The middle market is getting a lot of love from people these days. And why shouldn’t they? They’re a roughly defined group of companies with somewhere between $10 million and $1 billion in revenue. It’s a broad range for sure, but contained in there are some of the real gems of the American economy. They’re companies that are taking chances on new innovations and have demonstrated that they have the chops to make it in the world. They’re companies that are sometimes run by founders fueled by entrepreneurial fervor. They’re companies that are on rocket ship growth trajectories creating new industries and new jobs. The middle market is where vision and passion for big ideas intersect with real world success.
Where there’s growing companies, there’s also opportunity to sell to those companies; you will not find a shortage of services and solutions being branded as “mid-market friendly.” Big corporations like IBM, Cisco, and GE have entire mid-market campaigns dripping with beautiful prose about the unique needs of this highly productive and important segment of US businesses. They back it up with suites of products, services, and specialized customer service all directed toward the mid-market customer. Even back-office outsourcing, a concept originally created for the large corporates, is being adapted for the mid-market. Mid-market companies can be lucrative customers when served with products and services specifically tailored to their needs.
But for some reason, Wall Street hasn’t embraced the mid-market. Big companies can stroll down to Wall Street and select from a menu of services; and if they can’t find what they’re looking for, someone will make it up. From specialized financing, to default-swaps, to custom insurance contracts that hedge market risks, Fortune 1000’s have vast financial options and therefore amazing abilities to move around risk and optimize their business. The middle market, despite accounting for nearly 1/3 of all US businesses, doesn’t garner the same attention from Wall Street.
Wall Street is well equipped with the talent and resources to innovate what they are currently doing into products and services that promote mid-market business success. Doing so will be good for Wall Street, good for the businesses, and good for the economy and job creation as a whole. But why hasn’t this happened? WAIN Street believes one reason for this is a lack of data on middle-market companies; it creates a giant roadblock for Wall Street which needs robust ways to quantify risk. The WAIN Street Business Credit Health Index (BCH Index) is one piece to solving this puzzle.
We should Challenge Wall Street to focus and develop the new products and services that can help the mid-market generate jobs and grow the economy. The mid-market is big and ready.