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Later this week, Business North Carolina will announce the winners of the 2018 North Carolina Mid-Market Fast 40. The list ranks mid-sized companies based on revenue and employment growth.

Companies considered for this recognition go through an interview process. For the past two years, Manning Fulton attorneys have had the opportunity to interview the nominated businesses as a sponsor of the program.

14 Manning Fulton attorneys interviewed various businesses across the state, three of whom are profiled below. We had the opportunity to ask them several questions about what becoming a fast-growing mid-market business in North Carolina.

Respondents included:

  • Doug Short: Doug is a partner and member of Manning Fulton’s real estate practice group and a member of the firm’s management committee. Doug’s practice includes assisting a diverse group of clients with a variety of commercial real estate needs, including without limitation, acquisitions, dispositions, development, title, leasing and financing transactions.
  • David Harlow: David has over 40 years of experience in legal matters related to intellectual property and technology. This includes both litigation and transactional matters, as well as the prosecution of patents, trademarks and copyrights, and the protection of trade secrets, plant varieties, software, and databases.
  • Jamie Clarke: Jamie has practiced law for more than 35 years, enjoying a broad, multi-disciplinary practice that has focused on corporate acquisitions and divestitures, general representation of publicly and privately held business, and health care related issues.  He currently serves the firm and its clients in an of counsel relationship.

Check out the attorneys’ answers to the questions below.

If you were to select one critical quality, what enables success for a mid-sized business in North Carolina?

 Doug Short: People drive success. I believe it takes putting work in on the front-end to recruit and develop quality talent. It is then equally important to retain quality people so they can grow and advance with the company.

David Harlow: The most critical quality for success is to successfully identify and meet a profitable niche need in the marketplace, preferably one that larger follow on companies will have difficulty easily meeting.

Jamie Clarke: It is essential to align the interests of the company with the interests of its customers or clients.

What do you think is the biggest challenge mid-sized businesses face here in North Carolina?

Doug Short: One issue we are starting to see within our state is the struggle to get a leg-up on competition and establishing a unique place within the market. The area is consistently growing. Accolades are countless for many businesses. With the growth and notoriety comes competition, both locally and on a regional, national and international scale. Good companies will embrace competition and rely on their core values, products and services to establish their position in the market.

David Harlow: The biggest challenge for successful mid-sized businesses, once they have achieved a first level of success, is to be able to profitably scale-up management and skilled workers to meet a larger demand.

Jamie Clarke: Becoming a differentiated and essential provider in a niche that is likely to be subject to competition from larger, well-funded competitors. That’s the ultimate challenge for a growing business.

If you were to give a piece of advice to growing businesses in the state, what would it be?

 Doug Short: As you grow and evolve, embrace the change and growth. However, do so without compromising the core values and fundamental concepts on which the business was founded.

David Harlow: Just because you have achieved a level of success, don’t assume this is going to go on forever. Things change over time, and you have to remain alert to changes, adapt and continue to find ways to succeed. You’re not invincible just because you’ve made progress.

Jamie Clarke: Focus on delivering high-quality products or services that your customer needs and that serve the customer’s interests rather than focusing on internal measures of success like revenue or sales growth.

Winners of the 2018 North Carolina Mid-Market Fast 40 will be announced on October 10th.

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