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Is your company Fast 40 material?

As I See It

The Mississippi Business Journal has started the process of soliciting nominations for recognition as one of Mississippi’s Fast 40 companies. This program, last conducted in 1996, gives recognition to the forty fastest growing Mississippi-based companies. We are partnering with KPMG Peat Marwick, CPAs, The Godwin Group advertising agency and the Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes law firm to create an exciting program.

Peat Marwick and Brunini will receive the nominations, verify the financial data and determine the winners. This issue of MBJ includes a nomination form on page 34. Completing this form and submitting the required information puts your hat in the ring. Once the winners are determined, Godwin is going to prepare a dynamic video featuring the winners that will compare favorably with the new Star Wars movie.

In October 1999, we will publish a special piece commemorating and profiling the winners. Awards will be presented on Oct. 21, 1999 at a gala to be held at the Jackson Country Club. A great time will be had by all.

Why are we doing this project? Why should we, or you, be interested in recognizing Mississippi’s fastest growing companies? It’s the economy, stupid. These are the companies who are creating lots of jobs and investing mega bucks in our economy. To some extent, these companies are responsible for the economic landslide frequently referred to as the “Mississippi Miracle.” They deserve to be honored. We are excited to be a part of this program.

Growing a business is a real challenge — hard to achieve and harder still to sustain. Very few companies can stay on the fast track for long without falling by the wayside. Successful growth requires attention to three basic issues: commitment to growth sufficient to overcome the radical changes attendant with growth, a strategy for growth complete with measurable goals, and sufficient capital and infrastructure to allow growth.

Accidental growth is chaotic growth. Businesses who find themselves growing without intending to do so usually get into trouble. Employees are unprepared for growth changes and capital is generally not available to finance the required expansion.

The winners of the 1999 Fast 40 program have all come face-to-face with growth issues and have prevailed. Having successfully grappled with the problems attendant with growth, they deserve recognition.

Is your company a candidate for the Fast 40? The nomination period is now open. We encourage you to complete the nomination form and see what happens.

THOUGHT FOR THE MOMENT

Last week we asked the question how did the term cotton “gin” originate and promised the answer this week. Well, here it is. Eli Whitney’s machine was originally called a cotton engine. Over time, “engine” was simply shortened to “gin.” Just another item retrieved from my treasure trove of totally useless information.

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. His e-mail address is cpajones@msbusiness.com.

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