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Digital businesses 8 times more likely to grow, research finds

Small businesses that embrace digital capabilities early are significantly more likely to expand their business and create further employment, according to new research.

News Reporter 02 November 2016
— 1 minute read

In a roundtable discussion hosted by Sage in Sydney, it was revealed that businesses that adopt digital early are eight times more likely to expand and create further jobs.

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Despite the positives associated with digital technology, however, the panelists identified a number of barriers to small businesses adopting digital capabilities, including a fear of the unknown and a lack of understanding of the need for these capabilities that justifies the cost.

Access to the NBN is also proving to be a huge barrier to small businesses in rural areas, as it is limiting their ability to access the cloud and other services, according to the panel of experts.

“Without an evolving digital model for their business, many [small businesses] will be left behind,” said a Sage spokesperson.  

In order to encourage the uptake of digital capabilities by small businesses, the panel agreed that capabilities need to be simplified and should also be adaptable to different types of businesses.

The panel also discussed the burden of red tape and tax on small business and the possibility of unlocking funds from the “Google tax” to help small businesses prosper.

The panel said the funds from this tax could be “diverted to boosting training and innovation for small business”.

The experts also identified the importance of small business representatives being more visible in government to help effect change, and of having ministers who are small business owners.

Sage global chief executive Stephen Kelly described small business as the “engine room of the economy”, with small businesses making up two thirds of the economy and 280,000 new businesses started in Australia last year.

Digital businesses 8 times more likely to grow, research finds
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