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Small Business Owners – Business Success Means Going Online

As we’ve reiterated in the past, small business owners are a vital part of the UK economy.  More than 99% of businesses in Britain are SMEs and, despite the fact that many of these are micro-businesses (employing fewer than 10 people), they still account for 33% of employment and 22% of turnover – figures not to be sneezed at.  We’ve also long advocated that small businesses should have an online presence with a website and social media accounts as it’s a great way of reaching a much wider customer base.  While many small business owners, especially High Street shops, may think that a website and an online presence is not necessary, nothing could be further from the truth.

When it comes to selling online, according to a recent survey, 43% of business owners report that online sales make a significant contribution to their revenue growth, with only 19% claiming that selling online did not particularly impact their sales revenue.   According to Business Insider Intelligence reports, online sales will more than double in the coming five years so getting online is a vital issue when it comes to future-proofing small businesses here in the UK.

However, the survey revealed that only 29% of small business owners currently sell products or services online but this number is likely to increase in the coming years as business owners strive to compete with the multi-nationals.  Whether these business owners sell via their own business website, via a collective or by signing on as a seller with Amazon, getting business online is essential for success.   

Many of the SME owners who do sell online (68% of them) claim that online retailers like Amazon have had a positive impact on their sales and 24% sell their products via  Amazon and 24% sell on eBay. 

For business owners who want to take their business online there’s no need to hire a developer to build a complicated website.  These days, there are plenty of website/digital marketing agencies who will provide you with an e-commerce website at a surprisingly affordable price and many of these offer an ongoing service that maintains the website and takes care of marketing activities such as social media for a small monthly fee. 

Using an agency to outsource website development and management is a sensible option for SME owners.  Digital technology changes rapidly so the last thing a business owner needs is to invest in having a website built, only to find that its functionality is out of date due to updates and changes in the online landscape.  Using a web agency means that the website will be kept up to date and responsive to changes as they happen.  A web agency will also offer all the expertise and experience necessary to get your business website seen – both by Google (so that it features in the search rankings) and by prospective customers.

So many small businesses here in the UK are struggling to stay in business nowadays, so taking your business online is becoming an increasingly attractive option.  Launching a business website doesn’t require a huge budget with the risk that you will face debt before your website starts to make a real difference to your sales – just check out the options available from agencies that can give you all the help and advice you need to go digital now.