October 23, 2020



Many of the industries we serve at Marcum have seen unprecedented disruption since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down many parts of our economy back in March. No one likes it when entire industries get shaken up, including me, but what often gets forgotten is times like these bring incredible opportunity. For every company that falls behind because it just can’t adapt or runs out of cash, there’s a chance to take its place if you’re prepared to act quickly.

Amazon – whether you love it or hate it – is a perfect example, something I discussed on Fox Business News with Liz Claman this week. Jeff Bezos and his team have spent the whole crisis, since Day 1, going after new markets and shoring up their position in the markets they already own. Not surprisingly, Amazon continues to dominate the world on selling just about everything except houses and cars (which at some point they will), and I doubt we’ll see that trend slow down any time soon. Bezos isn’t sitting around studying market research reports for months before he moves ahead.

The middle-market companies we serve don’t have budgets the size of Amazon’s, but many have their own opportunities for growth right now. The next six months will be a critical time to take a look at your company’s market share and product or service offerings – and to optimize it. Every leader should be thinking about opportunities to grow, either organically or through acquisition.

Is it possible for you to win new market share by expanding into new geographic areas or by offering new products or services? Are there new sales channels worth exploring? It’s tempting to retrench when markets aren’t certain but now is the best possible time for many companies to expand. In many industries, the number of competitors vying for customers is declining, as weaker players leave the market, and some companies may be willing to be acquired for attractive valuations. It’s also important to think about protecting the market share you already have.

Middle-market companies that excel in their niche can carve out the same advantage for themselves. Whether you have deep experience in a specialized area of manufacturing or have come up with a unique business model for delivering professional services, now is the ideal time to emphasize that expertise in your marketing and customer outreach.

No one can afford to rest on their laurels and be complacent right now. Look at Tesla. Elon Musk is facing competition from all sides, as other automakers go after his customers by developing their own electric vehicles. He’s going to have to work very hard to put up a moat around his core business from here on out.

It’s not easy to think about growing market share when you’re managing challenges like transitioning back to the office and the second spike some states are seeing. But eventually, this crisis will come to an end, and most of us will still be running our businesses. Putting some new stakes in the ground now is a great way to position your business for the recovery, whenever that happens to arrive.

Tomorrow my mother turns 88. We were fortunate that in this year of turmoil she was able to come up to New York from Boynton Beach, FL on July 1 and stay until the end of September before heading back. So even though we can’t celebrate in person tomorrow, happy birthday Mom!

Stay safe, stay healthy and remember, we’re all in this together!