Sourcing Capital

  • Should You Hire a Community Manager for Your Social Media Channels?

    By Rob Carey

    It's no secret that the Internet is changing the way customers and prospects learn about, interact with and buy from companies. These changes are so profound that corporate executives must constantly rethink the roles of their sales and marketing teams and ensure their firms are represented in all the right places. Social media gives midsized companies the potential to maintain an outsized presence in their market and drive new and repeat business at low cost. Therefore, firms might decide to hire a community manager (CM) rather than have existing marketing employees handle all social media duties.

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  • Keeping Your Health Plan in Good Shape When You Cross State Lines

    A strong health plan is crucial to the success of a middle market business. A 2013 National Center for the Middle Market study found that 90 percent of executives saw health care benefits as critical for talent recruitment and retention. However, things get complicated when you cross state lines. The insurance business may have to meet various federal regulatory guidelines, but it's also under state control. Because of the way insurance has developed, a health plan, no matter how good, is generally intended to be used within one state. Therefore, it's important to do your due diligence when finding a plan that works for your employees.

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  • The Operations Team: How to Be Small Yet Effective

    By Rob Carey

    There is perhaps no more-important element of a midsized organization than the quality of its operations. Think about it: Even if a firm has competitive offerings and strong sales, operational inefficiency diminishes delivery of the best possible product or service. It also squanders precious capital, grinding down the firm's ability to succeed and innovate. In other words, suboptimal operations are the organizational equivalent of a slow bleed that can become life-threatening over time.

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  • Your Evacuation Plan: What Employees Need to Know

    Every middle market company should have a facility evacuation plan as a part of its broader continuity planning. Even just a few employees working at a remote office will need to know when it's necessary to evacuate a building and how to safely do so. Similarly, a larger facility will need a well-thought-out plan so that, should dangerous conditions arise, people will know how to shut down operations and take the best routes to safety.

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  • Organizing for Innovation in the Middle Market

    The National Center for the Middle Market in partnership with Cherry Bekaert LLP and The Ohio State University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship conducted a survey among 400 middle market leaders and senior managers responsible for innovation at their companies, as well as leaders in each of three innovation-intensive industries—health and life sciences, industrial, and technology, to identify best practices used by the most innovation and fastest growing middle market companies.  Read More >
  • Content Marketing and the Middle Market: Engaging Today's Customers

    Content marketing has been growing in recent years. Companies seek to publish materials, such as e-newsletters, videos, blog posts and case studies, that engage customers and prospects by addressing their needs. According to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey of midsized companies, the two most popular forms of content are articles at 78 percent and social media posts at 73 percent. The pure number of middle market companies adopting these strategies has been growing fast. The survey also found that, among business-to-business firms in the middle market, 89 percent had adopted content overall. One would expect a similar number in the business-to-consumer segment.

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  • Delivering a Keynote Presentation: 7 Steps to Success

    Middle market managers are sometimes asked to give a keynote presentation, whether at a company event, a conference or a local chamber of commerce meeting. It's an honor to be asked to share your know-how. After all, midmarket leaders are often important members of their local business communities. However, if you want to be asked back, you'd better know how to effectively deliver a keynote.

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  • Going Back to School: Should You Provide Tuition Assistance?

    One of your middle market employees is going back to school, and asks for your help. First off, don't necessarily take this as bad news. It's an opportunity for both the employee and your middle market company to grow. By going back to school, employees show ambition and a praiseworthy intention to develop skills. Yes, that person's desire might inconvenience your middle market company in the short term; there will be some rescheduling to juggle work and study. However, the key for your company is simple: Be as supportive as you can, because you'll get a long-term return with increased productivity, loyalty and retention.

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  • Regular Website Maintenance Is Necessary to Maintain a Strong Brand

    By Rob Carey

    Countless companies have devoted considerable time and effort toward the initial design, functionality and testing of their websites. However, some internal stakeholders often misunderstand a website's launch as the end of a process. It is actually just the beginning. In fact, a company has a responsibility to ensure that its online presence always works well for users, always furthers the company's objectives and always has adequate security against hackers.

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  • 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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