Britain’s smallest businesses still failing to get online


Rebecca Burn-Callander Enterprise Editor

September 16, 2015

The majority of UK micro-businesses don’t have a website and are struggling to compete with digital rivals

The majority of Britain’s smallest companies still don’t have a website, new research has found, which is hampering business growth and confidence.

The report by domain supplier GoDaddy showed that 60pc of UK businesses with five employees or less – which constitute almost a fifth of Britain’s small business population – are lacking an online presence .

Of the 500 micro-businesses polled for the research, 54pc of the business owners who did not have a website said they were worried about their future prospects and were expecting zero growth over the next three to five years.

This compared to the bullish growth ambitions of companies with a website; 60pc said that their revenues would grow by 50pc or more during that period.

Websites, which are often referred to as the “shop window to the world” both boost brand awareness and, when coupled with an online shop, can significantly boost revenues .

British shoppers already spend almost £1 in every £5 of their shopping via the internet .

Some 56pc of businesses experienced increased sales growth in the two years after their website launched, the report said, and 75pc of small businesses with a website said they think they have a competitive advantage over businesses without one.

Business owners identified three key reasons for failing to invest in a digital presence: 35pc said they were too small to warrant a website; 19pc said they didn’t have enough time to build one; and one in five claimed that the cost was the major prohibiting factor .

Despite these challenges, a third of the companies without a website said they were planning to create one within the next two years, although 66pc haven’t yet picked a domain name.

“There are over five million small businesses in the UK, with a further 500,000 new businesses set to be added this year alone,” said Stefano Maruzzi, GoDaddy vice president for Europe. “While we take it for granted in this digital age that everyone is online, the reality is many of the smallest businesses are still to make the leap.

“Large and medium-sized companies learned a long time ago that the most effective way to reach customers globally was through the Internet. It seems that many of their smaller peers are about to do the same, which will change how they grow, how they communicate and perhaps even what they sell.

“That could have a big impact on small business growth and transformation in the UK, as well as economic growth as a whole.”

This article was written by Rebecca Burn-Callander Enterprise Editor from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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