Mid-Markets: The unsung heroes of the UK economy

At Sage we champion mid-market businesses and in the past few years, have experienced a dramatic increase in firms of this size, scale and complexity looking to upgrade their business software. This is in response to a number of growing companies casting off the infrastructure they adopted in their early stages in favour of more sophisticated systems to streamline their processes and enable expansion.Jayne Archbold

The British Government has made it their mission to support and encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs with grants and the loosening of red tape as well as attracting large businesses to the country through corporate tax changes. However, the Mid-Market remains the unsung heroes of the UK economy.

Contribution to the UK economy

A recent report from GC Capital, a provider of commercial finance solutions, highlights the significance of the Mid-Market in terms of its contribution to the UK economy and its role in driving growth. Mid-Market businesses represent just 1.37 per cent of UK companies, but contribute 32 per cent of private sector GDP. While large companies in the UK cut almost 700,000 jobs during the credit crunch, UK Mid-Market firms increased headcount by over 25,000.

In order for Mid-Market companies to maintain their resilience in the challenging economic environment it is important to rely on clearly outlined business objectives, strong IT infrastructure, and a reliable workforce.

Leading the charge

Medium sized businesses are leading the charge in IT spending according to a Gartner report, which forecast global SMB spend will reach $1tn by 2016. This trend sees medium sized businesses prioritising enterprise software solutions in their budget. As the Mid-Market looks set to take centre stage in driving the UK out of recession it is important that they have the right business infrastructure to support their growth.

There is a dangerous tendency for businesses to want to replicate software they had installed in their infancy, but it is important to implement software that will allow your company to grow. An important consideration for your Mid-Market business is at what stage have you outgrown your software? There is no clear cut answer and Sage UK profiles companies based on the sector they operate in, the number of employees they have, as well as number of other key characteristics to provide businesses with a more accurate picture of their technical requirements.

Another key consideration outlined by the GC Capital report is the need to maintain and develop a strong workforce to support the business alongside its IT infrastructure. This may mean expanding your skills base through hiring new and more technically proficient employees or up skilling your current workforce in order to maintain growth.

Jayne Archbold, MD Sage Mid Market Division