Mid-market businesses are increasingly recognised as the beating heart of the UK economy. Even so, it seems that many mid-market businesses are at risk of middle child syndrome. Discussions about British businesses often focus on entrepreneurial start-ups and large corporates. But what about the ambitious, dynamic and fast growth mid-market businesses that bridge the gap?

If you are a business employing between 50 – 500 staff, with an annual turnover of between £10 million and £300 million, you are part of the mid-market economy. Analysts predict the mid market will add £50 billion to the total UK economy by 2020. It already provides 25% of British exports and employs over 6 million people.

Whether you are a new disruptive fintech company in Silicon Fen, a West Midlands based manufacturer, or a food and drink company in the North West, you will have more in common with other mid-market companies than with a start up in your own sector.

Mid-market businesses have been a focus of Mills & Reeve for many years and we are keen to use our expertise to help you succeed.

Working with you - how can we help?

Whatever your requirements and scale we will have worked through the issues many times with companies like yours. So we are big enough to have the expertise you require and small enough for you to really matter to us. We also have the experience in the areas that help mid-market businesses grow; acquisition and joint venture, funding options and alternative sources of finance, international expansion and exporting, navigating Brexit, managing your supply chain, R&D, skills shortages, regulatory, compliance and risk management.

So what are the challenges?

Our recent research - which set out to explore the challenges facing mid-market businesses suggests many companies struggle once they move beyond the safety net of start-up status. Much of the funding and tax benefits available at this early stage no longer applies as a company grows. And many will not yet have the have extra resources and resilience of a large corporate.

With less help from the outside, internal issues can become bigger challenges for a mid-market business trying to scale up. These obstacles can include:

  • Finding the right funding for your stage of growth
  • Exploring international markets
  • Finding and attracting the right employees with the right skills
  • Retaining those employees with attractive pensions and other benefits
  • Investing in R&D to stay competitive
  • Developing management with a view to succession

It is not surprising then that many mid-market business owners think it is easier to sell up than scale up. Forty per cent of the business owners we spoke to identified more risk in scaling their business up than in selling. But businesses can grow and thrive in the UK even with the uncertainty of Brexit. Nearly 95% of business owners we spoke to felt that, with the right support, they could build their businesses with confidence.

We are committed to continue working with mid-market businesses, where we have a proven track record of delivering success for our clients. Indeed, with nearly 1,000 staff and a turnover of £87 million, we too are part of the mid-market economy, facing many of the same challenges ourselves.

Our clients

Read about the successful scale up journeys of some of our clients and the advice they would give others following the same path.