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What are MSBs? How can we support them?

Business growth brings with it a fresh set of challenges and opportunities at every stage of the journey. This is especially true when looking at MSBs (mid-sized businesses), which tend to hit a ceiling when they reach a certain size.

As a business consultancy, Evidence 2 Action (E2A) has seen the struggles of mid-sized businesses time and again. So let us explain what an MSB is, what makes one unique, and why we need to focus on supporting them as an economy.

What is an MSB?

Definitions of mid-sized businesses vary from source to source; the government classes an MSB as having a turnover of £25-£500 million per annum. Our stance on the matter, however, is more conservative, defining a mid-sized business to have a turnover ranging between £10 million and £100 million.

Why? Well, in our experience, companies above the £100 million mark tend to have the infrastructure of a corporate enterprise, a framework that is generally lacking in mid-sized businesses.

That’s exactly why we find these organisations so fascinating: while the numbers speak for themselves in terms of their success, there’s often a lot of scope for change, growth and efficiency savings to be made.

Why do MSBs matter?

MSBs might not have the stature of their larger counterparts just yet, but there’s no denying their significance. Employing anywhere from 50 to 499 employees, it’s not unreasonable to claim they are the lifeblood of the UK economy.

The level of job and productivity growth, investment and innovation consistently outperforms the market, giving these companies a unique dynamism that is hard to find in larger, more entrenched organisations.

By 2020, it’s estimated that they will contribute £400 billion to the economy. As such, it’s vital that mid-sized businesses receive the support and direction they deserve.

Overcoming obstacles to growth

The dynamic, flexible approach of these businesses plays a large part in helping them to reach MSB status, but it can also present obstacles to further growth. According to Grant Thornton, one of the world's largest professional services organisations, MSBs in the UK lag behind other economies in terms of productivity performance.

This is because organisations of this size usually lack the structures, policies and processes they need to streamline operations and drive effective change. From substandard IT systems to poor board development, the specific challenges can vary from business to business, but they often boil down to a lack of standardisation in how they function.

How we can help

Business consultancies, like ours, offer an objective view on MSBs, auditing their systems, teams and key individuals, and sharing our expertise on how to address challenges and seize opportunities.

E2A takes a hands-on, sensitive approach to business transformation, drawing on our years of experience to deliver sustainable change at every level of the organisation.

We see the potential in businesses of this size, and know how to plan and implement the strategies they need to grow.

Is your MSB stuck in a growth rut? It might be time for an alternative perspective. Get in touch with our consultants to explore the direction your business should take.

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