SMEs benefit from 'effective online presence': survey
25/05/2012 - Almost two thirds of small businesses do not have a presence on the internet, although those that have websites are enjoying more impressive financial results, according to recent data. Colin Brinsden
Research by business software provider MYOB has found that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) with websites are more likely to have seen increased revenue and sales and more likely to expand their staff.
"Being an effective online player is not about having a complicated website. It's about enabling your business to be found," MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said, releasing the survey on Tuesday.
"With around two thirds of consumers searching the internet before making a purchase decision, if a business has no online presence it's denying itself some serious firepower."
The survey of 1043 SMEs found that 27 per cent with a website had seen an increase in revenue in the past 12 months, compared with 17 per cent without a website.
Similarly, 37 per cent of the businesses with a website had enjoyed higher sales in the last three months, compared with 27 per cent for those without one.
A quarter of firms with a website intend to increase staff numbers, versus just nine per cent without one.
There were also more businesses with websites who were optimistic about the economic outlook than those without.
However, Reed was surprised that the proportion of SMEs with a website, at 36 per cent, was less than the 39 per cent recorded when the MYOB Business Monitor was conducted in March last year.
He thought this could be a result of an increase in social media usage to 25 per cent from 22 per cent.
"All business owners should consider creating their own website and improve their chances of success in an increasingly digital economy," Reed said.
"Our research shows that in doing so they're more likely to improve their business performance across customer acquisition, revenue and more."
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