Fast 50, but not fast enough
IT WASN’T THE YEAR for Crest Commercial Cleaners but boy, did the cleaning franchise come close with growth of 134% just outside the threshold, of just a whisker under 140%. That will be tough to take as it’s Crest’s highest growth rate since the Fast 50 began. In 2001, it would be been enough to get into the Top 20.
And spare a thought for IT Partners from Hamilton with revenue growth of 139.4% and The Smile Company from Christchurch with growth of 139.15%.
Only one company has surpassed Crest’s stellar performance of revenue growth of more that 100% every year for the past five years, which helped the company make Fast 50 in 2001, 2002 and 2004. It just missed out in 2003 and again this year. Provincial Finance has made the Fast 50 every time since 2001.
Crest is now the country’s largest cleaning franchise, with more that 160 franchisees and eight master franchisees and turnover of more than $9 million a year. And the company is still 100% New Zealand-owned, in an industry increasingly dominated by multinational companies, managing director Rene Mangnus proudly points out.
Crest’s consistent growth is due to a formula that starts from the top with strong vision and a strong strategic direction, says Mangnus. Crest takes the business seriously and expects strong growth year in, year out and has always established long-term financial targets with a clear focus on how to achieve them.
“We’ve had a corporate governance-type structure beyond our size because we felt that it was a necessary discipline in anticipation of growth. It’s like Sarah Ulmer,” says Mangnus, who is fond of sporting aphorisms. “If you have your heart set on being the top cyclist, then you have to imagine yourself winning the Olympics and take the necessary steps to achieve that goal.”
And Crest will be entering the Fast 50 again next year. It provides a key benchmark, says Mangnus, who especially likes the way the Fast 50 pits companies of different sizes against each other. The one constant is revenue growth and that’s something Crest has in spades.
Unlimited magazine, November 2005