Look at the headlines and there are signs of disruption everywhere. Sears, a brand many of us grew up with, is fighting for survival. Banks and brokerages are teaming up to open a new stock exchange that will compete with the NYSE. And the government is in the middle of what will be the longest partial shut down in history, which is creating a lot of inconvenience for companies that work with Uncle Sam, not to mention the impact on federal workers with bills to pay.
But there is one force of steadiness and growth in our economy that people often forget about: middle-market companies. Whether they are in construction, manufacturing, wholesale, or any other industry, the middle-market – which is the focal point of Marcum’s business – is a powerhouse when it comes to bringing stability to our economy. Consider this: Middle-market companies were responsible for more than half of the 51.8 million net new jobs created from 2011 to 2017, even though they made up only 1% of active companies.
That doesn’t happen by accident. Here at Marcum, we see firsthand what it takes for middle-market CEOs and their teams to bring jobs to their industries and keep those paychecks coming. The work they do goes beyond inspiring and leading their teams. It also extends to other, often unseen and complicated tasks, like securing financing for new ventures, keeping up with the technologies that will give their companies an edge, investigating new markets and identifying the types of talent they need to stay ahead of a fast-changing market.
It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin – but these leaders step up to the challenge day in and day out. I find many CEOs, myself included, love strategic planning and anything related to it. At Marcum, we like being right there with them, as a firm that specializes in serving the middle-market. Our partners and associates work with many CEOs and CFOs to come up with the right strategic plans to position their companies for growth and profits – and pressure-test their ideas through careful financial evaluation.
We also work with many of our clients on a near-constant basis to keep those plans current. The business environment changes so quickly today that what may be a great plan in January could be out-of-date by June. That’s why we welcome you to pick up the phone or email your Marcum team any time you have a question about your business strategy, no matter how small your question may seem. Our industry groups have deep experience in the challenges facing specific verticals right now and can often shed fresh light on the situations our clients are facing.
It’s easy to look at the headlines and get frustrated by what seems like never-ending chaos, but those of us who’ve been working for a few decades (or more!) know that change is a constant in the business world and always has been. No one can rest on their laurels today.
I’m constantly encouraged by the smart leadership that we witness every day in the companies we work with. It bodes very well for the long-term future of our economy. These leaders are close enough to their employees and industries to know how many people are counting on them – and they take that responsibility very seriously. I’m betting that these under-the-radar heroes are going to keep getting things right, no matter what the business environment may bring.
As this column posts I’m on a JetBlue flight headed back to NYC from Naples, Florida after attending the AICPA major firms meeting. Not being able to sit still next week finds me in Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island and a day or two behind my desk in NYC. Have a good weekend all.