Trade barriers costing European SMEs millions, says Ricoh report

Gary Hopwood, Ricoh
Gary Hopwood, Ricoh

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12 September 2016 | 0

New research commissioned by Ricoh had shown that European mid-sized businesses could each be missing out on up to €5.7 million of annual revenues because of barriers that hinder their growth.

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

Despite being hugely ambitious, 93% of respondents said 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 attracttalent (27%); and finding, buying and applying the right technological solutions (27%). Respondents said they could have increased revenues by almost one fifth (19%) if these barriers were addressed.

According to the report, 30% of SMEs said they had yet to apply digital solutions that would enable them to scale up and become big brands – a factor 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.

Ricoh general manager for Ireland Gary Hopwood commented: “The Irish government needs to do more to champion and nurture the booming mid-sized business market.

“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… 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.”

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

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