Tim Mazzarol over at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI) has all the reasons why small businesses need to get online and start making sales.

Here are the main takeaway’s that you need to know:

  • The game has changed – consumers are increasingly going online via mobile device or laptop
  • Consumers have changed – 95% of Aussies are online and 77% use a smartphone, with 96% of people in their 20’s using a smartphone
  • Not all small business are online – 98% of SME have a computer, only 54% use e-commerce for buying & selling, and only 26% sell internationally. Only 23% of small business have a digital plan and only 39% use social media.
  • If you get online, you can boost your competitiveness and productivity – just email, website searching and banking is not enough. Think VPN, VoIP, e-learning, file sharing and data security systems.
  • There is a balance for online/offline time for small business – if other players in your industry aren’t online, get online to take competitive advantage. However, if everyone in your industry is online, make sure you do not waste excess time online.
  • How is the world going with small businesses getting online? Studies found e-Commerce adoption in Indonesia is mostly taken up by younger educated small business owners. Whereas, studies of Ghana found they tend to rely on face-to-face transactions.
  • What are the main concerns of small business owners? Cyber-attacks, losing “direct” contact with customers, not being paid and cannibalising existing offline business channels.
  • The biggest barrier to small businesses getting online – the Malaysia and Singapore studies found it was not highly reliable, affordable and easy to use systems; but a lack of process for education owners and employees.
  • Marketing your small business online – helps get your new business and will reduce your cost per sale! Furthermore, you get better brand awareness, greater market share and increased profitability. Don’t forget to keep communicating online both before and after the sale, as this keeps your online relationships strong.
  • You can use free tools online (Facebook, Tradr, Twitter, etc.) as a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The Sensis e-Business Report for 2014 found that only 30% of Australian SMEs were actively engaged in e-marketing.

“Going digital is essential for SME success and survival”, Tim Mazzoral

Read more over at CEMI

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