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UK SMBs underestimate value of internet

Joe O'Halloran

Small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the UK are falling behind European counterparts due to lack of resources according to recent figures from Eurostat.

 

The survey found that 86% of SMBs in France have broadband connections, 87% in Spain and 89% in Finland and Sweden .  In the UK however, only 77% of SMBs are connected to broadband, despite predictions from Forrester Research that 32 million UK consumers will be shopping online by 2011, spending almost £53bn and making the UK the most lucrative ‘e-commerce’ market in Europe.

 

To address this issue, broadband and Internet services provider UK Online and the Institute of Directors (IoD) have launched a guide entitled ‘Your Business and the Internet'  to help SMBs better understand and benefit from the Internet, amid fears that many are falling behind their European counterparts.

 

The new guide contains a step by step introduction to doing business online, providing jargon-busting explanations and real life examples of many working aspects, from setting up a basic website to making phone calls and holding conferences over the internet.

 

“Being online nowadays is fundamental as the Internet has placed almost unlimited information and choice in the hands of the consumer,” said Chris Stening, managing director of UK Online.  “Just as it is a concern that certain sections of the community are being left behind in the ‘information society’, it is also a particular concern of the IoD that smaller businesses – which make up the vast bulk of UK firms and indeed our own membership – are not maximising their opportunities,” added Miles Templeman, Director General at the Institute of Directors.

 

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