“One of the great things about the Internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys”, says Steve Strauss, columnist on Microsoft.com and author of Small Business Bible. “With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. ” So why do so many small businesses still not have a website?
In the United Kingdom an Executive Agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, called Companies House, registered 36,571 new UK based Limited Companies in May 2007 alone. It is believed that a large proportion of these businesses do not have a website.
Managing Director of web design company Crawford Creations, Gary Crawford, explains “We randomly searched for 250 newly registered UK based companies in Google and only 10 were showing as having a website.
This reflects our research which suggests that many new and small businesses would like to be seen online but are worried about escalating costs and their own lack of technical knowledge.
This is a trend that we would like to see broken. There are many large companies whose online presence leaves a lot to be desired, and this provides a fantastic opportunity for smaller businesses to start fighting back. ”
A report by New Economics Foundation (NEF) highlighted that between 1995 and 2000 the UK lost roughly one fifth of its local shops and services including post-offices, banks, butchers and grocers, allowing supermarkets to increase their stranglehold in the retail industry.
“It’s a real shame that local entrepreneurs are having to give up the businesses that they have worked to hard to establish in the face of stiff competition from superstores”, Crawford continued. “I feel this has a direct impact on community spirit, especially in rural Britain. ”
When asked if it was practical for new and small businesses to take the leap into the World Wide Web, Mr Crawford said, “Web design is a relatively unregulated industry which, unfortunately, has led to some businesses having bad experiences. The good news is that many companies do offer a simple, affordable, hassle free option for new and small companies which will bring them all the benefits of a professionally designed website.
It is companies like these that can throw a lifeline to small businesses, and with the dramatic rise in online consumerism, no business can afford to miss out on the benefits of a website. ”
Gary Crawford is a prominent small business advisor, and Managing Director of Crawford Creations Limited, a web design company focused on new and small businesses. http://www.crawfordcreations.co.uk