A Chandler company that has been screen printing T-shirts for three decades raked in $7.6 million last year, logging nearly 1,005 percent revenue growth during the last three years. A Mesa construction company beat even that stunning statistic by boosting business 1,096 percent during the same time period.
A cutting-edge software company based in Gilbert grew 662 percent, and a Chandler computer hardware design firm raised 561 percent more revenue last year than three years earlier.
All four East Valley businesses are among eight in Arizona to snag spots on Inc. Magazine’s 2009 list of 500 fastest-growing private companies.
“The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy — America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs,” Inc. wrote in releasing its 28th annual compilation of the top 500. “Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, GoDaddy, Under Armour, Jamba Juice, American Apparel, Oracle, and hundreds of other powerhouses gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500.”
The complete list is in the magazine’s September issue, which is on newsstands now.
Inc. editor Jane Berentson said the businesses that achieved meteoric growth during the recession are those that found innovative solutions to problems or created products and services that met previously undiscovered needs.
Berentson said the list identifies the companies that “are going to change the world.”
Chandler-based Kimball Concepts, which also qualifies as one of the 10 oldest companies on the Inc. 500, discovered that even in an economic downturn, people will spend $7 or $8 to dress their babies in shirts or onesies that sport a clever message.
“We started doing baby attitude shirts,” said Scott Kimball, who owns the screen printing operation with his two adult children. ”The infant and toddler market is hot right now.”
National retailers snapped up the clever baby duds with such messages as “I go from zero to cranky in 2.5 seconds” and “If I don’t sleep, nobody sleeps.”
The kid clothes now make up about 95 percent of Kimball’s business, he said.
But he’s still out there searching for the next new thing.
Retailers tire of a concept fast, and Kimball wants to be on the leading edge of the next fad, too, he said.
Gilbert-based Infusionsoft has landed a spot on the Inc. 500 for the last three years. It’s the fastest-growing tech company in Arizona and the sixth-fastest-growing Arizona-based company overall.
Last year, the local software company’s revenue topped $12.6 million.
Infusionsoft vice president Dave Lee chalks it up to a unique product, a unique working environment that attracts the best employees and “sheer optimism.”
“In the face of tough times, we’ve created a magic bubble here,” Lee said.
The company creates sales and marketing software for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Automatic customer follow-up is a key feature, he said, and Infusionsoft uses its own software to stay in touch with existing and potential software customers. That feature has allowed Infusionsoft to grab market share even during a down economy, Lee said.
The company has more than 15,000 customers, he said, and making sure they get timely attention would be almost impossible with just manual reminders.
Besides the best-selling software, Infusionsoft has highly motivated employees, all of whom own a piece of the company, Lee said.
Just in case watching their investment rise in value isn’t enough to make employees want to come to work, Infusionsoft’s offices feature an indoor football field, a basketball court and a weight room.
Mesa-based Troon Construction & Development earned $26.7 million last year and a spot on the Inc. 500 for the second consecutive year.
The company attributes its consistent growth to CEO Ray Garcia’s two decades of extensive development and construction experience.
Cactus Custom Analog Design reported revenue of $2.9 million in 2008, up more than 561 percent from 2005, to land a spot among the Inc. rapid growers.
The Chandler-based company designs and produces state-of-the-art analog integrated circuits or helps clients develop their own.
The local company’s products are used for such diverse applications as medical, hearing aids, cellular, computer, communications, automated test equipment and power management markets.
Inc. magazine, which is focused on helping entrepreneurs and owners of private companies grow their businesses, has a paid circulation of 712,961.
Companies that made the 2009 Inc. 500 reported combined income of $18.4 billion for 2008, up from $13.7 billion in 2007.
They created more than 55,000 jobs and grew a median 880.5 percent during the last three years.