What It Takes To Make The Forbes 500 List

So, what does it take to be a member of the Forbes 500 list? It may not sound like a fair question, but there are actually some specific criteria that must be met. Money and power may be seen as the two obvious qualifications, but there are still specific things that must be done in order to qualify.

You must be a profitable corporation.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means. The Forbes 500 list was comprised of 500 corporations who each made billions of dollars in revenue in the previous year. This is an important distinction because corporations are not only legal business entities, but they also have shareholders, employees, and property (such as buildings and equipment). In recent years, it went global, and it is now called the Forbes Global 2000. The main factors that determine profitability are the top 2000 companies in sales, profits, market value, and assets in the world.

You must have positive earnings throughout the year, and generate billions in revenue.

To be able to make the list, you cannot have a loss, otherwise, your company will be disqualified. A loss could be caused by a drop in sales, or a major lawsuit or accident, so this rule is important. Earnings may seem like an obvious requirement, but it’s not always what it seems. Sometimes companies are acquired or merged with another corporation and as a result, they do not meet the threshold. Sometimes revenue is generated through another entity (such as a subsidiary or a holding company), which also means that it will not be counted. A company must also have a consolidated revenue of nearly $5 billion from other countries around the globe if they want to make the list for any given year.

No particular background or education is needed.

Background and education vary widely among the candidates. It’s important to know that not everyone who has made it on The Forbes 500 list has risen straight out of an ivy-league college, nor should you assume that they came from a wealthy background. There are plenty of examples of well-known entrepreneurs who have started businesses in their 30’s and 40’s, and those that are still in the game in their 60’s and 70’s. Many come from all types of backgrounds, from rural farms to the city-slicker territory. Some are notably high achievers, while others shine in their remarkable resilience to get things done. Knowledge gained from their backgrounds and education helped illuminate the way. So what makes the real difference? Being able to use the culmination of knowledge and experience to get ahead is key.

You must have a clear vision and a strong leadership team.

Everyone behind the corporations that makes the list has a clear vision and mission. Having a sense of purpose or direction is essential for such a feat. Even the employees understand what the company is trying to accomplish and the power of their contribution. This helps them work together towards the end goal and be more productive in general. The leadership team of a Forbes 2000 contender must be cohesive, effective, level-headed, and willing to make the adjustments necessary at every level of the corporation to achieve success and retain it throughout the year.

You must have a strong, identifiable brand.

Having a brand that is respected by both consumers and other power players in the industry can make all of the difference in making the list. These companies tend to avoid negative publicity to maintain a higher market value, and it minimizes the odds of reputation damage that can affect national and global sales revenue. News and media are often positive, and less than positive news is dealt with quickly to maintain an aura of success with partners, stakeholders, and among competitors.

There are many things that can affect whether or not your company can make the Forbes Global 2000. Profitability is one core factor, But there are plenty of necessary practices that are easier for small companies to start on the path. These include an innovative leadership style, succession planning, reducing environmental impact, and placing a top priority on customer satisfaction. Always remember that many of them started small somewhere along the line and grew over time through networking and partnerships. As you can see, making the list is something that goes beyond being a profitable company. It is the inner values, inspired direction, and long-term commitment of the people behind the companies that also make them so successful.