Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Europe’s mid-sized businesses could be missing out on €433bn annually

New research commissioned by Ricoh reveals that European mid-sized businesses could be missing out on up to €5.7 million of annual revenues because of barriers that hinder their growth. With 75,000 mid-sized businesses across Europe*, the total missed potential revenue could amount to up to €433 billion – almost the same as the annual GDP of Poland.**

The survey of 1,650 mid-sized businesses in Europe – including Ireland – was carried out by Coleman Parkes Research in July 2016 on behalf of Ricoh.

While this huge opportunity is being missed, Europe’s mid-market is aiming for significant growth. Almost 40 per cent of businesses are planning to offer shares to the public in initial public offerings in the near-future. Another 21 per cent plan to acquire other companies or merge with competitors to increase their competitive strength.

Despite being hugely ambitious, 93 per cent of mid-sized businesses 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 (31%), the struggle to attract the best talent (27%) and finding, buying and applying the right technological solutions (27%).

Mid-sized businesses believe they could have increased revenues by almost one fifth (19%) if the barriers they faced were addressed.

“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 per cent of mid-sized businesses 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. Whereas 65% of digital adopters say technology has helped them to outpace their competition.

“The Irish government needs to do more to champion and nurture the booming mid-sized business market,” said Gary Hopwood, general manager, Ricoh Ireland. “We’re continually hearing the views and needs of both large and small businesses here in Ireland. It’s time to place more focus on mid-sized businesses and the positive impact that they can make on our future. €433 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 businesses in Ireland and across Europe 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.”

Find out more at www.ricoh-europe.com/thoughtleadership.