Growth Innovation

  • 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: http://middlemarketexecutive.com/author/jack-sweeney/#sthash.4K1SkhGV.dpuf  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.

     

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  • 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.

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  • 4 Keys to a Successful Product Launch

    By Rob Carey

    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.

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  • Leadership and Strategy Planning: Balancing Time Among Priorities

    Strategy planning is a key function for middle market leaders. The process requires them not only to develop goals, but also to align their organizations around strategic priorities. They need to focus on sustaining and growing their company's long-term profitability, and that requires engagement from every part of the business. However, they can't spend all their time focusing on one thing. Effective leaders must put their effort where it's most needed, whether that means getting departments on board with change or analyzing where to develop the business next. While this sounds simple in theory, it's maddeningly difficult in practice because leaders often get bogged down in day-to-day complexities.

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  • Social Media Strategy for Crisis Communications: 7 Ways to Defend Your Company

    Your social media strategy should center on using digital platforms to engage with customers and relevant stakeholders. Whether or not you control the message, these people are increasingly learning about you via Twitter, Facebook and other channels. Therefore, when a crisis arises, your customers will likely consume and share information about you via these same outlets. Being unprepared to spread your crisis response messages on social media is akin to surrendering your army before the first shot is ever fired.

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  • Creating a Business Blog that Increases Recognition and Reputation

    By Rob Carey

    When going up against larger competitors, one factor midsized firms struggle to overcome is the difference in marketing budgets. Fortunately, the Internet is the great equalizer when it comes to garnering exposure and building brand awareness, affinity and trust. One way to leverage the Internet is through the use of a business blog that employees contribute to regularly. Although larger companies can potentially throw more people and money at content marketing, it's content quality, rather than quantity, that wins the day. In fact, quantity becomes a disadvantage when a blog publishes low-quality posts; readers eventually tune out the brand. This controllable factor gives midsized firms a fighting chance at attracting eyeballs just as well as, and possibly even better than, the big guys.

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  • In a Business Partnership, Relativity Is Everything

    The power of a business partnership can be impressive. Rotadyne is a prime example of how a company can expand when it joins with another. In the early 1970s, the Cleveland-based custom plastics molding manufacturer made bed pans, bottles, tanks and a small line of plastic toys. It partnered with a design firm, Nottingham Spirk, which helped create new products and a logo for the toy line: Little Tikes. After a few years, Rotadyne would change its name, explode in size and eventually be acquired by Rubbermaid.

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  • How to Implement Employee Training and Peer Mentorship

    Employee training serves so many valuable functions for a middle market company — it enhances the skills of individuals within your organization, and it's a retention tool that directly engages your workforce in a career-long developmental process. When you provide employee training, your company invests in its people, and subsequently your people decide to invest their best efforts in your company.

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  • 6 Business Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

    Business marketing is vital for midmarket companies. It determines how your organization reaches out to new prospects and converts them into customers. Good marketing sends the right message to the right prospect, creating awareness and demand for your services. However, poor marketing wastes precious time and money, and may also damage your reputation.

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  • Four Ways To Enhance Your Approach To Financing

    Most middle market firms are conservative when it comes to debt. As recent research by the National Center for the Middle Market and the Milken Institute reveals, middle market companies have a strong preference for relatively low levels of debt. And when they do borrow, they gravitate toward traditional business bank loans. The following tips can help your company build a strategic approach to financing so that you’re ready to take advantage of your options when the time is right.  Read More >
  • Essential Company Benefits for Middle Market Success

    By Rob Carey

    If middle market companies are to compete for the best talent, their compensation and culture must rival those at larger companies. Interestingly, there's one way for a midsized firm to strengthen its position in both areas: by creating a variety of desirable bonus programs. In fact, a 2014 WorldatWork survey reported that attractive company benefits are becoming even more of a necessity. Bonus-compensation data gathered from managers at 713 companies, 77 percent of which have 1,000 or more employees, found that sign-on and retention bonuses are at all-time highs, while spot-bonus programs and referral bonuses are at their highest since 2000 and 2010 respectively.

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