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February 19, 2018
The 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report reveals many small businesses in Australia still don't have a web site - and they probably need one.
It wasn't that long ago that to see the website address (domain name) on a shopfront or business stationery in Australia was uncommon. That has changed a great deal in recent years with web addresses appearing everywhere, but many small businesses still aren't leveraging the power of the web - or only minimally.
Late last year, Telstra conducted two parallel surveys: one focused on more than 1000 small businesses; the other one with more than 1000 consumers across Australia.
The survey found 50% of businesses have a website, but there's major differences in terms of size of a business (employees) as to whether it has an online presence.
So what is the view of potential customers of businesses without an online presence?
Furthermore, the most favoured way among consumers to communicate with businesses is via email - and just 33 per cent of customers say they prefer face-to-face communication. It's a sign of the times - people are busy and don't have the time to pop into stores or pick up the phone during the day to request information.
"Overall, small businesses are struggling to match customer expectations of what it means to be ‘online’, missing opportunities to be found by new customers and to build legitimacy," states the report.
A web site doesn't need to be complex or expensive to create in order to build awareness and trust. A proper domain name for a professional touch, along with a nicely presented page or two with useful information can go a long way towards reassuring discerning potential customers. A little more effort can also see businesses reaping the benefits of traffic from search engines. Throw in some social media activity into the mix that points customers to their site, and some businesses find they never have to advertise via other mediums again.
For small businesses, instead of questioning whether they can afford the time and resources to do get active online, a better being is if they can afford not to.
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