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Greater Cleveland Partnership Blog
Information technology (IT) consumerization—the use of personal technology for business and personal applications—is an increasingly common trend among many middle-market companies.
For example, bring your own device (BYOD) is one aspect of IT consumerization that can improve a company's bottom line. But it also presents a serious security challenge for IT departments.
Middle-market companies that understand and address these challenges as they move toward IT consumerization will benefit immensely.
The cost of complying with government regulations is a major concern for middle-market executives. According to the National Center for the Middle Market’s latest MMI quarterly report, only half of the market executives who responded from Ohio were happy with the business climate in their state.
What do the numbers say?
Every five years, the Small Business Administration analyzes how much federal regulations cost businesses. According to a report filed in 2010, it cost businesses with between 20 and 499 employees an estimated $7,454 per employee per year to comply. The cost to companies with 500 and more employees was approximately $7,755. Collectively, it cost companies $1.75 trillion to comply.
No matter how profitable your middle-market organization is, market disruption is a reality you have to face. There is always the possibility that another company will introduce an innovation that redefines your industry or makes you obsolete.
For example, movie rental giant Blockbuster, went bust with the emergence of streaming services such as Netflix. Taxicab companies are in hot competition with driving services such as Uber and Lyft.
Instead of trying to come up with strategies that may help you stay afloat during middle-market disruptions, aim to be the disrupting element.
As American students continue to slip and fall behind in crucial subjects such as reading and math, there is a strong need to have Common Core standards in place.
It’s also important to correct misinformation surrounding how Common Core standards were developed, with some people believing these standards were developed by the Obama Administration.
Common Core was developed collaboratively by state education leaders, governors, teachers and education experts from dozens of states. Most notably, Ohioans were heavily involved in the formation of the standards.
What’s your employee retention strategy? If you’re like most middle-market companies, you may not have one.
With the economy strengthening and more jobs becoming available, companies could lose their best employees. In addition to lowering employee morale, low employee retention levels can disrupt productivity, negatively impact the bottom line and take current and potential leaders away from your enterprise.
Matching your competition’s salaries and other benefits isn’t enough to keep your employees loyal. An investment in a retention strategy and your workers can help.
You may have read about Highway Trust Fund, but what does it mean to you, your company and our region?
Revenues from the Highway Trust Fund are used to pay for repairs on roads, mass transit and other infrastructure projects. However, the fund is facing insolvency for several reasons including that the gasoline tax—18.4 cents per gallon—hasn’t been raised since 1993 despite inflation, cars are more fuel efficient, requiring less gas, and people are driving less, also reducing the amount of gas that’s pumped.
Meanwhile, the cost of maintenance has gone up.
Deriving maximum value from the sale of a company goes far beyond revenue and market share figures. Selling a company of any size can be a complicated and arduous task. There are several steps that should be taken well in advance of the sale, to make your company attractive to investors. Here are some tips for selling a mid-market company:
Do your homework
This is the first step in determining the valuation of the company and correct timing of the sale. Having a good idea of market share, potential buyers, economic conditions and competitor valuations, is critical before deciding to sell. Negotiation strategies can then be formulated based on realistic market conditions.
More than 100 Northeast Ohio employers currently are members of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, whose mission is “to make Northeast Ohio the best region in the country for the inclusion of minority individuals and businesses in the economic engines that drive our competitiveness.”
Founded in 2000 with an initial membership of 28 of the region’s largest employers, we see our role as creating the flow of all the key ingredients for a strong inclusive regional economy:
Successful companies depend upon a skilled and talented workforce. However, the supply of qualified American workers may not meet the demand in certain fields.
When unable to find skilled employees domestically, many companies will look abroad. This can be a challenge for mid-sized businesses, as the process can be risky, expensive, and complicated, and you may be in competition for talent with more well-known international corporations. But the reward can be well worth the effort.
The warm months don't have the reputation of the "hazy, lazy days of summer" just because kids are out of school. The reality for most businesses is that the time between June and September really is slower as clients and staff take time off for vacations and work seems to take longer.
Why not embrace this reality and see it as a positive time to recharge and re-energize so when fall comes around, your middle-market business is ready to take off stronger than ever.
Here are some ways middle-market managers can use the summer slow down to rev up for fall.