Knowledge Center

The most complete collection of information and insights available on the middle market.

The National Center for the Middle Market takes pride in offering middle market businesses, researchers, and business students access to the most comprehensive collection of knowledge and data pertaining to the middle market. The Center funds open-source research and distributes the findings along with research generated by other parties. We offer access to reports and studies geared toward fueling economic growth, interviews with middle market leaders, in-depth webinar discussions with business and industry experts, and videos that identify and share best practices of thriving middle market companies. The Center continually evolves its knowledge of the middle market though new research and analysis, and regularly updates this page with the latest resources available from the Center as well as third parties.

To assist you in quickly locating the information you need, resources are organized by both topic and format.

  • Aligning Your Capital Expenditures and Your Middle Market Company's Strategy

    By Chuck Leddy
    Allocating capital expenditures for your middle market business, also known as capital budgeting, is never easy. There are always multiple investments that seem eminently worthy, such as new equipment and new hires, that are all promising to return your investment at different rates, both short-term and long-term. Budgeting is inherently future-oriented, based on underlying assumptions about your market, your company's ability to properly execute, compliance issues, and much more.  Read More >
  • Digital Security Can Protect Corporate IT

    By Matt Gross
    Are you concerned about digital security compromises of your company's IT infrastructure? You shouldn't be concerned — you should be scared. Whether it's denial of service attacks, theft of credit card data, or social engineering, attacks on IT infrastructure are becoming more common. It's critical that you empower your IT staff. They are your front line of defense. I was recently speaking with a friend who manages internal IT systems for a mid-sized financial company. He said that his staff wants to migrate their core servers that are approaching Windows Server 2003 end-of-life.  Read More >
  • Growing a Business Requires That You Nurture Your Customers

    By Peter Miller
    You're driving your company's sales strategy toward growing a business, both in terms of revenue and profits. How do you use your customer mix to make that happen? Sales isn't random; you can control the ratio of new to old. It depends on where you commit resources. You need to control cost of sales. As a middle market company, you are generally fighting it out with competitors. Growth is a concern, profits are needed to fuel expansion, and as the leader, you are consistently navigating your company through turbulent waters.  Read More >
  • Trump the Business Skills Gap and Free Your Business

    By Erik Sherman
    Ultimately, a business is the people who work there. Whether you look at the employees on a manufacturing line, people sitting in accounting, or upper management, a company is limited by the business skills of those working day in and day out. In many areas, companies are facing a growing skills gap, and middle market businesses can be hit particularly hard by what they don't have. The good news is that they can develop talent and skills, hire for additional skills, and reap great rewards, both in competitive positioning and in opportunities.  Read More >
  • 4 Ways to Combat Rising Healthcare Costs at Middle Market Firms

    By Rob Carey

    Rising healthcare costs affect businesses of all sizes. Despite this, a 2013 NCMM report entitled "The State of Healthcare in the U.S. Middle Market" shows that 85 percent of firms believe offering high-quality healthcare results in more productive employees, while over 90 percent of firms feel the offering helps attract and retain employees.

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  • How to Spot High-Potential Entry Level Employees

    By Dorie Clark

    Who's your next superstar employee? It's not always easy to pick out future leaders early in their careers, but with practice, you can hone your talent spotting abilities, says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, author of Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best. The advantages of talent spotting at the entry level is enormous for middle market companies: if you can identify, promote, and reward top talent, that means you're less likely to lose them to the competition. Here are Matuson's top tips for finding great leaders early in their careers.

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  • Turn Tax Liability Into Business Strength

    By Erik Sherman
    Tax liability is an ugly phrase, whether applied to your business or personal life. It means money you thought you had but apparently won't any more. The taxpaying corporation must send a check to Uncle Sam, state revenue officials, or a city or town instead of spending the money on something that could offer a return on investment.  Read More >
  • New Zealand: Mid-Market Report 2014

    By GE Capital
    In this report GE Capital introduces five Mid-Market companies through detailed case studies. Their research and case studies discuss the benefits Mid-Market players have experienced in growing from small to medium sized enterprises. They are better run, more structured, less risky companies than when they were small, they say.  Read More >
  • Financial Capital: 5 Broad Financing Options for Middle Market Firms

    By Chuck Leddy

    While a middle market company has many critical relationships, such as those with customers, suppliers, and employees, its relationship with its financial capital providers may be the most important of all. Credit can be the lifeblood of expanding businesses, allowing for investment in new projects, the purchase of needed equipment, and more. Since the credit crunch beginning in 2007-08, banks have increasingly tightened their commercial lending standards and credit has become more difficult to obtain and more expensive, with higher interest rates and more demand for collateral. According to a National Center for the Middle Market survey, "54 percent of middle market companies said one of their key challenges was gaining access to financing."

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  • Changes in GAAP Accounting and the Impact on Mid-Market Businesses

    One of the best ways to learn more about the middle market is to take advantage of events tailored specifically to middle market companies. The National Center for the Middle Market and the Association for Corporate Growth recently convened a group of experts from GE, Deloitte, and The Ohio State University to provide a customized mid-market overview of the most recent and significant changes in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The featured experts highlighted how these GAAP changes can impact mid-market companies.  Read More >
  • Raising the Minimum Wage: What's the Middle Market Impact?

    By Erik Sherman

    Over the last two years, a combination of activity has led to increased interest in raising the minimum wage. Union-backed labor actions have arisen, aimed at fast food chains and companies such as Wal-Mart, while escalating concerns over growing wage inequality have sparked discussion in Congress. A group of Democrats calling for a new floor of $10.10 per hour is pushing the issue, and even some conservatives have called for higher minimum wages to keep companies from effectively socializing the costs of doing business while raising taxes and expenses for everyone else.

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  • How to Motivate Employees at the End of a Long Winter

    By Dorie Clark

    In much of the country, it's been a long, hard winter. Record-breaking cold and incessant blizzards have left many employees feeling run down and dreaming of beach vacations. Most likely, you can't provide an office getaway to the Caribbean, but when it comes to how to motivate employees, there are still a number of effective strategies you can use, says Meghan M. Biro, a talent strategist who runs the blog and social community Talent Culture. Here are her best tips.

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