Barriers to business are holding back medium-sized European businesses (revenues up to £100m) to the point where the European economy misses out on hundreds of billions of euros every year.
New research commissioned by Ricoh reveals that mid-sized businesses in Europe could be missing out on up to £4.8 million (€5.7 million) of annual revenues because of barriers that hinder their growth.
Around 16 percent of mid-sized business in the UK and Ireland believe that their revenues could have been significantly improved by 16-20 percent over the last year if such barriers to growth were not in place. Indeed, with 75,000 mid-sized businesses across Europe, the total missed potential revenue could amount to up to £364 billion (€433 billion) – almost the same as the annual GDP of Poland.
Despite being hugely ambitious, 93 percent of mid-sized businesses across Europe report that they encounter barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential. The top three obstacles to growth are the need to comply with complex and costly regulation, the struggle to attract the best talent and finding, buying and applying the right technological solutions.
“Mid-sized businesses in Europe face very similar challenges, regardless of their country and sectors. This includes major structural and behavioural challenges that must be addressed at the level of the individual business, as well as in terms of national business policies,” commented Jyoti Banerjee, co-founder, M-Institute – the think-tank representing medium-sized businesses.
“We should be celebrating the accomplishments of mid-sized businesses all over Europe. They are growing and creating jobs. But we must also recognise that more support from government and industry would make a huge difference to how this amazing, but often overlooked, group of companies perform.”
According to the research, 30 percent of mid-sized businesses in the UK and Ireland have yet to apply digital solutions that would enable them to scale up and become big brands – critical to capturing some of the revenue they miss out on each year.
“The UK government must do more to champion and nurture the booming mid-sized business market,” said Phil Keoghan, CEO of Ricoh UK and Ireland. “£349 billion is an alarming amount of capital for mid-sized businesses, and the European economy as a whole, to be missing out on.
“It is clear that mid-sized business across the UK and Ireland have ambitious plans for rapid growth, attracting new talent and acquiring new business. In order to achieve this, robust technology will be needed to power mid-size businesses into the digital economy and to lead the way with their products and services.”