Middle market business leaders have reported unprecedented optimism about their company’s prospects, but also see a few worrisome trends on the horizon. These opinions are tracked in a quarterly survey conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM).
Now in its sixth year, the Middle Market Indicator survey documents the opinions of approximately 1,000 middle market company c-suite executives, with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion. The report states:
“Overall,  was the strongest year for middle market employment growth in Middle Market Indicator history. Confidence levels are at near record highs to close the year, and a large majority of leaders prefer investing extra cash as opposed to saving it.”
While all industry segments grew in 2017, growth was most pronounced in business services, construction, and financial services. All industries have slowed hiring rates with the exception of construction.
Surveyed business leaders feel increasing concern about maintaining current growth rates in the face of changing market conditions, and half expect to struggle to retain the talent needed to achieve corporate goals.
Other highlights from the report include:
As we have discussed before, a positive economic outlook generally feeds a very upbeat M&A forecast as well. Certainly most analysts expect 2018 and 2019 to be a continuation of the very strong M&A seller’s market we are currently experiencing.
This is important to remember if you are an owner of a privately held business. We have never met a business owner who regretted getting started on his exit plans too early! However, we meet many who lament that they waited too long. Now may be the time for you as well.
If you would like professional advice on successfully timing your exit strategy, join us at a complimentary executive conference. Held throughout the U.S. and Canada, these will share the importance of good timing when selling a business, and how to choose the right moment to pursue the optimal offer.
NCMM is based at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Learn more about the survey results, including results from your state and industry and quarterly reports going back to 2012.
By Carl Doerksen, Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
© 2018 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
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