Recent figures released by the Federation of Small Businesses have shown that despite the increasing popularity of digital media, only one in four small businesses has a website. Moreover, the data showed that out of those that did have sites, only one third were using them to actually make sales, prompting experts to highlight the importance of an effective online presence for Britain’s small businesses.
Industry officials have stated that in the current climate small businesses and start ups already face a lot of competition and many challenges. However, those that do not invest in creating an effective online presence with a high quality website could be making the situation even more difficult for themselves by missing out on what could potentially be a huge market according to experts. Some believe that small businesses are still not fully aware of the benefits that an online presence can bring, or the risks associated with being an offline-only business.
With more and more people now turning to the Internet for information, services, and goods rather than turning to the traditional High Street, officials believe that small businesses that want to enjoy greater success could be restricting access to their goods and services for what could be a potentially huge national and even global customer base. The availability of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has further fuelled the interest of consumers when it comes to making online purchases or accessing information and services online.
An official from the Federation of Small Businesses stated: “As a society, we have to face the fact that the old high street is probably gone. I think it’s absolutely crucial as we go forward that small businesses look to use the digital economy in a more proactive way.”
Businesses are able to access a range of services that can help them to launch and improve their online presence, such as professional web design services, quality content creation, and SEO services. Google’s increasingly stringent guidelines means that small businesses will need to invest some time and money into proper web development in order to benefit from an effective online presence.