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Middle-Market Publications

News, research and data about the middle-market is just a click away in our Middle-Market Publications Library. We'll continue to add new resources as they become available.

Click the links or images below to read or download the publications from our Middle-Market Initiative strategic partner, the National Center for the Middle Market, a partnership of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Grant Thornton LLP and Cisco Systems.

New research

The National Center for the Middle Market's 2Q 2017 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) reports that middle-market companies continue to report strong revenue and employment growth in the second quarter of 2017.

The percentage of middle-market leaders reporting improvements in company performance over the past 12 months fell slightly from last quarter, but at 65 percent, it remains above the historical MMI average of 61 percent.

Key insights

After spiking to 9.2 percent last quarter, the year-over-year revenue growth rate in the middle market has settled back to 6.7 percent. At 5.5 percent, the projected growth rate for the next 12 months remains healthy and is half a point above the anticipated growth rates reported one year ago.

  • Employment growth remains strong: At 5.7 percent, the employment growth rate is the second-highest rate of employment growth reported by the MMI, well above the five-and-a-half year average of 3.7 percent.

  • Confidence remains historically high: Although economic confidence levels have dipped slightly from record levels reported last quarter, confidence in local, state, and global economies remains well above their five-and-a-half year averages.

  • Most companies would invest extra cash: This quarter, close to seven out of 10 (67 percent) middle-market leaders say they would invest an extra dollar as opposed to saving it. While this percentage typically hovers around two-thirds, it is up from 61 percent at the end of 2015.
Click to read more in the 2Q 2017 MMI.

Click here for the Ohio results.

Insights and hot topics

“Cyber Security is Like a Sponge: Five Way to Control Your Data:” Get tips and recommendations about on what your middle-market company can do to contain and/or prevent a cyber breach in this special Plante Moran publication.

“The Force is with You: Building a Highly Effective Sales Organization:” Learn how the fastest-growing middle-market businesses—those with annual revenue growth of 10 percent or more—are hiring, training, compensating, and augmenting the efforts of their sales forces from this report by the National Center for the Middle Market.

Organizing for Innovation in the Middle Market: This study by the NCMM and Cherry Bekaert LLP, a growth-oriented CPA firm, found that companies who employ low-risk innovative initiatives produce valuable returns, while the most adept companies with a more aggressive innovation profile grow even more quickly.

Access to Capital: How Small and Mid-Sized Businesses are Funding their Futures:
Research conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market and the Milken Institute explores how small business and middle market firms raise capital, their strategy for debt, the important factors driving their consideration of financing and their outlook for expansion. This research reveals how capital providers can serve small and middle market companies and how public policy influences them.

Building the Top Team: In partnership with Novo Group, the National Center for the Middle Market interviewed over 400+ middle-market companies and 600+ potential executive hires to learn how the best middle market companies attract, reward and retain top talent. Research found that middle market companies with compelling employer brands and EVPs averaged nearly three times revenue growth over those without.

Middle Market Acquisitions: If I Had Only Known: All significant business decisions are subject to uncertainty, and the all-encompassing scope of acquisitions may make such investments among the most uncertain and subject to surprises. Based on interviews with over 80 middle-market executives who shared their stories and observations, this white paper provides practical advice for middle-market executives seeking to grow their businesses through acquisitions.

Lessons in Innovation from the Middle Market: How do middle-market companies maximize the value that they capture? Success draws attention from established competitors and upstart copycats. Meanwhile, scale requires continual decisions about how to allocate resources and organize. They must be explicit in their decisions, mindful of short- and long- term trade-offs, thoughtful about where power and final decision-making authority reside, and careful to sustain a culture true to their origins. In short, they need an innovation strategy to guide decisions.

Accelerating Exports: According to the NCMM, middle-market companies that make exporting part of their business model perform better than their peers. Whether in manufacturing or services, these companies tend to generate stronger revenues and overall growth, and report strategic and operational benefits from global engagement.

Performance Management: To find out how effective middle-market companies are at performance management, and what they could be doing better, the NCMM conducted a survey of 300 business executives. The survey shows a strong relationship between the quality of performance management at midsize companies and their financial performance.

More information