Published: October 06, 2009 Last Updated: September 02, 2021

Small Business Technology And The Internet

Small Business - Technology and the Internet

Sensis undertakes a quarterly Questionnaire on business confidence for Small Business, called the Business Index. The June 2009 questionnaire focussed on how Small Business was utilising technology and the Internet. It had some very interesting results that I thought I would share with you.

Business Computer Ownership

  • 97% of all businesses used a Computer
  • The highest usage is Communications & Business Services, Finance & Insurance and Health & Community at 100%
  • The lowest usage is Building & Construction at 90%

Business Internet Connections

  • 95% of all businesses use the Internet (up from 34% in 1998)
  • Finance & Insurance the highest users at 100%
  • Building & Construction the lowest at 87%

Business Internet Usage

  • The main use for Internet in Small Business (97% of connected businesses) was email and communication
  • 92% use it to look for information on Products and Services
  • 83% use it to access Online Directories (such as Yellow Pages)
  • 78% to place orders for Products and Services
  • 78% to pay for Products and Services

Consumer Internet Usage

  • 90% of Households have a Computer with 85% having Internet
  • 78% of all Australians used the internet to research Products and Services
  • 61% ordered Goods and Services
  • 41% used a Social Networking Site
  • 41% read a Blog
  • 27% belonged to an Online Community
  • The biggest increase in usage for the last 12 months was the number belonging to an online community (up 7%)

So what does this all mean. Well to be blunt, it means that if you don’t have an Internet Presence, than you are not being serious about growing your business. But don’t worry if you don’t have a website, only 56% of Small Business have a website.

Now forgive me as I get onto my Soapbox, but I find this astounding. The Internet is arguably the fastest growing area in our life. More and more people are using the Internet for not only research, but connecting with other people and businesses. This is only going to grow as Gen Y becomes more influential in Society. Yet there are still a large number of businesses out there refusing to get on board.

Recently we’ve seen businesses seize opportunities with Government funding in Water tanks, Solar Panels and Insulation and develop their businesses to take advantage of these. Yet many of these same businesses are still resisting the Internet.

So as Professor Julius Sumner Miller asked – Why is it so?

This is the million dollar question, but I believe that it boils down to 3 main reasons:

  1. Don’t really understand the Internet and what it takes to develop an Online Marketing Strategy
  2. Believe that it’s expensive
  3. Or just refuse to embrace technology

So if you don’t have a web Presence, I ask you – which one are you?