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To website or not to website? Answering the eternal question

Do small to medium businesses with a website really enjoy greater revenue than those without? Yes, and MYOB has the figures to back it up.

A journalist called last week to ask for some statistics from our most recent national MYOB Business Monitor research, focusing on whether SMEs with a website experienced a greater rise in revenue than those without.

My answer was yes. When we asked our 1,003 respondents ‘At the present time, is your business revenue (or gross turnover or sales) up or down on a year ago, or about the same?’ the findings were clear: 23 percent who had a website said their revenue was up on the same time last year versus only 17 percent of those without.

Of further interest was that of the ‘revenue up’ groups, those with a website had experienced a greater boost in revenue than those without – 40 percent of the website owners were cheering a rise of 30 percent or more versus 33 percent of their non-web peers.

Out of interest, I cut other questions to reflect trends within each group and came up with these findings:

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And when we listed 18 elements of their business – from customer retention and acquisition strategies to business activity in new markets to the amount of staff training / coaching conducted – to ask if they would increase, decrease or keep steady the activity for each during 2012, every single time a higher percentage of SMEs with a website answered they would increase their activity than those without a website.

As you work your darnedest to keep competitors from your door, which group will you choose to be a part of this year? If it’s the latter, do you realise there are free website builders out there? What do you have to lose?