There are clear benefits to the wider UK economy if small businesses further increase their use of broadband and mobile services. And the businesses themselves benefit from growth and increased productivity from engaging with the digital economy.
“Small businesses who embrace the digital economy are more productive and more likely to grow. Being online allows many small businesses to sell goods and services in markets they would otherwise not be able to access, and for consumers across the world to search them out. Smaller businesses also increasingly see the internet as enabling them to use video content, cloud based services and remote work.” - Source - FSB
There is a clear benefit to the wider UK economy if small businesses were to further increase their use of these products. In this post we will look at some of those benefits.
As digital technology continues to develop at great speed small businesses may find it hard to keep up with the latest products and how they relate to their industries. However there are some great benefits:
• Reassurance - Having a new and reliable way of connecting to customers, suppliers and employees.
• Optimisation - The time and cost savings an internet connection can bring to business operations.
• Transformation - A springboard to new and different ways that businesses can expand.
The three main barriers stopping small businesses from doing more online are:
1. Satisfaction with the status quo
Some small businesses were unable to effectively assess their own telecoms requirements, or to understand how digital technology could benefit their business. This led to under-investment in digital technology. If small businesses were able to effectively assess what the direct financial benefits to their business would be, they would be far more willing to invest time and financial resources to engaging more with digital technologies.
2. Quality of service issues
There were a range of issues affecting small businesses as consumers of telecoms products. Very few small businesses employ an IT manager, meaning they have to rely on their own – frequently limited – understanding of a fast paced and complicated telecoms market. Small businesses wanted to avoid making potentially expensive mistakes, so did not engage as fully in the telecoms market as they could. Long delays in fault repair, the installation of new services and complicated contracts can also stop small businesses fully embracing digital technology.
3. Digital skills
Small business owners and their employees can lack digital skills. 42% of small businesses viewed digital skills as being important to their future growth prospects. However, there is a significant skills shortage, particularly among older employees.
4. Cyber-security concerns
Fears over vulnerability to cyber attacks can lead some small businesses to limit their use of online technologies. Again, firms struggle to assess the risks posed to cyber security with many failing to take sufficient precautions to protect themselves.
It can be difficult taking the next step when it comes to installing a new internet connection or upgrading your phone system. Understanding what you currently use and assessing all the options can seem daunting. With our free, no obligation Telecoms Audit we will guide you through a few questions to identify your current setup and what your usage is like and let you know what options are available.
Book in your audit today and take the first step in growing your business and increasing productivity with the digital economy.