Expert Perspectives

Stay informed by our faculty and fellows regarding recent insights, commentary, and opinions on middle market business challenges, growth factors, and opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a guest contributor you can find out more information by clicking here.

  • Handling a Denial-of-Service Attack

    A denial-of-service attack, also known as distributed denial of service (DDoS), has been a thorn in the side of Internet businesses and organizations since at least 1999. A DDoS attack is easy to launch, and technically inexperienced people can rent the necessary infrastructure and systems from commercial hackers by the day, hour or week at affordable prices. A strike can be extremely effective; attackers even answer countermeasures as they're developed.

       Read More >
  • 5 Tips for Using Reverse Mentoring to Boost Organizational Knowledge

    Formal training programs help employees and managers succeed as elements of their jobs change over time. Some companies also use mentoring, which traditionally is when a veteran meets with a younger employee to educate him or her in areas where the veteran has solid experience. The mentor answers the mentee's questions about work or the company, offers tips and shares stories about his or her own background and career path. This serves to accelerate junior workers' development.

       Read More >
  • Ensuring Web Security: 6 Essential Tips for Middle Market Executives

    The importance of having a secure website cannot be overstated. Besides protecting customers' e-commerce data, you need to be able to fend off denial-of-service attacks and other viruses that can crash your site for days or even weeks. Web security also entails foiling hackers who seek to infiltrate your firm's underlying network by figuring out user identification and passwords and thereby gaining access to sensitive data or emails. A breach in any of these areas could result in a loss of not just money, but also customers, employee trust and your competitive status.

       Read More >
  • Corporate Sustainability Requires Smart Operations and Marketing

    Corporate sustainability has been gaining attention from executives and customers alike, and not just when companies are enormous. Many midmarket firms have pushed heavily into sustainable practices, and several have been recognized for it. For example, Sun Light & Power makes use of renewable-source energy, keeps half of its facilities near public transit and uses recycled materials in 75 percent of its office supplies. Similarly, First GREEN Bank has LEED-certified facilities, programs to encourage employee use of fuel-efficient vehicles and special commercial loan packages for companies building sustainable facilities.

       Read More >
  • Mobile Business Technology: 5 Essential Best Practices

    Mobile business technology isn't just a useful option for modern companies — it's a must-have tool. Mobile's impact started with consumers, but it's spread to business users and has become powerful in a range of industries, including real estate, insurance, banking, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Mobile lets companies respond more quickly and directly to prospects and customers. It also helps firms collect data that provides transformative insights into markets, employees and business processes, ultimately allowing them to offer the type of user experience people want.

       Read More >
  • Research and Development Effectiveness Comes From Strategic Alignment

    One critical element for building a stable middle market company is developing a strong brand identity. Successfully competing against larger firms happens when the marketplace knows your organization for something in particular. When a firm and its offerings are associated with certain valued traits, the organization has a competitive advantage that can and should be leveraged on a consistent basis.

       Read More >
  • Middle Market Firms: America's Job Creators

    A report Dun & Bradstreet and American Express released in April reveals striking, thought-provoking facts about how the health of the middle market is central to the health of the overall U.S. economy. Though midmarket firms make considerably less than enterprise-level corporations, their economic impact is exponentially higher. Overall, the sector contributes nearly $6.2 trillion to the national economy each year.

       Read More >
  • Strategic Planning Process: 3 Ways to Maintain Flexibility

    Having an annual strategic planning process is essential, because it forces you to understand your company's core capacities, its strengths and weaknesses and its competitive markets (that is, the behavior of your customers and movements of your rivals). It also demands that you make assumptions about the future and some short-term financial projections. In terms of defining and executing your strategy, this annual learning process may be the most important action you take all year.

       Read More >
  • Why an Adaptive Human Resources Strategy Is Good for Your Company

    As your company adapts to the middle market and its customers' needs, your human resources strategy needs to adapt along with it. The first step is to build your overall business strategy, and then identify human resources' role in reaching your goals. Do you need to develop new capabilities to better serve customers, or expand your sales or production footprint? HR should recruit, hire, train, and develop the right talent for the task.

       Read More >
  • Are you Staying Personally Connected to your Team?

    Being a Middle Market CEO is in many ways comparable to raising teenagers: You’re no longer providing the day-to-day life-sustaining interactions that an infant needs, but you’re not off the hook like you are with adult children. In fact, that’s one of the challenges of parenting teens and growing a Middle Market team: you’re charges still need your guidance, but your increased distance from their daily activities makes it difficult to do so!   Read More >
  • Scaling a Gourmet Soft Drink Business With No Venture Aftertaste, Chris Reed, Reeds Inc.

     When Chris Reed decided it was time to enlist some investors to fuel the expansion of his fast-growing soft drink company, he wasn't willing to part with all of the management control that perspective venture partners required.  Instead, Reed Inc. would become listed on the New York Stock Exchange and sell shares to the public… - See more at:   Read More >
  • Funding Your Business: Local Versus National Banks

    Funding your middle market company with the right financial partner is a key business decision. Whether you're expanding your operations, building new facilities or investing in projects, access to financing is critical. When you go to a bank for help, you expect several things: the bank will understand your business needs, the bank will have a decision-making executive with whom you'll form a relationship, the bank will have the financial products you need, the bank will be efficient and the bank's funding will be affordable and competitive.


       Read More >
  • How Nurturing Customer Loyalty Creates Brand Ambassadors

    Customer loyalty is a must-have for any company. Without people or companies coming back to do business with you, the cost of acquiring customers becomes a crushing expense. The stronger the loyalty, the more you can contain marketing costs while increasing the average customer's lifetime value. But there is a step beyond loyalty, particularly for a middle market company that is trying to hit its next stage of growth. What you want are customer fanatics: people who will act as brand ambassadors and do more than loyally buy from your business. They help acquire new customers through positive word of mouth and brand promotion. However, brand ambassadors are people you need to woo, which means understanding the difference between a true fan and a loyal customer. Here's what you should know.

       Read More >
  • 4 Keys to a Successful Product Launch

    One way for middle market firms to compete successfully against the biggest players in their niche is to innovate. A new or significantly altered product that exceeds present expectations is the most effective weapon against large competitors, who can use economies of scale to hold down prices or marketing dollars to saturate the market's share of mind.

       Read More >

In Collaboration With