Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) interested in bridging loans and other forms of finance are being offered further support from the government in order to build up their presence on the internet.
The Do More Online campaign, as it has been dubbed, includes £2 million of funding through local enterprise partnerships in order to further this end, with a digital TV channel due to be launched in Manchester that will offer advice to companies, alongside events and other networking sessions.
Simon Devonshire, entrepreneur-in-residence with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, observed that companies should now think about having an online presence as being more important than a landline number in the office.
“Online is the new landline,” he remarked. “Landline number used to be a mark of authenticity for businesses. The move to a digital economy has meant consumers are more likely to trust a business with a website and consider a business more credible if they offer the ability to transact seamlessly online.”
According to government figures, almost one million businesses in the UK are not currently online and of those who are, more than two-thirds are not transactional, Mr Devonshire went on to note.
Yearly web sales in the UK comes to more than £164 billion and the country has more shoppers online than any other major country worldwide so from a business perspective, it would perhaps be foolish not to try and capitalise on that fact. The quicker you can get yourself online and start reaching entirely new customers the better, it would seem.