For all the talk of Canada’s economic hub shifting westward, it’s hard to overlook the sheer growth potential of companies in the Greater Toronto Area. More than one-third of the 2014 PROFIT 500 companies are headquartered in or around Ontario’s capital. And their experiences suggest that the GTA has more successful, thriving businesses than ever.

The typical PROFIT 500 firm from the GTA grew its revenue by 564% from 2008 through 2013; last year alone, they generated, on average,  $42.8 million each. (Together, the 184 companies on this list notched nearly $7.9 billion in 2013.) In total, they employed 28,738 people full-time last year; 13,989 of those jobs were created over the past five years.

Here is the complete list of the GTA’s Fastest-Growing Companies for 2014, along with some business-building advice from the Top 10 winners:

The Top 10:

1. Life Science Nutritionals Inc.

Burlington, Ont.
Five-year revenue growth: 5,525% (PROFIT 500 rank: 2)
Chief executive(s): Stuart Lowther
FTE employees: 82
Manufactures and distributes gummy-based vitamins

Winning sales strategy: “We have a great product that’s innovative,” says Lowther. “Aside from that, we engage our consumers. We’re very attentive and hands-on; you don’t get an automated response when you phone my office, unless we’re busy. I take phone calls from customers personally. We’re very personable, and I think that goes a long way these days.”

2. Loyalist Group Ltd.

Five-year revenue growth: 5,514% (PROFIT 500 rank: 3)
Chief executive(s): Andrew Ryu
FTE employees: 562
Owns and operates English-as-a-second-language schools

Winning sales strategy: “We have a sales team and an external support team that go back to the clients to make sure they are satisfied,” explains Ryu. “And we have a monitoring systems to make sure our customers are pleased with our work.”

3. Kognitive Marketing Partnership

Five-year revenue growth: 4,903% (PROFIT 500 rank: 6)
Chief executive(s): Josh Singer
FTE employees: 330
Provides sales-focused experiential marketing

Winning sales strategy: “Our smartest sales strategy is focusing on our existing clients,” says Singer. “Do well with those clients and they’ll give you more business. And that’s the majority of where our sales come from.”

4. Asca Office Solutions

Vaughan, Ont.
Five-year revenue growth: 4,223% (PROFIT 500 rank: 8)
Chief executive(s): Anthony Sarno
FTE employees: 20
Sells computer and office supplies/furniture

Winning sales strategy: “The internet has been successful for us, but much of our sales success has come from really just knocking on doors,” Says Sarno. “Many people are deviating from that. But our business has grown exponentially just based on our reps, personally, reaching out to every organization, dropping off business cards and marketing materials.”

5. Buytopia

Five-year revenue growth: 3,951% (PROFIT 500 rank: 11)
Chief executive(s): Ryan Marien
FTE employees: 29
Sells discounted consumer goods through an online store and daily deal e-mails

Winning sales strategy: “We have a direct sales force, and we contact partners and business clients directly through a lead generation process and cold calling,” explains Marien. “For consumers, we take niche advertising approaches that might have been overlooked by our competitors. We also find working with distribution partners very effective; they send traffic to our site by communicating the benefits of our products and services to their memberships.”

6. Bnotions

Five-year revenue growth: 2,760% (PROFIT 500 rank: 16)
Chief executive(s): Alkarim Nasser & Paul Crowe
FTE employees: 50
Mobile strategy, data and analytics services

Winning sales strategy: “We run two annual technology conferences. We host, I’d say, about a few dozen workshops a year, and we open our in-house events space for meet-ups and user groups,” explains Nasser. “That community approach has helped us engage with a lot of people we wouldn’t have met otherwise. So community building is where all of our marketing capital goes.”

7. Cue Digital Media Inc.

Five-year revenue growth: 2,545% (PROFIT 500 rank: 21)
Chief executive(s): David U.K.
FTE employees: 12
Advertising brokerage focused on sports and men’s interest

Winning sales strategy: “We slog it out every day,” says U.K. “We do 400 or 500 deals a year, and they are all tough ones. But you have to manage both big and small sales. $1,000 deals can turn into $100,000 deals quickly.”

8. Therapure Biopharma Inc.

Mississauga, Ont.
Five-year revenue growth: 2,405% (PROFIT 500 rank: 23)
Chief executive(s): Nick Green
FTE employees: 170
Develops and manufactures biopharmaceuticals

Winning sales strategy: “Our salespeople are very intimately involved with project management,” says Green. “They understand exactly what we do and how we do it, so they can articulate that to the client.”

9. CIK Telecom Inc.

Five-year revenue growth: 2,396% (PROFIT 500 rank: 25)
Chief executive(s): Jordan Deng
FTE employees: 61
Telecommunication services

Winning sales strategy: “We still market using two channels: traditional media and the internet,” says Deng. “They work well together. In fact, we are getting between 2,000 and 3,000 new customers per month.”

10. Mary-am Group of Cos.

Five-year revenue growth: 2,146% (PROFIT 500 rank: 28)
Chief executive(s): Raymond Zar
FTE employees: 73
Provides hospitality and travel services

Winning sales strategy: “We focus a lot on our customer relationship management software,” says Zar. “For example, our e-mail program is very customizable; it has built in modules that reminds our reps when to follow up with a customer automatically. It tells them when a customer opens an e-mail and how many minutes they saw it, and what they looked most. That helps our reps to predict what questions they may have, so they’re more prepared.”

* * * * *

The Next 10:

11. People Store Staffing Solutions

12. Source 44 Consulting Inc.

13. KapscoMoto

14. Delviro Energy Inc.

15. Teach Away Inc.

16. Copperstone Connect

17. Achievers Corp.

18. Lynx Equity Ltd.

19. Cranson Capital Securities Inc.

20. Iotum Inc.

* * * * *

Other fast-growing GTA companies on the 2014 PROFIT 500:

ABL Employment Inc., Accelerated Connections Inc., Aden Earthworks Inc., Adflow Networks Inc., Airstart Inc., All Canadian Courier Corp., Altus Group Ltd., Architech Solutions Consulting Services Inc., Ashcon International Inc., Astound Group Inc., Audability Inc., Aura XM Inc., Aventix Animal Health Corp., Avid Life Media Inc., Benecaid Health Benefits Solutions Inc., Beneco Packaging , Benson Kearley IFG, Berkeley Payment Solutions Inc., Best Displays & Graphics Inc., BioSyent Inc., Bluelime Enterprises Inc., BrandFire Marketing Group Inc., BreezeMaxWeb Ltd., BSM Wireless Inc., Bug in a Rug Canada Inc., Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures Inc., Cain Express , Cambridge Mercantile Group, Canada Goose Inc., Candia Group Inc. , Capstone Infrastructure Corp., Carly Rian Group, CentriLogic Inc., ChannelAssist Inc., Claron Technology Inc., Cognition LLP, Cole Engineering Group Ltd., Collins Barrow Toronto LLP, Complete Innovations Inc., Crawford Technologies Inc., Credit Bureau of Canada Collections , CTMS Travel , Dependable Mechanical Systems Inc., Digitcom Canada Inc., Direct Construction Co. Ltd., DJ Rain & Co. Ltd., Doxim Inc., Dynamic Connections Inc., EB Box Co., Ecentricarts Inc., EcoSynthetix Inc., ECS Coffee Inc., Eglinton Avenue Maintenance Ltd., Emergitel Inc., Eurocontrol Technics Group Inc., Eventive Marketing Inc., FFD Designs (Canada) Inc.,, Forum Equity Partners Holdings Inc., Fusion Learning Inc., Gentek Marketing Inc., Globeways Canada Inc., GroupeX Inc., GuruLink Inc., H2flow Equipment Inc., HomeStars Directory Inc., HostPapa Inc., The Humphrey Group Inc. , ICC Property Management Ltd., Illumiti Group of Cos., Innovative Vision Marketing Inc., Intelex Technologies Inc., IQ Partners Inc., ITS Canada, iVedha Inc., Katilac Coatings Inc., Keyora Inc., Kids & Co. Ltd., Klick Inc., KMI Publishing and Events Ltd., Kuus Inc., LOGiQ3 Corp., MAD Elevator Fixtures Inc., Maplelea, Marina Textiles Inc., Mi5 Print & Digital Communications, Microdea Inc., Mircom Group of Cos., MIT Consulting , Mits Airconditioning Inc., Myostat Motion Control Inc., National Recycling Inc., Neeson & Assoc. Court Reporting & Captioning Inc., NexJ Systems Inc., Northern Dock Systems Inc., Office Coffee Solutions Ltd., Ontario Property Management Group Inc., Onyx Freight-Works Inc., Optimus SBR Inc., Organizational Solutions Inc., Paradigm Public Relations Inc., Partners in Credit Inc., PCMusic , Pinchin Environmental Ltd., The Placement Office, Points Intl. Ltd., Polycorp Ltd., Predictive Success Corp., Premiere Executive Suites Ltd., Proex Inc., Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd., Prompt Alert Inc., Prophix Software Inc., Provisus Wealth Management Ltd., QA Consultants , Quarterback Transportation Inc., R&G/CPL Group, Redwood Global Inc., The Renovators of Canada, Rescue 7 Inc., Rhoddy Design Inc., Ronco Disposable Products Ltd., S-Trip , Safety Express Ltd., Sales Talent Agency Inc., Scalar Decisions Inc., Search Engine People Inc., Securefact Transaction Services Inc., Sentry Metrics Inc., Shenglin Financial Inc., Sirius XM Canada Inc., Snuggle Bugz, Spirit of Math Schools Inc., Starvox Entertainment Inc., State Window Corp., Sunwing Travel Group Inc., Sweets from the Earth , Symbility Solutions Inc., Tangentia Inc., TDCNet Inc., TekStaff IT Solutions Inc., Tenzing Managed IT Services , Third Octet Inc., Thrillworks Inc., Titanium Logistics Inc., Tormac Mechanical Contractors Ltd., TrainingFolks International Holdings Inc., Trillium FSB Inc., Trindent Management Consulting Inc., Tundra Technical Solutions Inc., TWI Foods Inc., UCIT Online Security Inc., Varcon Construction Corp., Vigorate Inc., Vital Insights Inc., Ward Technology Talent Inc., Wellpoint Health Services Corp., Weston Wood Solutions Inc., The Wish Group Inc., The Working Group Inc., XMC , YellowHouse Events Inc., Zenan Custom Cresting, and Zenergy Communications North America Inc.

Want to know more about the 2014 PROFIT 500? Think your company has a shot in 2015? Click here to learn more!

Loading comments, please wait.