SMBs not taking to the web

Despite shopping online themselves, many small business owners don't see the value in e-commerce sites.

Despite more small businesses moving online, some six out of 10 still do not have an e-commerce website, according to a new report.

The Voice of Small Business research from BT Tradespace found that the number of small and medium businesses (SMBs) with a website rose by 20 per cent over the past year, but many are still not online.

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Of the business owners surveyed, 67 per cent said they don't believe they can find customers online, despite a similar number turning to the web to shop once a month themselves.

Just 13 per cent of the surveyed SMBs see the internet's marketing value, and just three per cent use it to communicate with their customers. Not surprisingly, just 18 per cent bother to blog.

Mick Hegarty, head of BT Tradespace, said that even small firms can benefit from the internet, especially in marketing in sales.

"During these challenging times, more people than ever are using the web to shop because of the choice, convenience and cost savings it provides. A professional and credible online presence can open up a world of opportunities and provides a great platform to engage with customers," he said in a statement.

"Entrepreneurs can showcase goods, enhance their online marketing profiles, maintain an ongoing dialogue with customers, and share information and expertise with like-minded companies," he added.

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Click here to read about how one small business made social networking a big business driver.

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