As companies are finding business bouncing back from the recession, the next focus point is on growth. Having managed thru difficult times, pared back on hiring and found various ways to drive new productivity, businesses survived and most did well.  With that, there is only so much squeezing to be done and now they must look for growth.  But where?

Yes, you can always acquire as many have done or are in process these days.  There will be competitive market share wins but we all know those are hard fought and while necessary, they do not drive faster growth. And, yes there will be new product innovation (like an iPad) but there are few of those.

McDonald’s, having recently filed it’s 2010 financial reports, offers a good example of where to look — to the global markets. Last year, McDonald’s ranked #408 on our Global 5000 company list. They suffered a downturn in sales in 2009 like most of the world and then a strong return in 2010.  McDonald’s gets about 1/3 of it’s revenues from the US and another 40% from Europe.

A combined US & Europe revenue from 2008 to 2010 was negative 1.7%.  No growth. And that makes sense.  How many more McDonald’s (or Starbucks or Subways) are we going to fit in these geographies.  But look at the figures for AP, Middle East & Africa and the same period sales were up there by 19%.

Every industry is different as we know, but the signs here are clear….. and it is the driving force behind why we built The Global 5000.