More than half the UK SMEs are using the internet as the main channel for promoting their business and communicating with partners according to research from BT Business.
However 40 per cent of the UK’s smaller companies still have not set up a dedicated web site, with 21 failing to have an online presence at all. This particularly applied to sole traders, where 48 per cent have no web presence at all.
Three quarters of businesses see the internet as playing a major role in helping them achieve their business aims in the next five years, with 63 per cent believing it helps them compete with bigger players and in different markets.
The research also claimed that 57 per cent of respondents believed the world of business has become less personal as a result of technology, and 15 per cent of small businesses don’t trust companies they meet on the internet. In addition, 90 per cent of businesses surveyed said they preferred working with companies that were recommended to them.
Ricky Ricketts, head of BT Business indirect partner sales, said: “Relationships and networking are all essential elements of running a successful company and small business, in particular, rely on recommendations and personal introductions.
“There is a perception that technology has changed this and made the world less personal, but that’s not the case. We may not go to as many face-to-face meetings, but we’re communicating and sharing thoughts a lot more, using email, blogs, and social networking sites in both our business and personal lives.”
Ricketts said the trend was set to continue and grow as SMEs see the benefits of the latest technology.
“This will give them the ability to interact more easily and meaningfully with customers, partners and suppliers.”
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