The “M” of SMB

From The Wall Street Journal: Spotlight Shines On Mid-Sized Firms

Are mid-sized firms the ignored middle child of the US economy? That’s what this recent WSJ article argues; and it highlights a new summit going on at Ohio State this week.  The “Middle Market Summit” is being bankrolled by a number of large companies (GE and FedEx included) that make money by providing services to mid-sized firms. The event will coincide with the release of a survey conducted by Ohio State of over 2000 executives at mid-market companies focused on how they feel about their access to capital, among other things.

Too often when singing the praises of SMB’s (small and medium businesses) we forget about the M. Not all SMB’s are local laundromats, restaurants, and general stores; they include the many businesses that have revenues of $10M to $1B. As the WSJ states, they are a “hugely misunderstood, and under analyzed as a segment of the US economy.” These are big businesses with real needs; having enough data and information about the health of their industries, regions, and markets is essential to effectively meeting those needs.

The WAIN Street Business Credit Health Index (BCH Index) is supplying that data… and with a lot more detail than a 2000 person survey. The article calls the Ohio State study one of the largest of it’s kind ever undertaken. While it’s taking a few dozen data points from 2000 subjects at a single snapshot in time, the WAIN Street Index incorporates data about 30 million subjects every single month. 2000 subject single surveys are good for getting a conversation going, but something more robust is needed for tracking risk, identifying trends, and making decisions.