Growing Against the Grain: Meet the Entrepreneur360 'Contrarians'

Through surveys and available data, we've examined hundreds of small businesses and come away with six archetypal sets of practices and characteristics that we believe are representative of most growth companies operating today.

The qualifications were simple: Companies had to be domestically owned, privately held, for-profit and have shown net capacity growth over at least two years, with an employee size in 2015 of 10 to 1,000.

Below, we examine the traits of Contrarians, one of the six archetypes of the Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index. To see the other five archetypes, click here.

These companies thumb their noses at management best practices. But unlike Controllers, Contrarians seem made of Teflon, blithely gliding over the bumps and pits that trip up other companies. They keep putting up the growth numbers, and they do everything their way.

Key characteristics

  • Contrarians’ employees have needed skills and are fully productive, and managers usually reach a consensus.
  • They maintain good profit margins, their departments are all able to adjust to growth and they time expansions well.
  • When it comes to planning and decision-making, they are less likely to turn to data, operational metrics or internal or external market research.


Most companies pay a substantial price for ignoring even some best practices, and it takes magic to thrive in the absence of all of those practices. What’s the magic? The success of Contrarians defies group analysis, emerging instead from whatever it is they’re doing at a micro level.

American Family Care

Founded: 1982

Business Type: Urgent care

Website: https://www.americanfamilycare.com

Archimedia Solutions Group

Founded: 2006

Business Type: Consulting

Website: http://www.archimediasg.com

Benay Enterprises

Founded: 1986

Business Type: Administrative support

Website: http://www.benay.com

BrainStorm Tutoring & Arts

Founded: 2006

Business Type: Tutoring

Website: http://www.stormthetest.com


Founded: 2009

Business Type: Restaurant delivery

Website: http://www.dashed.com

Desert Jet

Founded: 2007

Business Type: Aviation management

Website: http://www.desertjet.com

First Endurance

Founded: 2002

Business Type: Nutrition

Website: http://firstendurance.com

Hawkin International

Founded: 2002

Business Type: Public relatoins

Website: http://www.hawkpr.com

JAMF Software

Founded: 2002

Business Type: Software

Website: http://www.jamfsoftware.com

One World Solutions

Founded: 2011

Business Type: Consulting

Website: http://www.onewsolutions.com

PURE Group of Insurance Compan

Founded: 2006

Business Type: Insurance

Website: http://www.pureinsurance.com

Read more about each archetype:

For Entrepreneur360 'Data Champions,' Success is Steady, Plotted and Planned

What Entrepreneur360 'Controllers' Know: Watch Markets and Keep the Customer Happy

The Success Secrets That Helped the 'Best Practicers' Land on the Entrepreneur360

How Staying in Front of the Pack Helped the 'Forward Thinkers' Nab a Spot on the Entrepreneur360

Confident and Sales-Focused: A Look at the Entrepreneur360 'Classics'