What you can learn from the UK's high-growth businesses

What the Trailblazers do differently

Our latest round of research shows what puts the UK’s fastest-growing businesses in the lead. Over 1,000 businesses took part in our survey, and we found the difference in mindset was one of the factors that divided higher-growth and lower-growth businesses.

What it means to be a Trailblazer

Ready for growth

Ready for growth

By focusing on their goals and moving their business forward, Trailblazers make their own luck and ensure they’re not blown off course by any short-term uncertainties. This self-belief and confidence allows them to seize initiatives while also concentrating on their long-term strategic visions.


84% of Trailblazers are confident of growth over the next 12 months, compared to 38% of all businesses surveyed.

47% of high-growth companies believe the key to their future success will depend on implementing the correct growth strategy. Only 38% of lower-growth businesses agree.

Fit for business

Fit for business

Trailblazing businesses are professionally led and efficiently managed, with a clear and articulated vision for success. They also often have a more entrepreneurial style of thinking and are open to taking calculated risks to grow their business.


79% of Trailblazers rate their ability to formulate a strategic vision as good or very good, against 61% of lower-growth businesses.

74% of Trailblazers rate their performance as good or very good in terms of their willingness to take risks, compared to 49% of lower-growth companies.

Exploring new ventures

Investing for tomorrow

Part of the vision for Trailblazers is making sure they’ve invested in their business’ future.

Ensuring their people, systems and technology are ready for the coming challenges allows them to look at future plans, knowing the foundations of their business are solid.


64% of high-growth businesses have increased their R&D investment over the last 3 years, nearly double the  33% invested by lower-growth businesses.

60% of Trailblazers plan to increase their spending on staff training and development in the next 3 years, while only 31% of lower-growth companies are doing the same.

Exploring new ventures

Exploring new ventures

Embracing opportunities, both in the UK and internationally, helps Trailblazers fuel their growth.

They know that by being ambitious and working in partnership with suppliers, customers and business rivals, opens up more doors.


70% of Trailblazers have formed some kind of alliance with other businesses in the last 3 years, compared to 52% of lower-growth companies.

69% of high-growth companies intent to collaborate like this in the future, while only 46% of lower-growth businesses say the same.

About the Trailblazers

About the Trailblazers

Our research is based on a survey of senior leaders at more than 1,000 businesses conducted by YouGov from November to December of 2019.

From this sample, we identified a group representing 18% of the total cohort: high-growth companies that have grown their revenues by at least 20% over the past 12 months and/or which expect to do so over the coming year. We compared the views of these Trailblazers to those of lower-growth businesses, defined as those currently growing at a rate of less than 10% a year - these companies made up 59% of respondents.

How we can help you become a Trailblazer

At Santander, we’re passionate about helping ambitious businesses fulfil their potential. We have a wide range of services that will give you the support you need as you seek to accelerate your business’s growth. From advice and expertise to practical assistance such as finance for organic expansion, M&A activity or working capital, we can help turn your vision of the future into reality.

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