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.

  • A Better Onboarding Process: Shorten the Learning Curve and Motivate New Hires Through Technology

    By Rob Carey

    Middle market companies have very few positions that can withstand a lull in productivity while a new employee learns specific duties, the firm's procedures and the company culture. Even more ominous is the possibility that a new employee washes out of the organization within 12 months because of failing to meet management's expectations, or because management didn't help the employee become sufficiently able or comfortable in the position. Such failures during the onboarding process are glaring in two ways: First, they are particularly costly to midsized firms, which have to spend to replace the jettisoned employee. Secondly, they are usually avoidable.

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  • What Does an Internal HR Department Bring to a Midmarket Company?

    By Rob Carey

    Technology has certainly made it easier for middle market companies to focus on core competencies and operate more effectively. A prime example is the ability to outsource various administrative tasks that are typically handled by an HR department, such as payroll, health and retirement benefits, and legal and regulatory compliance. Without the option to outsource to specialty firms possessing deep expertise and robust IT systems, those tasks would instead fall to a middle market firm's executives, department heads, or perhaps even administrative support staff who are not experts in those disciplines and who have other responsibilities that likely deliver more value to the firm.

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  • The New Business Marketing Mix: Revamping the 4 Ps for Modern Times

    Business marketing isn't what it used to be. If your middle market company's marketing team is still married to the traditional "four Ps" — product, placement, price and promotion — then you're far from the cutting edge of marketing trends that are shaping the present and future of business. Both the needs of your customers and the way those needs are satisfied have undergone dramatic changes over the last two decades, and traditional business marketing approaches using the four Ps have started to go the way of the dial-up modem and the telephone booth.

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  • How Do You Measure Social Media Results?

    If you were in an elevator and had just 20-seconds to explain the effectiveness of your social media plan, what would you say? Like most Middle Market CEOs, you are likely more comfortable dealing with boards and balance sheets than Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

    To measure the success of your social media plan, the first question you should be asking is, “What’s the strategy?” followed closely by the cost and projected ROI. In larger enterprises, social media spending can represent a hefty percentage of a marketing budget, so it’s to your advantage to find out whether money being spent is spent wisely. 

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  • The Affordable Care Act: What Businesses Face in 2015

    The Affordable Care Act will introduce new requirements in 2015, representing an important set of milestones for businesses—particularly midmarket companies. According to an NCMM report, more than 90 percent of midsize executives see health care costs as a challenge, and this latest series of provisions will certainly come into play for many companies.

    In addition, the shifting calculus of politics in Washington, D.C., as well as a Supreme Court–bound challenge of subsidized care, could cloud the future of what the ACA will ultimately do and the impact employers could face.

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  • 8 of the Best Business Books to Spark Discussion at Your Company

    Reading thought-provoking business books can act as a catalyst for the sort of reflection all business leaders (and their employees) should be doing. What, then, are the best business books that can help you develop effective strategies, lead better, innovate your products or services, and help you enhance operational excellence at your middle market company?

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  • 7 Ways to Create a Business Culture that Promotes Learning and Development

    Every midmarket leader understands the need to create a strong business culture that facilitates knowledge sharing and learning. While creating such an organizational culture may seem like a soft, immeasurable goal - it's not. Encouraging learning and development at your middle market company can help you attract and retain talent, better develop and enhance employees' capabilities, and motivate everyone at the company to work at a higher level.

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  • Why PCI Compliance Is a Must for Middle Market Firms

    By Rob Carey

    In 2004, the five major credit card brands — Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB — instituted a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment for cardholder data. Such data is defined as any personally identifiable information associated with a cardholder, including the account number, expiration date, name, address, and social security number. In fact, any personally identifiable information associated with the cardholder that a firm processes, stores, or transmits is covered.

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  • Using Business Consultants to Improve Employee Communication and Engagement

    By Rob Carey

    In theory, there's one advantage that midmarket companies have over their larger competitors: the ability to maintain a culture of open communication. Having a smaller amount of employees should make it easier for everyone to work smoothly together. When management establishes the right atmosphere, it enables positive communication that builds employee trust, satisfaction, and loyalty.

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  • How Business Innovation Models Make or Break Created Value

    Business innovation is critical to competitive success, but when it comes to middle market companies, it is not enough. The value such companies retain from innovative processes is largely dependent on the models applied to those processes, according to a recent white paper from the National Center for the Middle Market.

    The white paper details business innovation models found to be most commonly employed by middle market companies.

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