Mid-sized businesses may be categorized as such based on their revenue size – but their influence in the U.S. economy is extensive. The nearly 200,000 mid-sized businesses in the U.S. represent one-third of private sector gross domestic product (GDP) and employ approximately 48 million people.[1] Many lower-middle market and core middle market businesses are run by owner-operators or smaller leadership teams, which makes their economic impact all the more impressive. It also underscores the need for efficiency in managing their operations.

“Owners and management teams at medium-sized businesses often wear many hats when running their companies and might perform aspects of several roles. When that includes overseeing or running their financial functions with a relatively small team, while also focusing on marketing, customers, service, R&D, operations, and so on, ultimately their success can hinge on finding ways to be strong in all of those areas, but also efficient,” said Head of PNC Commercial Banking Stephanie Novosel. 

A Specialized Approach to Business Needs 

Implementing the tools and processes to realize efficiencies can depend largely on finding solutions that fit specific business needs.  However, traditional banking products for companies can often be built for the large financial operations of large corporations, or smaller early-stage businesses.  The substantial population of mid-sized companies often have banking needs that fall somewhere in between. These businesses need options that can help them think strategically about growing while also managing daily processes through services that are easy to use.

A specialized focus is at the heart of PNC’s Commercial Banking approach to working with businesses from $5 million to $50 million in revenue. “When we talk to clients about their needs, we hear several common themes. One is that efficiency is key – these businesses have a lot to manage, so their financial operations need to be strong but streamlined,” said Novosel. “But another thing is that their needs aren’t static – they change as the business evolves and grows, so they’re looking for scalable products and platforms, as well as ongoing guidance to help them navigate each stage of the journey.”

One example of PNC’s scalable approach to meeting business needs is PINACLE®, PNC’s online commercial and corporate banking solution. While the platform can support businesses of all sizes and levels of complexity, it also has functions customized for smaller and medium-sized businesses. Some of the key benefits for those clients, include: 

  • An always-accessible, easy-to-use platform, helping businesses optimize their time and resources to complete tasks whenever is most convenient for them.
  • Access to proactive insights on their business; PINACLE organically shares helpful insights and information to users. 
  • Embedded access to useful tools, such as intelligent routing or invoice to pay solutions, to reduce the need to “swivel” between multiple platforms. 
  • Streamlined onboarding and training experience that helps businesses utilize PINACLE services right from the start of their relationship with PNC. 

While seemingly simplistic, these customized enhancements enable smaller and mid-sized businesses to manage their financial functions on their timeline with a single, easy-to-use platform. 

Solutions for Managing Working Capital

Mid-sized companies’ need for simplicity extends to managing their working capital, but this is a complex part of managing their business with no one-size-fits-all approach.

While the current rate environment may lead to some businesses to shy away from more traditional financing options, they may find that being hesitant to execute against their long-term strategic goals – regardless of the approach – could be short-sighted in the long run. For instance, investing in the equipment or facilities that a business needs to gain market share by potentially increasing production or their speed to market may lead to immediate revenue benefits, putting the company on offense versus defense.

Other businesses may be looking to grow through an acquisition or expanding their product set but might not be in a position to do so through conventional financing options. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans may present a solution to help meet clients’ goals, and they can also be a resource for companies that are considering a transition in ownership in the next few years, which is something that is currently top of mind for a lot of businesses. 

Depending on a company’s strategic priorities and how quickly the capital is needed, a short-term solution that some mid-sized businesses might consider is implementing a commercial card program. While some business owners may be in the habit of using their personal cards for business purchases, a card program may be easier and less time intensive than businesses realize, and it can offer significant benefits.

“One of the biggest advantages of commercial cards is that they can provide flexibility in managing working capital. Some card programs, such as with the PNC Commercial Rewards Card, have a revolving option, which allows the business to access a revolving line of credit whenever they have a need for it,” said Miranda Creel, Head of Commercial Treasury Management Sales at PNC Bank. “With this particular card, administrators can also manage account activity directly through PINACLE, rather than use a separate card management portal, which helps save time and effort.”

Relationships as a Foundation for Success

As business needs evolve and change over time, a particularly challenging aspect of managing a company can be identifying the next best steps to achieve objectives – and having the confidence to take them. This is where being able to turn to a financial strategist for guidance can make all the difference, according to Novosel.

“Our approach to working with clients is rooted in deeply understanding their business and uncovering business opportunities that help them achieve their long-term strategic priorities,” said Novosel. “We aim to support them through every stage of their business – whether that be maintaining, growing or transitioning away.”

Ready to Help

PNC Commercial Banking can offer insight into technologies, products, and processes that can help businesses seize opportunities, today and in the future. For more information, reach out to your PNC Relationship Manager, or contact us.