Sourcing Capital

  • Are You A Disruptor or Are You Being Disrupted?

    Disruptive technology has existed ever since the invention of movable type, but the pace at which disruption occurs is increasing exponentially. If you accept the theory - and you should - that you can either be the disrupted or the disruptor, it becomes apparent that you need to develop the skill of peering into the future to see what's next before anyone else does. But how do you predict the future when you're running as fast you can just managing and growing your ​middle market business?

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  • Act-On: Marketing Automation for the Real World

    Act-On was founded on the idea that marketers (in businesses of all sizes), particularly at midmarket companies, should be able to have access to technology to directly drive business. Prior to Act-On’s creation in 2008, marketing technology solutions were designed for large enterprises with well-resourced IT departments, not for the marketer. Act-On's fresh approach to marketing automation and email marketing provides full functionality without the complexity imposed by legacy systems. We spoke with CEO Raghu Raghavan to find out more about the rapidly growing business and the red-hot industry they operate in.

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  • Building a Cloud Technology Blueprint for Your Company

    By Rob Carey

    The potential benefits of cloud technology are tangible and tempting for middle market firms. The ability to store company data in a system that can always scale up to meet rising needs is a game changer, especially for midsized companies with little room for error in their IT expenditures. What's more, the various cloud functionalities available from third-party applications allow midmarket firms to battle larger competitors on a more equal footing in critical areas, including data analytics that help inform research and development, sales, marketing and customer service. Other cloud applications improve worker efficiency, thus strengthening the bottom line.

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  • Midmarket Firms and BYOD Policy: Balancing Convenience and Protection

    By Rob Carey

    Among companies of all sizes, the practice of allowing employees to "bring your own device" (BYOD) is becoming more commonplace. For executives at midsized firms, though, the first impulse might be to reject a BYOD policy. After all, midmarket companies do not have IT departments as deep as those at large companies, which can often handle the wide variety of laptops and mobile devices that employees bring. The concerns about business effectiveness, along with network and data security, will naturally give midmarket executives pause.

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  • Cloud Computing and Middle Market Firms: A Good Match?

    By Rob Carey

    The Information Technology Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology characterizes cloud computing as "a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." In plain English, here's what that means: Companies can use cloud computing to leverage external technology applications and tools that improve back-office functionality and make client-related processes more robust. What's more, companies only have to purchase the amount of functionality necessary to meet their immediate needs, and they can scale up quickly and precisely whenever their business conditions change.

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  • Trademarks 101: What They Are and Why They Need Protecting

    A trademark helps differentiate your middle market company's goods and services from anyone else's. You can trademark your company name, its logo, its product names and its slogan. If a new company enters the market, it cannot use the names or symbols of an existing company in that same market without violating the senior company's trademarks. They represent legally protected rights and allow for exclusive use so that when any company invests in its brand equity, no other company can steal it.

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  • 6 Ways Attending a Trade Show Can Improve Your Marketing

    There's a reason that companies see a trade show as a good marketing tool. Instead of trying to maintain relationships at arm's length, you have a chance to actually meet the people you do business with. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 70 percent of attendees plan to buy products, 76 percent ask for quotes and 26 percent sign purchase orders. Additionally, 88 percent haven't met the company's sales staff in the past year. Shows provide an important opportunity to convert leads into customers.

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  • Annual Reviews: Why You Should Separate Performance and Pay

    Both middle market managers and their employees dislike annual reviews. Managers, already overburdened by the year's end, must prepare reports and sit down with each of their team members to evaluate performance and salary issues. Employees, on the other hand, are anxious about their bonuses and are only listening for how their performance ratings impact their income. Could anything be more uncomfortable and a waste of time on both sides?

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  • How to be a Middle Market David

    Not too long ago, a Middle Market company with a great product had a tough time competing against the retail market’s biggest players. Not anymore. The social media revolution means that retail is anyone’s game, and if you’re not already taking advantage of that new opportunity, you should be. Mr. Erik Rosenstrauch, President and CEO of FUEL Partnerships, a retail marketing firm and a ROI Strategic Alliance Partner, explains how to do so.

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  • How to be a Middle Market David

    Not too long ago, a Middle Market company with a great product had a tough time competing against the retail market’s biggest players. Not anymore. The social media revolution means that retail is anyone’s game, and if you’re not already taking advantage of that new opportunity, you should be. Mr. Erik Rosenstrauch, President and CEO of FUEL Partnerships, a retail marketing firm and a ROI Strategic Alliance Partner, explains how to do so.

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  • How to Handle E-Waste and Old Electronic Equipment

    Sustainability can provide great benefits to a middle market business, including cost reduction and customer and employee loyalty. But claiming sustainable practices is difficult if you don't effectively handle e-waste. Whether it's outmoded computers, broken fax machines, CRT monitors, exhausted rechargeable batteries or obsolete networking equipment or smartphones, a lot of electronic waste is poorly handled.

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  • Lawsuits and the Need for Good Internal Communication

    Being in business means occasionally facing lawsuits. When a customer sues your middle market company over a faulty product or a supplier takes you to court in a contract dispute, there's a clear risk to both your financial bottom line and your reputation. But lawsuits bring other sorts of risk to areas such as employee retention and recruiting efforts. Of course you will have a strategy, led by your legal advisers, to collect all data relevant to the particular litigation. You'll also likely interview all employees involved in the case. But this is just the beginning.

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  • Find the Office Setup That's Right for Your Company

    The basics of business success include keeping customers happy, finding a strong market niche, operating efficiently, recruiting and retaining a smart workforce, pushing innovation and building strong business alliances. But what about designing a comfortable office? Yes, your office setup, although seemingly not fundamental, greatly affects how well your company operates. Design matters — and not just in branding, products and marketing, but in where you work.

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