The Scottish Enterprise Network has launched an online "e-business handbook" to encourage small businesses to use new technology to gain a market edge.
The new website, Surf's Up, includes articles from key business journalists, industry experts on a range of topics, and fact sheets dealing with everything from internet security to designing and marketing websites. The site also includes links to government and Internet resources.
According to figures released today by Scottish Enterprise from its E-business Benchmarking Study, only 53% of Scottish micro-businesses (those with fewer than 10 employees) are now online. This compares with 55% in the UK as a whole and against 15% last year.
Charlie Watt, the senior director of e-business at Scottish Enterprise, said, "Websites can give tiny firms a big company presence. E-mail can dramatically improve contact with customers and suppliers. And being online can also cut bills, making businesses more competitive. Sadly, some of the smallest businesses are often the most reticent about using the new technology. Yet they also have the most to gain."
The survey also showed that: