SMEs concerned about losing potential business online

11th July 2013 | News

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of Irish SMEs without websites have voiced concerns about losing potential business to competitors that have already moved into the digital sphere, according to a new survey.
More than half of the SMEs surveyed revealed the reason they didn’t have a website was due to a lack of time, funds or knowledge to get one up and running.
The study, conducted by domain name registrar, Register365, also found that many small firms in Ireland assume it will be too expensive to create a website from scratch.
Two-thirds (61 per cent) of respondents were unaware it can cost less than €100 a year to build and host their own website.
Of those who confirmed they run their own e-commerce website, 89 per cent said they spend less than 10 hours a week maintaining their site, with only 19 per cent outsourcing the upkeep of their site to a professional.
Stephen Ewart, marketing manager of Register365, said: “It’s clear from the results that SMEs need help taking their businesses online. In the difficult economic climate we’re in, businesses need to look at their online profile to gain competitive advantage wherever they can, ensuring they have a website to reflect their business offering.
“The challenge is to get businesses to see that they are able to build a website themselves and can maintain it, with minimal input.”
Offline, small firms are still waiting more than two months on average to get paid in full, according to the Credit Watch Survey from ISME. Although the average 66-day wait is now the shortest since autumn 2008, more than a third of small firms have to sit tight for more than a quarter of the year for customers to pay them what they owe.
These delays may have a knock-on effect on the lack of available resource for SMEs to take their business online.

Image: Keith Williamson