Web businesses more confident about future

'Web-savvy’ small businesses are twice as confident about their future prospects than those that have yet to establish an internet presence, according to a survey by web directory thebestof.

The poll (via startups.co.uk) found companies that were using the net expected to expand by an average of 41% over the next year, while firms not doing so only expected 20% growth.

As with a report by the Federation of Small Businesses earlier this week, which highlighted security concerns among SMEs, thebestof’s poll found a level of reticence towards the web from many companies.

Nearly 20% said they did not feel equipped to take advantage of the web, while over half thought it was more suited to bigger business.

Sixteen percent of office suppliers said the internet held no potential for their business and a third did not see it as relevant. But the survey found some office suppliers were generating as much as 20% of their business from the internet.

Nigel Botterill, chief executive of thebestof, said:

“What this research shows is that there’s a whole generation of ordinary small businesses – like office suppliers – who have been quietly working in the background, using the web to steal market share from their bigger competitors.”

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