growing lists in their region. Give me a call if I can help.


The Other Services (except Public Administration) sector comprises establishments engaged in providing services not specifically provided for elsewhere in the classification system. Establishments in this sector are primarily engaged in activities, such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing drycleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services.

Private households that engage in employing workers on or about the premises in activities primarily concerned with the operation of the household are included in this sector.

Excluded from this sector are establishments primarily engaged in retailing new equipment and also performing repairs and general maintenance on equipment.