Strategy & Innovation

  • Rebranding Your Company: Is It Time?

    We all know how powerful brands can be. When we choose a product or service, we're not just looking at price. Instead, it's about the overall brand promise. It's the same with your middle market company. You've built a relationship with your customers, and your brand means something to them. That can be a valuable competitive advantage, but in certain circumstances, your brand may be holding you back. If that's the case, it's time to look at strategic rebranding. Here are the questions to ask yourself to help determine if your midmarket firm needs to consider rebranding:

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  • Improve Your Company's Web Presence: Attract and Engage a Bigger Audience

    By Rob Carey

    The advantage of a strong web presence for midmarket companies cannot be overstated. Fostering web engagement can act as a great leveler between midsized firms and larger competitors. Customers and prospects spend so much of their time — at work and at home — online that a compelling, effective website and consistent, strategized social media action can make a big difference.

     

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  • Drive Business Priorities by Empowering Employee Decision-Making

    Well-founded business priorities are the essence of successful commerce. They embody a firm's strategy and are expressed through all key actions made by the company. It's normal for upper management to insist on making business decisions, largely because they want to hold fast to these priorities. Upper-level employees generally believe that, if you let lower-rung employees make decisions, it becomes difficult to enforce the right choices that support overarching company strategies — even worse, employees might take actions that undermine these strategies.

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  • Selling a Business: How to Conduct Sell-Side Due Diligence

    Selling a business is often a lengthy process, so it's best to prepare your middle market business for its sale up to three years before the actual transaction takes place. You might think that getting the best possible sale price depends upon timing the marketplace correctly, effective negotiation, and other externalities, but that isn't the case. The most important factor influencing the pre-sale valuation of your middle market company is your own due diligence.

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  • 4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Sale

    By Axial
    When you decide to sell your company, it is not uncommon to find that many aspects of the business are not ready for a sale. Whether it’s incomplete financial statements, disorganized tax history, or legal oversights, the sale process can quickly become complicated and difficult. Consider these four areas before reaching out to intermediaries and investors in order to avoid a lower sale price and last-minute problems that could lead to the eventual dissolution of the deal.  Read More >
  • Lessons in Innovation from the Middle Market

    A recent survey of middle-market companies says nearly two out of three business executives (61 percent) rate innovation of new products, services, or processes in their organization as highly or somewhat challenging. Thankfully, according to soon-to-be-released research from the National Center for the Middle Market, these companies need only look to their peers and competitors to learn what they can do to become more innovative.

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  • Managers Can't Know Everything: 6 Tips for Managing Outside Your Areas of Expertise

    Managers, especially top executives, must realize that they can't be experts in everything. The "manager as expert" might work for an engineer who becomes a manager of an engineering team, but no middle market CEO is an expert in all aspects of the business. You must not only learn how to wear many hats but accept that you will be managing people who have more expertise in a particular area than you do. And while being a "manager as expert" might work best in an ideal world (of course, no middle market company is an ideal world), it mostly won't be an option for managers in the real world. How can a manager who knows less than his or her reports manage them properly?

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  • 4 Business Development Tips: Ditch Your Old Start-Up Mentality

    There comes a point when your middle-market business must shed its start-up mentality and begin to scale with systems and processes to receive sustainable growth in business development. In younger businesses especially, a lack of business development leads to an ebb and flow of revenue. To achieve a consistent revenue stream, you must prospect for more opportunities, even if you're in the middle of working a potential large deal. In order to do this, consider these business-building tips:

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  • Is Your Company Ensuring Your New Hire Will Succeed?

    By Rob Carey

    While all companies face issues when bringing in a new hire, middle market firms are more exposed to the negative consequences that might arise from flaws in the onboarding process. In essence, onboarding is the months-long path to acclimation for new employees: to the firm's mission, policies, procedures, and culture; to their specific role; and to their relationships with coworkers and managers.

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  • Sponsoring Work Visas for International Employees: 5 Steps to Success

    Sponsoring work visas for international employees can be an arduous and expensive process involving lots of paper work and thousands of dollars in fees to Uncle Sam (and your legal advisor). But when it comes to filling open positions that require high levels of technical skill, especially in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), it may be the only realistic option for your middle market business.

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  • Simplified Key Performance Indicators Engage Employees and Drive Results

    By Rob Carey

    As part of the progression toward taking on leadership roles within a company, most executives become well-versed in the importance of developing and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure long-term organizational performance. Fortunately for today's business leaders, advancing technology has made organizations capable of being data-driven in ways that make the consistent assessment of key performance indicators easier than ever.

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  • Selling a Business? 7 Steps for Midmarket Companies to Ensure a Smooth Sale

    You've worked for years to create a successful business, navigating through early growing pains to become a mature, successful middle market firm today. Now your company has become an attractive target for buyers, and if the price is right, you're willing to sell and move on to other things in your private and professional life. While it may sound simple, selling a business is anything but.

    Here are seven steps to help make the sales process go smoothly:

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  • Building Brand Loyalty Through Social Media: A Non-Discounting Approach That Works

    By Rob Carey

    Perhaps the most significant effect that social media has had on middle market companies is that it has vastly improved the ability of these firms to compete with much larger competitors. With a smart, steady social media presence that adapts to what customers and prospects are saying about their needs and desires, a middle market company can raise its visibility and become a go-to player in its industry. A firm can maintain that position through brand loyalty programs that reward fans for their social media activity that involves the brand, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits the firm and its dedicated customers.

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  • 5 Ways Budgeting Can Boost Your Office Efficiency

    Budgeting can be a painful experience for a middle market company. There is enough scale of business to justify many initiatives, yet resources are far less abundant than at a major corporation. Smart budgeting, however, is certainly achievable in the midmarket and can become an integral tool to create efficiency and even free up extra money and time to help grow your business.

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  • Generate Customer Retention for the Long Term through Word-of-Mouth Marketing

    By Rob Carey

    In today's world of mass communication and widespread social media usage, it's important that middle market firms don't lose sight of how valuable word-of-mouth marketing remains. Midsized firms should continue to train employees on how to encourage communication through word of mouth among customers, prospects, and any points of contact in order to drive up customer retention.

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