In life, in lists, it’s rough to do apples-to-apples comparisons. In culling our weekly lists of every business silo and subsilo, of firms of all ownership forms and makeups, we have several goals: to compile as comprehensive and accurate a roster as possible; to produce features on the best and the brazen; and to analyze beyond a comparison of numbers. As an editor wrote one sentance ago, “It’s very difficult to do apples-to-apples comparisons.”
But one can’t help but be struck by both the statistical anomaly of this year’s Business Journal list of the fastest-growing privately held firms and tha kangaroo sales leap by the Class of 2017.
For trivia buffs, as with last year, we found exactly 157 small, medium and large private companies that met our main metric: at least 15% sales growth over the two years starting on June 30, 2015. Promise. Didn’t fix the total. Our excel spreadsheet is infinite. Of course there are always a few companies we don’t uncover and a few that chose to stay undercover – please tell us if you know members of either group.
That said, this years’ group of cheetahs put on the afterburners, growing sales by 90% versus last year’s 66%, when the cover photo was a cheetah. The Class of 2017 grew jobs by 30% versus 38%.
Why the sales leap?
In a moment, some ideas.
Also, know the sprinters are ranked by percentage increase in sales.
Our research team, led by Dana Truong, also provides companies’ employment numbers, not our metric here but surely good to know.
By now you may know that I’m a fan of business maxims and precepts: “Follow the Money,” “Follow the Lawyers,” and “Follow the Growers.”
We believe this list of fastest-growing private companies highlights our local businesses, industries, and niches of opportunity, for everyone from job seekers to vendors to investors.
Passco Cos. in Irvine is No. 4 with about 121% growth, $684 million in sales. Impressive for any firm, more so in that Bill Passo started buying commercial real estate 41 years ago. “Just a high-energy person,” the philosophy major told me this summer. “Always have been. As long as I can add value to my company…” Passo’s idol is Gen. William Lyon, 94, of William Lyon Homes.
Two-year Revenue Growth: 121.4%
Revenue for the 12 months ended 6/30/2017: $684 million
Revenue for the 12 months ended 6/30/2016: $481 million
Revenue for the 12 months ended 6/30/2015: $309 million
OC Employees as of 6/30/2017: 52
OC Employees as of 6/30/2016: 52
OC Employees as of 6/30/2015: 47
This article was originally published in Orange County Business Journal’s September 18-24, 2017 issue. Passco’s revenue reflects the 12 months ended December 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively