The divide between online-savvy and online-cautious SMEs is widening, with online businesses making more money and employing more people, according to MYOB.
Digital-savvy SMEs outperform the rest
The March 2014 MYOB Business Monitor revealed a higher proportion of online-savvy businesses reported revenue growth in the year to February 2014 and expect future revenue growth than those without online technologies.
Almost half of SMEs who use cloud technology and over two fifths with a website and a social media site reported increased sales or work in their short-term pipeline. In contrast, slightly more than one quarter of SMEs without a website reported more pipeline work.
MYOB chief strategy officer John Moss, says the difference between online businesses and those that don’t have an online presence is marked across a range of business performance measures.
“What’s clear to us from our years of conducting research into SMEs’ use of online technologies is that businesses with an online presence reach more people and are more engaged with their customers”.
“This translates to stronger business performance. For example, those with a website are 56 per cent more likely to see annual revenue rise, and those who use cloud computing are 30 per cent more likely to do so. Businesses that embrace online technologies also have more work in their short-term pipeline,” he said.
“It’s evident the digital divide among SMEs is widening, and we strongly believe it’s time for more business operators to take a look at the benefits of easy-to-use online technology for the health of their business,” added Mr Moss.
The Business Monitor report showed those in finance and insurance were the most likely to use cloud computing (42 per cent) while operators in agriculture, forestry and fishing were the least likely (12 per cent).
Operators in retail and hospitality were the most likely to have a business website and a social media site (25 per cent) while those in agriculture, forestry and fishing were the least likely (6 per cent).
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