How to Grow Your Business Beyond No Man’s Land

An explosion in the number of businesses occurred through 2010 and the recession, due in large part to the multitude of laid-off workers choosing to start small businesses versus returning to Corporate America. A vast majority of those companies had less than 20 employees. From roughly 2000 through the recession, the number of businesses almost doubled, from approximately 10 or 11 million to about 20 million.

However, during that same time period, and since then, the number of companies above 100 employees has dropped dramatically. Why?

There are a number of businesses today that find themselves stuck in “No Man’s Land.” In tennis, this is the area of a court in which a player is at a tactical disadvantage, notably midway between the net and the base line. In business, this is generally defined as a company between 20 and 100 employees―when it’s “too big to be small, too small to be big.”

This week in In Process, we revisit a previous interview with Doug Tatum, Chairman of the Board for Newport Board Group, a national partnership of CEOs and senior executives who advise emerging middle-market companies and the private equity firms that invest in them. Doug is also author of the book “No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail.”

“It’s very important for businesses to be objective about what allows them to grow,” said Doug. “The entrepreneurial effort should be at the center of the value proposition. The business is never going to grow unless the business can become good at what the entrepreneur is good at.”

During the course of the podcast “Growth Dilemmas: Don’t Be a Victim of No Man’s Land,” entrepreneurs in both product-based businesses and professional services firms will learn how to:

  • Recognize the common issues that companies in No Man’s Land face
  • Identify the Four Ms of transition
  • Develop an objective growth strategy
  • Create and apply an entrepreneur-centric value proposition
  • Correct business misalignments
  • Replace people within the inner circle
  • Break out of the high-performance, cheap-labor model
  • Hire someone you can’t afford

Stream the conversation with Doug in the player below to learn how your company can transition to the next level by serving up a value proposition that scales the business to move it beyond No Man’s Land. You can also subscribe to In Process on iTunes to receive this episode as well as future updates from the show on your smartphone.