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Dazed and confused SMEs miss out on Web benefits

Half of Britain's 3.7 million small businesses are failing to embrace the opportunities of the Internet because they are confused about how it could help their business

Research compiled by e-business incubator Xworks showed that:

  • 48% of the small businesses questioned said they did not have a Web site;

  • 45% of those did not understand the benefits building one might have on their business;

  • Of the companies that have already set up a Web site, only 50% were using it for selling goods or services online.

    The research also revealed that many small companies do not know the cost of setting up an e-commerce site. More than 90% of those that were not online thought it would cost less than £1,000 - but the average cost is between £6,000 and £10,000, said Xworks.

    Justin Drummond, chief executive officer at Xworks, said, "Small firms should be aware of the costs of setting up a professional Web site, but also the benefits of going online so that they can make a reasoned decision about using the Internet for business purposes."

    In partnership with Barclays Merchant Development, Xworks has launched a service that will assist companies in setting up ePDQ (swipe card) technology on their Web sites.

    This allows them to accept and process payments online.

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)