We all like to look at businesses for inspiration. Many of the top companies have inspiring stories of how they climbed to the top of the industry after starting from nothing. They might have stories of how they have a big impact on the world as a force for good. Whatever their origins or unique selling propositions, there is one metric that everyone looks at to judge the value of these companies: money. More specifically how much these companies earn. Here is a look at which businesses make the most money and the reasons that may explain why.
At the very top of the list of high-earning, richest companies in the world is Apple, Inc. Apple is also considered to be the largest, most successful company of all time. To put that into perspective, the top five richest companies in the world all have a net worth in the trillions of dollar. Apple is on top of that pile.
Apple didn’t get here by accident. It is largely due to a combination of industry, innovation, good leadership, and brand management. Apple is one of the three most famous technology companies on the planet next to Google and Microsoft. Some may also argue that Tesla should be included in that list. However, Tesla does not have the global footprint of the others.
Being a leading technology company, Apple is considered one of the three options when it comes to software and devices for consumers. It is credited with inventions like the iPhone and being the first widely-successful personal computer developer, giving it a massive advantage since it basically started the industry of personal computing devices.
On top of being first to market (and creating various markets) Apple has also had exceptional leadership throughout its history. Names like Steve Jobs and Tim Cook are synonymous with great leadership and the company has thrived because of it.
Apple also has the advantage of being a luxury-style brand that is focused on consumer experience over everything else. Because of this, and its unique approach to product development, it has legions of die-hard fans that are willing to pay higher-prices for Apple products over more affordably-priced competitors.
Saudi Aramco is an oil company in Saudi Arabia. It is one of, if not the largest oil companies on the planet. Its distribution network is responsible for keeping most of the world running on petroleum products. Saudi Aramco is doing so well in earnings that it is capable of surpassing Apple as the top company in terms of net value.
Saudi Aramco has one major thing going for it that is largely responsible for its success. It is a nearly unbeatable provider of one of the world’s most important resources: gas. The company is so big and influential that it has the ability to directly impact gas and fuel prices around the world. So many countries are dependent on it keeping up the flow of fuel that it can set prices at nearly whatever it wants and people will pay it if they can afford it. This command over a vital resource is driving profits for Saudi Aramco.
Microsoft is one of the big three companies, and likely the most famous tech company next to Apple. While people routinely compare Microsoft to Apple, they operate very differently. Apple keeps its focus on consumer products and creating a luxury brand. Microsoft took a different approach and focused on proliferation and product development to keep it growing.
While Microsoft is famous for its consumer products, it has a massive presence in the software industry as a whole. The systems that drive devices like the computers on tractors, car controllers, city infrastructure, and more largely depend on software products developed by Microsoft. Most people don’t know it but Microsoft is responsible for many of the software systems that affect their everyday lives behind the scenes.
This focus on proliferation made much of the technology world dependent on Microsoft for its software needs. This pattern continues as Microsoft takes a blue ocean strategy in software development and goes after all of the opportunities that companies like Apple ignore.
Alphabet (Parent Company of Google)
Google is the third of the big three companies when it comes to consumer technology. However, we have to discuss its parent company, Alphabet. Google changed its business structure to improve operations and make the business as a whole more resilient.
It divested all of its other business entities, created a new subsidiary called Alphabet, then sold all of its business entities including Google itself to Alphabet. This makes Alphabet the umbrella company for Google and all of its former holdings.
Alphabet uses its considerable resources to create consumer and B2B products. Interestingly, most of its consumer products are free to use or have a free option to start. The goal is to gather information that businesses are willing to pay for, such as advertising insights and user behavior, and sell that to businesses. This business model has been so lucrative that it propelled Google and Alphabet to the top of the earnings list.
However, it also made people aware of the dangerous lack of privacy online. A seemingly endless debate over privacy rights online continues to this day with no clear answer in sight. The concern over Google’s data collection and selling practices became so concerning for the public that Google decided that Alphabet was needed to offer the company some level of protection.
On the positive side, Alphabet continues to push the development of new technologies for businesses and consumers. Many of these technologies and resources make it possible for people to start businesses at little to no cost. This is something that in previous decades would have been unthinkable.
Everyone knows about Amazon and its many copies around the world. Famous for being the online retailer that has everything, Amazon continues to push toward the top of the highest earning companies list every year.
Amazon’s business model is a strange one if you look at the balance sheets. Until recent years, Amazon was unprofitable, meaning that it lost money every year despite bringing in billions of dollars. This is because Amazon continued to invest in new technologies and resources to reach a level of market saturation in many different markets that other companies could only dream of.
Otherwise, Amazon is like any other store. It offers a wide selection of products and services that people want and need in their daily lives. The only thing different is that Amazon offers all of that through the internet. It has relatively no in-person services, making a company that essentially exists online only.
Amazon marshaled its considerable resources to disrupt several markets and to change others. For example, people now expect all companies that do business online to offer free shipping for all products, and to ensure that those products are delivered within a few days of placing an order.
Although the company has been widely successful, it does have its downsides. There is growing concern over its employment practices, specifically about how the company treats employees. Efforts to unionize and take action to fix problems continue and the impact on Amazon is unknown.
Tesla is likely the most famous car company on the planet at the moment, which is largely due to its products and its founder, Elon Musk. The company builds luxury electric vehicles that are comparable to high-end luxury vehicles in terms of features and style. The novelty of being an all-electric vehicle is a strong selling point, especially given the increase in gas prices over the last decade and the predictions for the end of oil approaching in the next several decades.
However, arguably a bigger draw for the company’s success is Elon Musk himself. Having a strong star personality, Musk has gained a lot of attention for his outspoken attitude and exemplary success in business. He is currently the richest person on the planet and has a history of running widely successful businesses like PayPal. He even uses his extreme riches to support Space X, his space travel and rocket development company.
Elon Musk is seemingly always in the news. There is a cult of personality around him that, for good or bad, grows along with his success. He is a case of building himself into a successful person from an early age. People find him both inspiring and interesting, which are both good for marketing and drawing in investors.
The last company on this list is different from the others in that it focuses on collecting assets rather than offering a specific product or service. Berkshire Hathaway is known for being one of the richest companies on the planet and being run by Warren Buffet, formerly the richest person on the planet.
It is a holding company, which means it buys whole companies or stock in companies that the leadership team thinks will be successful and produce profits. Either the stocks sell at a profit, or the company is successful and pays part of its profits to Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffet is one of the best investors in history and continues to use his skills to help Berkshire Hathaway make smart investment choices.
Outsourcing Can Help Your Business Grow, Too
The road to becoming just like one of these businesses in terms of earnings and worth begins with making your business more efficient. This means freeing up time for you to work on what you need to grow your business rather than handling daily operations. Consider outsourcing processes, like answering services, so that you can spend more time off of the phone and working on your business.
If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to support your business while it grows.