Boosting North Carolina’s Mid-Sized Businesses: Practical Strategies to Achieve Sustainable Growth

Jun 18, 2024

By Ron Sweetman of SBTDC at UNC-Charlotte and Rachel Bridgers of SBTDC at East Carolina University

As a mid-sized business owner, you understand the significant role you play in driving the economy forward. Businesses like yours create jobs, spur innovation, and contribute to the vibrancy of our local communities. But, like everyone, sometimes you hit roadblocks on your journey to growth. That’s where the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) can step in, offering practical strategies to help you overcome these challenges and achieve sustainable growth.

Our Perspective: Combined Expertise to Support Your Growth

Insights from a Former CEO 

Ron Sweetman, Former CEO and General Business Counselor at SBTDC

As a seasoned business owner with 30 years of experience and a general business counselor at the SBTDC, I understand the unique challenges faced by mid-sized businesses in North Carolina. Here are some insights and strategies to help you navigate these challenges.

Internal Barriers for Mid-Sized Businesses

External Barriers for Mid-Sized Businesses

Insights from a General Business Counselor 

Rachel Bridgers, General Business Counselor at SBTDC

As a general business counselor at the SBTDC, I work with mid-sized businesses daily, helping them navigate their unique challenges. Some areas where we see businesses like yours needing support include:

  1. Access to Capital: Many mid-sized businesses struggle to obtain loans or attract investors, which can limit their growth potential.
  2. Talent Acquisition and Retention: Finding and retaining skilled employees is crucial. Mid-sized businesses often compete with larger companies that can offer higher salaries and more extensive benefits.
  3. Navigating Regulatory Changes: Keeping up with evolving regulations and compliance requirements can be daunting. Mid-sized businesses need to stay informed and adapt quickly to avoid penalties.
  4. Scaling Operations: Growing from a small to a mid-sized business involves scaling operations efficiently. This includes managing supply chains, maintaining product quality, and expanding customer service capabilities.

Practical Tips for Immediate Implementation

From Both Perspectives:

  1. Enhance Digital Presence: Invest in your online presence. A strong website and active social media channels can help attract customers and top talent.
  2. Focus on Employee Development: Offer training and professional development opportunities. This not only improves skills but also boosts employee morale and retention.
  3. Optimize Operations: Regularly review and streamline your operations. Look for inefficiencies and implement process improvements to save time and money.
  4. Network and Collaborate: Join local business associations and attend networking events. Building relationships with other business owners and industry leaders can open up new opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Success Stories and Testimonials

Here are a few examples of how SBTDC has helped businesses like yours:

Leveraging SBTDC Resources


Navigating the complexities of running a mid-sized business requires a blend of strategic planning, access to resources, and continuous learning. At the SBTDC, we are committed to supporting mid-sized businesses in North Carolina through expert advice, tailored services, and valuable resources. By leveraging our expertise and the initiatives highlighted in our client success stories, you can overcome challenges and drive your business towards sustained success.

Let’s work together to achieve your business goals. Reach out to your local SBTDC office today.

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