We have been spending the past couple of months updating information for the Global 5000 companies.  Revenue reporting and yearly figures being reported take time to capture and input and line up with historical data.  Along the way, M&A and divestitures keep coming our way.

At this stage, with most company information updated, it is interesting to sit back and reflect on the numbers, add some analysis to the trends and see what the data tells us — here is what we see.

  • Big companies – those exemplified by The Global 5000 had a good year again. Revenue growth overall was 10.6% on top of 11.3% in 2010
  • Profitability – wise, they also did well as one measure of that profit is revenue per employee grew from $395,800 in 2010 to $420,200 this year. That’s a huge jump
  • So, while revenue grew by a healthy double digit number, employee growth was only 4.9% – this is one reason we read all the headlines about economic difficulty and slow job markets.
  • Some of this disconnect is the shift of old economy to new economy — for example, Eastman Kodak falls while Apple and Google soar.  Some of it is technology replacing manpower. Some of it is outsourcing to cheaper labor markets.

In essence, this data shows the two main areas of focus for big business (and probably at the heart of all businesses) — how to grow revenue and cutting costs.

  • The Global 5000 companies will continue to push for growth and get bigger. They will either do it organically by selling more and introducing new products or buy acquiring other firms and building the top line via acquisitions
  • And they will cut costs. In many cases, people are the largest cost item.  So, they will find ways to trim people costs by automation and outsourcing various functions to other firms who can do it for less.

Which brings us to the question — when selling to The Global 5000, can you help these companies grow revenue? Or can you help them trim costs?  Without a clear answer, you may not have a clear growth path.

To get the full list of Global 5000 companies, go here