Albu On Strategy

What Are Middle Market Company Top Concerns?

In a recent Key Bank Business Sentiment Survey by of over 400 business owners and executives of middle market companies, the top concerns were as follows:

31%   Attracting Talent

30%  Healthcare Cost

29%  Increased Competition/Pricing Pressure

29%  Potential Economic Downturn

28%  Trade Agreements/Tariffs 

It’s fair to say that these concerns should not be a surprise.  With unemployment at its lowest level in fifty years, finding and attracting talent has become a challenge for most companies.  Healthcare costs have been a major line item cost for middle market companies for a long time and continue to rise without a solution in sight.  Concern about a potential economic downturn, coupled with trade agreement negotiations/tariffs are leaving business owners and executives unsettled.

In contrast to these concerns and uncertainties, the Key Bank survey found that most business owners and executives remain optimistic about their company and the US economy.

74%   Optimistic about their company’s future

56%   Optimistic about the US economy

That optimism carries over into respondent’s growth plans over the next six months: 

69%   Expansion plans

73%   Add employees

61%   Make equipment purchases

49%   Expand or renovate current facilities

51%   Add new facilitates or locations 

What are owners and executives to do to stay focused and positive?  Stay the course and continue to enhance performance with these proven steps:

  1. Find and drive those products, services and markets that deliver the greatest profits.
  2. Focus resources on those revenue growth opportunities that will drive toward the achievement of your strategic objectives.
  3. Challenge your managers to uncover new strategies, particularly those strategies that address changing external realities.
  4. Strengthen your strategy execution management capabilities—make strategy a part of everyone’s everyday responsibility.
  5. Make certain you have the best team in place to achieve the results you want. As challenging as it is in this low unemployment environment, strive to attract and retain top talent.
  6. Make sure your corporate purpose holds relevance for all your stakeholders and ensure a sustainable business model of doing well by doing good.

You cannot control the noise and distractions of your external environment, but you can take steps to keep your organization focused and optimistic about the future.  How are you reacting to the external environmental challenges around you?  We would like to hear from you.

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“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”

Peter Drucker

Posted in Leadership, Newsletter, Strategy Management.