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The internet: It’s there, take advantage of it!

The market is changing and we’re seeing a major shift in buyer behavior – from in-store tyre kicking to savvy online bargain hunters.  It’s no longer effective to run an advert in the local paper and hope the phone will ring.

The Internet offers a world of opportunity for Aussie businesses, but our research finds that only 35% have a business website.

The Internet is crucial for doing business today.  We’ve found that businesses that have a website have more success – 30% of businesses with a website report a revenue increase in the past year, compared to 23% of those without a website.

And when it comes to the web, while only 35% have a business website, businesses are increasingly going online for key business activities:

  • 62% use internet banking for their business
  • 37% pay their bills on suppliers’ websites
  • 24% monitor competitive activity on the Internet
  • 19% use Skype or VOIP to make free phone calls over the Internet

Just over half (57%) of business owners believe the Internet is critical for marketing and promotion and nearly half (44%) agree that they would sell more and get more work if they used the Internet better for marketing. However it appears that some businesses are missing out on a number of opportunities online.  In additional to the low level of businesses with a website, there’s also a low adoption of social media to promote business. Only 18% of businesses use social media (such as Facebook, Twitter) to promote their business.

Social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter, present a huge opportunity for businesses to reach a new audience, and also interact and engage with existing clients online.

For business owners looking to raise the profile of their business online, the smart use of social media can give them the lift they’re looking for.  For example, sharing content is a great way to engage with current and potential customers online, add value to customer relationships and also demonstrate thought leadership and expertise.

From having a website to using social media and online marketing – the opportunities are there, waiting for you to grab them.

Do you leverage the web for your business? Do you have any insights to share with businesses that are dipping their toe in the water, but haven’t jumped in yet?

What do you think?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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