FDs ready for internet expansion.

An emphatic 71% of smaller company FDs are looking to offer more services over the internet in the next 12 months.

But worryingly, few FDs questioned in this weeks Accountancy Age/Reed Big Question survey were willing to put their money where their mouth is. Hardly any were willing to be named.

And most of the respondents have their work cut out if they are to meet these targets: currently most are not online.

‘We are setting up a website to heighten our profile, so that more customers can have access to our details and goods,’ said one FD.

‘(We are) hoping to develop website and e-commerce sales sites, to reach more customers and increase sales,’ said another outlining the company’s plans to get online.

Many FDs said the net can improve their company’s profile. But others consider its advantages to be grounded in business-to-consumer transactions, not the business-to-business trade.

‘The business is split into four sectors and some sections, e.g. insurance, are starting to sell products over the internet. It seems to be the way customers are going,’ said one FD.

One in 10 said they did not plan to increase web presence because their products do not sell well via the world wide web.

Harold Drycott, financial director of Millbank Holdings, said: ‘(It is) not that kind of industry. As a lot is made to specifications. (There is) not much we can advertise.’

It would seem the government’s push to encourage business to get online is working.

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