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Most Australian small businesses say 'no' to internet

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A solid majority of Australia’s SMEs don’t use email, a web site or any other aspect of the internet, a recent research report has found.

Talk about missed opportunities — that same report notes that the average Australian now spends nearly 18 hours a week online.

The findings were among the highlights of a report by Research International that studied the habits of the nation’s estimated 1.6 million small- and-medium-sized operators (businesses with 20 or fewer 20 employees).

The key finding — that 40% of SMEs eschew the internet in any form — shows these business owners are missing out on the marketing opportunities available online, said Lauren Fragapane of the Red public relations agency in North Sydney.

Small-to-mediums account for 80% of Australia’s businesses. They’re a group with limited resources for marketing, spending an average of $5,813 on marketing in 2009, the report said.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Only 34% of those 1.6 million SMEs have a stand-alone website.
  • About one in four — 26% — have ventured into online marketing, with a website and movement toward e-commerce and search marketing.
  • These businesses spent 37% of the their 2009 marketing budget on online tools such as video and Google AdWords — and most of these businesses planned to increase their online marketing this year.
  • Businesses that market online are far more likely to track the return on their advertising investment.

Image by smemon87

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