The No Man's Land BlogSM

Digital Services: The Next Wave of Franchises

Posted by Mark Rosenman on Jul 18, 2016 3:12:26 PM

Several trends are converging to create a new concept that may help the $470 billion U.S. franchise industry achieve a major leap in growth. Big Data, social media, and advances in how software is developed and deployed are enabling entrepreneurs to create innovative packages of specialized B2C and B2B services and software — and target them to niche markets.

If these specialized technology-based services companies prove to be franchise-able, they would be a departure from the retail services businesses that have traditionally dominated franchising--and could attract a new generation of franchisees.

Read More

Channels and Alliances: Better Marketing/Less Cost

Posted by Newport Board Group on Jun 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

One of the biggest challenges growing firms face is finding a way to market their products/services without draining their scarce working capital on marketing, advertising, and promotion.

We asked our partners to reflect on the best practices they see companies following to get their products and services to market without costing big bucks.

Read More

Tags: marketing, channels and alliances, marketing and alliances

Practical Strategies to Keep Entrepreneurs Winning in the Market

Posted by Newport Board Group on Jun 23, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Every successful company needs a strategy to define how it will win in the marketplace.

But entrepreneurs, juggling many priorities, are sometimes inclined to dismiss strategy as a theoretical exercise and a distraction from selling their next customer or hiring their next employee.

So how do busy entrepreneurs set strategy in a way that remains practical and relevant to what their company is doing day to day? Our partners reflected on this question based on their experience with companies they’ve run and advised.

Read More

Tags: Market Alignment, Strategies for entrepreneurs

Private Equity: What Do Entrepreneurs Think?

Posted by Newport Board Group on Jun 6, 2016 11:29:46 AM

Middle market private equity is a topic on which Newport Board Group has deep expertise. Our Chair, Doug Tatum, is Immediate Past Chairman of the Board for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), a global not-for- profit organization representing middle market private capital investors, intermediaries and the middle market deal community. Our partners have extensive experience running companies owned by private equity and serving their sponsors as portfolio company operating partners. We know the PE scene very well.

But that is only one aspect of our familiarity with PE. We also talk to and serve a great many promising companies that are or could be targets for acquisition by PE. We asked our partners what they hear from entrepreneurs and their investors about PE-- whether or not our partners agree with these views. We got some interesting responses.

Read More

Tags: private equity, Entrepreneur

How Should Middle Market Companies Do Market Research?

Posted by Newport Board Group on May 20, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Spotting industry and technology trends and market shifts is key to entrepreneurial success. Changing market dynamics have a constant (if often hard to see) impact on the attractiveness of an emerging growth company’s products and services. Critical determinants of a company’s success-- such as its buying power with its suppliers and its pricing power with its customers-- are also changing all the time. Capital-strapped companies need to define their best approach to understanding the markets in which they compete — so as to optimize their chances to be the disrupter not the disrupted.

Read More

Tags: Middle Market Companies, Market Research

IP Strategy for Creating, Defending Patents

Posted by Newport Board Group on May 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Patents can be a valuable defense against competitors. But the high cost of creating and defending patents requires a smart IP strategy for growth and emerging companies.

Read More

Tags: strategy, patents

Risk Management Techniques for Middle Market Companies

Posted by Newport Board Group on May 10, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Risk is part of the essence of business. It can be defined as everything that would prevent or interfere with the positive outcomes that entrepreneurs, investors and executives seek. Risk management is the way that companies identify, assess, mitigate, transfer (typically via insurance) and manage risks to their business. Only after risks have been identified can resources be allocated to try to minimize them.

Read More

Tags: Middle Market Companies, Risk management, Middle Market Risk Management

How to Build Employee Motivation

Posted by Newport Board Group on May 5, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Millennials are the up and coming generation of employees. They tend to be better educated and more culturally diverse than earlier generations—also notorious for leaving jobs when they feel dissatisfaction with their work and the opportunities it offers. What should your company do to keep this new generation engaged and motivated?

Read More

Tags: Business Advice, Employee Motivation

Technology as a Competitive Advantage

Posted by Newport Board Group on Apr 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Every business today has to constantly consider how to leverage technology to help them run more efficiently, reach their targeted market grow, and enhance what makes them unique.

Technology typically acts as a facilitator of competitive advantage -- for example of an innovative business model that is a source of advantage -- rather than an advantage in itself. Sometimes companies feel that adopting the latest technology is “table stakes” to allow them to at least keep pace with what competitors are doing.

What is it that enables some entrepreneurial companies to use technology for competitive advantage, while others struggle to establish a distinctive technology direction? Some of our expert partners weighed in on this question. Here are the factors they see playing the biggest role:

Read More

Tags: Business Advice, Technology, Competitive Advantage

Value Propositions: What Works For Successful Companies

Posted by Newport Board Group on Apr 15, 2016 1:50:12 PM

Nothing is more important for a company than having a clear value proposition that explains why customers should buy its products or services instead of buying them from a competitor or buying products and services in another category altogether.

We asked some of our partners to weigh in on how they see companies focusing explicitly on their value propositions. Here’s what they had to say:

Read More

Tags: value proposition, Business Advice