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The Mid Market Game

How do you define a Mid Market game? Who is Mid Market? Really, all economies that I have worked in, as a progression of my career so far, have defined mid market differently. Understandably Mid Market is essentially not your neighborhood mom and pop outfit with a 6-7 employees and its definitely not a corporation with over 50 employees and a flashy Management Team and layers beneath them. But then a  a mid market company in aviation may have several thousand employees and one in technology may only have a hundred. 

The middle market start at revenue or valuation levels of $5 million, $10 million, $25 million, $50 million, and $100 million. At the upper end of the middle market neighborhood, I’ve seen those same businesses claim revenue or valuation cut-offs of $100 million, $250 million, $1 billion, and $2 billion.So there goes, your mid market is defined. For where ever you are. :)

Despite the status of the US Economy, fundamentally statistics show that there has been tremendous growth in the mid market economy. Since middle market companies are not easily defined nor studied, their economic impact is also not well understood. But statistically the middle market does serve as a kind of incubator for big business. As per Headwaters, in the last five years, there have been an astonishing 11,783 acquisitions of middle market companies by strategic acquirers—larger companies, in the great majority of cases—with an astonishing $1.13 trillion of total deal value.

Start-ups that succeed (and by definition bloom into middle market companies) have been responsible for nearly all net U.S. job growth since 1980, according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation. 

A Deloitte study, published in April 2011, said that as many as eight in 10 executives from the American middle market expect annual revenues to increase in 2011, and 69 percent of the executives plan on hiring new employees in 2012. 

Why is the middle market able to drive job creation and Innovation. Middle-market companies are sometimes considered "super small businesses” — too successful to be truly “small” but still marked by the entrepreneurial spirit. Most remain privately held, and many are family-run.  More than 174,000 businesses report revenue between $5 million and $10 million, according to The Deal. An additional 156,000, or 42 percent of the total, had revenues between $10 million and $50 million.

The line between small businesses and the middle market is not clearly defined, as successful small businesses evolve into middle-market companies pretty rapidly.  These  add an average of 3 million jobs in their first year of existence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report states that in August, for example, ADP private payroll report indicated that payrolls of less than 500 workers rose 88,000 while employment on payrolls of 500 or more workers rose only 3,000. 

Middle-market companies report higher levels of productivity, lower debt ratios, and stronger balance sheets than before the recession. These companies are looking to expand through active add-on acquisitions and other mergers — targeting either weaker competitors or complimentary product lines and offerings. According to data compiled by Baird and Dealogic, there were approximately 5,300 middle-market M&A deals in 2010 alone, totaling $347 billion.  The number of middle companies itself could be the key to increasing GDP, according to Kauffman. The study finds that if 60 more companies with $1 billion were launched every year, it would achieve a permanent percentage point increase in GDP.
The middle market already represents 40 percent of the national GDP and yet it remains largely unnoticed. While business and political leaders continue to focus on deficit reduction, tax reform, and other measures to stimulate the economy,there seems to be no focus on growing the humongous potential of mid- market. 

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