PracticePeople In PracticeE-business: Have British SMEs hit the Net?

E-business: Have British SMEs hit the Net?

The latest Mori survey shows that 75% of UK-based SMEs now have an online presence - a dramatic shift towards the Net economy in the last six months.

The survey suggests small to medium-sized UK firms are far from being the Internet luddites they are often portrayed as. Three quarters of those surveyed said that they have an online presence while over half say they are already selling online and embracing e-commerce.

At Access Accounting we welcome the survey but we question how much it can be considered representative.

But David Hands of the Federation of Small Businesses questioned how much how much the survey can be considered representative.

‘Only a handful of our members have websites, so I would question whether these figures are correct. The smallest businesses are still well behind in the adoption of Internet technology.’

Less than one year ago, the Department of Trade and Industry showed SMEs lagging behind in the e-commerce uptake with only 15 % of businesses employing under 10 employees getting online.

General manager at software house Access Accounting Marcus Russell said: ‘If the figures are to be believed it seems there has been a leap in the number of businesses embracing e-commerce.’

The most encouraging part of the survey is that it revealed a majority of SMEs realise they must adapt or die. They see the Internet as an opportunity to win and retain customers, with factors such as cost savings and time savings driving online trading forward.

It is widely recognised that the biggest hurdle for SMEs to overcome if they wish to storm the net are those hardy perennials ? security and an IT skills shortage.

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