According to this article doing the rounds yesterday, small business owners are akin to an ancient herd of ‘digital dinosaurs;’ tech-fearing luddites that are desperately behind the times that are risking the future of their business as a consequence.
According to research commissioned by website builders BaseKit, a staggering 60 per cent of small businesses have no online presence at all. And of those that have made it online, just 25 per cent can process transactions online and just 19 per cent are using social media tools.
When you consider that there’s upwards of 4.5 million small businesses in the UK alone, that’s a whole lotta luddites.
So what do you think – are these businesses destined to be left behind as the web moves on and takes their competitors with them? Or is it more a case of these businesses simply being late bloomers?
Here at BookingBug we’re certainly seeing a positive change when it comes to the way that small business owners view the benefits and challenges associated with getting online. (In fact you could say that’s exactly why we’re here!) Whilst a jazzy website, online marketing tools, online payments and the like were once strictly the domain of the big boys, they’re now affordable and within reach to all. From driving instructors to holistic therapists, and tennis coaches to wedding photographers, the tools to get online and make the most of being there are accessible and simple to use.
In fact just this weekend our team was at the Beauty UK Show speaking to beauty and health business owners from up and down the country. The buzz amongst these professionals was incredible – and they were very far from being dinosaurs. Those that weren’t yet online were itching to find out how they could take the leap, and those that are already online were hungry to learn how they could use the web to win new clients and build their business. It was great to hear and a very promising sign that what we’ve always believed here at BookingBug is true – that we’re on the cusp of the digital age for small businesses.
So whilst BaseKit’s research certainly highlights there’s a long way to go for small businesses, I’d be keen to see this research rolled out again in 18 months time – and I’d bet my favourite David Bowie mug on there being a significant shift in the results…
You can download the full report by BaseKit here.
And here’s a bonus final thought for you… Both Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein were classed as late bloomers as children – proof if ever it were needed that it is never too late to catch-up and lead the way!