It is quite clear what has been top of most small businesses’ minds in 2009/10 – that is, getting online with a website, selling online, setting up transactions and stock control. This is no great surprise given the opportunities presented by taking these relatively straightforward steps.
Choosing the right website for your business is the most popular Guide. The vast majority of small businesses can benefit from a website, from a basic web ‘presence’ to a more sophisticated means of selling products directly ‘off the page’. This Guide tells non-web businesses exactly where to start, how to choose the best solution, what to consider and where to go for help. According to ONS research, more than 70% of small businesses (10 – 49 employees) have websites so it is little surprise that this Guide is the most popular.
The next three are natural follow-ons to the No.1 slot – they are:
Having a website, of course, means that a small business has an instant global marketplace. The small business has as much potential to ‘go-large’ in terms of market reach as any big business. For many businesses this notion has become a complete reality with a sales site where customers can order, pay for, and receive products and services at the click of a button. In 2008, ONS research found that small businesses sold £14.6 billion worth of products and services over the internet, so more and more small business are taking advantage of these technologies. The pleasure of going to work in the morning having taken orders overnight, seeing them processed through to delivery, and payments cleared into the bank account has widespread appeal!
None of this is over-complex if businesses take the right approach, think it through and take the right advice. The Business IT Guides in these areas offer straightforward and practical tips.
The 5th most popular guide, again, is a logical flow from the above – that is linking your online sales, orders and order processing to automatic stock control. Having set up online sales the last thing businesses need is to run out of a product. Stock control is a critical aspect to ensure sales flow smoothly and continue to do so with just the right amount of new stock in place.