Inc. 5000 Applications Open: 6 Reasons Why You Should Apply

Calling all Loudoun businesses: if you made more money in 2020 than you did in 2017, you should consider applying for Inc. Magazine’s annual list of 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America, or Inc. 5000 for short. Apply here today.

Like the Fortune 500 for public, corporate giants, the Inc. 5000 list has become the standard for private businesses that are riding the rocket ship to rapid growth. The application looks only at revenue over the previous three-year period, and those with the largest percentage increase between Year 1 and Year 3 are ranked in order.

As the list grows incrementally more competitive each year, so too does the prestige of being recognized.

On last year’s list, there were 28 Loudoun companies, including Gravy Analytics (No. 93), which was the fastest-growing in the D.C. region, with 3,623% growth.

The crazy thing is that Gravy may not have even been the fastest-growing company in Loudoun over the last three years. All we know is that they were the fastest-growing group that applied, which is why your business needs to consider applying for this year’s list.

Here are the top-five reasons why this application is worth your time:

1. Being selected is more attainable than you might imagine.

Consider this: the median growth on last year’s list was 165% over three years (55% average annual growth). The 5,000th business on last year’s list had 55% (18.3% average annual growth), which makes the honor closer than you might have imagined. While the threshold for the top-5,000 varies each year based on the applicant pool, 55% is a pretty typical benchmark.

2. Your customers will take notice.

Everybody likes a winner, especially when it comes to selecting a product or service. Why do we read online reviews from people we’ve never met? Because skepticism and third-party validation are important factors in any buyer’s journey. But don’t believe me—hear it from past winners.

“The Inc. 5000 list gives us the recognition and credibility of being recognized by a third-party for the work that we have done,” Parveen Pathan, CEO and founder of Loudoun’s Techaxis explained. “Saying it aloud that you are one of the companies that have done well in your sector, in a crowded market.”

3. Your team deserves the recognition.

The connection between a company’s mission and employee satisfaction is clear: mission-driven teams perform better and feel more connected to your work. Landing on the Inc. 5000 list helps enhance that connection and help teams celebrate as a team.

“The success that we’ve had is really the reward to our employees. They have a huge sense of pride in that. It fuels what we do every day,” Mark Zavacky, COO of WheelsOnSite said after his company made the list for the seventh time in 2020. “With that backbone of customer service, we don’t want to lose sight that we are business and we do want to grow. The whole team understands that we’ve been recognized. I think that’s why we continue to grow, with this being our goal: to win again.”

4. It will help you with hiring.

It’s not just current employees that take note of rapid growth. Future employees look at Inc. 5000 companies and recognize room for professional growth and upward mobility. An award like this can be a differentiator in a competitive jobs market.

“It’s certainly been beneficial to us. Attracting new talent…people want to work for companies that are growing and successful,” Unanet Regional Vice President Chris Crowder said after Unanet made the list for the third-straight year. “That is exciting and interesting to prospective employees.”

5. It raises your profile, nationally.

Looking to grow your customer base outside of the region? It can be hard to find ways to get into new markets, unless there’s a universal indicator of success. The Inc. 5000 honors can open doors to those new opportunities.

“It’s certainly helped our reputation…it puts you on the National Map,” Larry Melton, CEO and founder of The Building People, offered. “On a national scale, you get to see how you rank against small businesses and the market segments out there about how you rank within your industry, which is good to see.”

6. Growth through COVID-19 is impressive.

After a pandemic year in which many businesses struggled to meeting revenue projections, it’s a huge accomplishment to continue growing. Celebrate that growth by considering an application for this year’s class of Inc. 5000 businesses.

Eligibility Requirements:

All of the following must be true of your company in order to qualify for the 2021 Inc. 5000 list:

  • Have generated revenue by March 31, 2017;
  • Have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2017;
  • Have generated at least $2 million in revenue in 2020;
  • Be privately held, for profit; based in the U.S., and independent (not a subsidiary or division of another company).

Early bird applications are due on March 26, and all applications and fees are due by April 30. Apply here today.


Growing your business in Loudoun County? We are a full-service economic development organization, dedicated to your #LoudounPossible business success. Working with us is like adding a team of no-cost specialists to your team, with expertise in the following areas:

  • Networking, resource and industry introductions;
  • Workforce development and pipeline support;
  • Site selection and real estate searches;
  • Marketing and communications outreach;
  • Process and permit navigation;
  • Fast-track and financial incentives.

Contact Chris Hunter today to enhance your #LoudounPossible journey.

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