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How digitally engaged is your SME?

07 April 2016

The digital age is well and truly upon us. There can be no denying the impact that advanced technologies have had on our business landscape, and as such, SMEs must be prepared to take steps toward keeping in touch with the world around them.

How can they do this? Encompassing new technologies is a great place to start, and to help you out, Earlypay has a range of small-business finance solutions that will enable any accountant to free up working capital.

What are other SMEs doing?

The Netstripe State of the Nation 2016 report focused on how digitally engaged Australian small businesses are. So, how did we fare? Unfortunately, only 22 per cent of the 1,000 businesses surveyed were digitally engaged.

That's bad news when it comes to generating revenue. SMEs that are engaged in the digital world are twice as likely to be growing their revenue streams, four times more likely to be actively hiring new talent and are 300 per cent more focused on growth. These figures are staggering, but it's not altogether surprising given the amount of reliance many other companies have on the internet.

Approximately 90 per cent of Australians have access to the internet, but only 60 per cent of small businesses have a website. If an organisation was taking full advantage of the internet capabilities that are now available around the country, an increase of 20 per cent in annual revenue is projected. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that out of every business in the nation, only 47.1 per cent had a web presence in 2013-14, which was down slightly on the 2012-13 figure of 47.2 per cent. However, 94.7 per cent had internet access, which shows how accessible it is to just about every company.

Netstripe finds that only 18 per cent of small businesses are engaged with social media marketing, compared with the ABS figures for all Australian businesses which show 30.8 per cent had a social media presence. That seems like a major oversight, when sites such as Instagram and Facebook are not only free and accessible, but incredibly popular.

Facebook reports that there are over 1.04 billion active daily users on its site, with 83.6 per cent of these outside of Canada and America. Instagram is another way for businesses to show off their products and developments, and there are more than 400 million active profiles every month, over 70 million photos posted daily and 75 per cent of users located outside America.

Is it about time your SME got on board with a social media presence? Payroll is on hand to help you free up some working capital to afford a social media specialist to take the reins.

Longevity is in your hands

The continued success of your SME could well be lying in your lap, even on your desk. The internet and being digitally engaged - two accessible ideas that won't cost the earth.

Australia is ranked sixth in the world for smartphone ownership based on per capita figures. With that in mind, it doesn't seem right that only 45 per cent of small businesses with a website have optimised them for mobile usage. There are few more frustrating daily events than opening a website on your mobile device that doesn't fit the screen and can't be clicked around intuitively, and it's detrimental to search-engine optimisation if improving organic search is one of your aims..

Giving your small business the best chance of surviving in a volatile market is made significantly more possible with digital engagement and an intuitive website, optimised for mobile.

Could your SME get ahead with increased digital focus? Talk to Earlypay today about how invoice factoring can help you to free up some business funding to make waves with digital advancements.