The Internet is popular - SMEs must raise their game.
None of this is going to come as a shock. However, yet another report on the "bleeding obvious" has concluded that small businesses have to work harder than ever to make their presence felt, especially online.
With the Internet's increasing popularity for trading both directly with customers and suppliers, SMEs are having a tougher time in a more competitive and technological market place, research has suggested.
40% of SMEs reported that working with the Internet has made running a business more complex and yet only 16% believe that their online presence has improved their operational efficiency.
The main reason wasn't that the Internet was difficult to work with, but the opposite in that its ease of use had made the market much more competitive and easier to enter. Consumers and businesses enjoy the same benefits from online trading, levelling the playing field.
Even more interestingly is that SMEs are switching onto the fact that the Internet is GLOBAL. 62% of those surveyed now recognise that the Internet had increased competition from foreign traders. Security was also an issue - according to the survey one in three SMEs believed that confidential information was harder to protect.
So, we wondered what OUR customers thought? We surveyed them and here are the results ...