SMEs need to engage in the Digital Space  – ACCI

australianchamberThe Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) yesterday partnered with technology giant Google to present training to small businesses on how to best utilise the internet to grow their businesses. Kate Carnell, ACCI CEO, Maile Carnegie, Google Australia’s Managing Director along with the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson MP, promoted the business case for SMEs to become more active in the digital space.

“It is no secret that small business owners don’t have the time or the resources to learn the ins-and-outs of using the internet to fullest extent but it is the low hanging fruit when it comes to promoting a business and connecting with clients around the world that are in the market for what the business offers.” said Kate Carnell.

Recent research by Deloitte Access Economics and the Grattan Institute that shows that small businesses who are using the internet well are more likely to be growing than those that aren’t. Small businesses making full use of the internet with high digital engagement enjoy better business outcomes, with a $350,000 or 20% increase in annual revenue. These small businesses also have better growth prospects, more diversified sources of revenue and a bigger customer base. The Deloitte research also shows that 35% of the businesses surveyed had low to zero digital engagement, meaning that the business only has a business email address and uses the internet to communicate internally.

Kate Carnell said “Encouraging and assisting these businesses to make full use of internet to grow not only makes sense but will also have positive implications for the Australian economy. The G20 Finance Ministers have set the challenge to increase global growth by 2% above trend over the next five years. Helping SMEs to engage with mobile, social data analytics and cloud technologies is positive a way to improve productivity to meet this target for growth in Australia”

“Just as a decade ago businesses couldn’t afford not to have a landline, it’s really important now for small businesses to be found online. We hope that by joining up with ACCI at this summit we can help small Aussie businesses build a web presence and be discovered by new customers” said Maile Carnegie, Managing Director of Google Australia.

 The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson MP said:

“The Abbott Government’s policy agenda is designed to energise enterprise, encourage more small business start-ups, drive entrepreneurial behaviour and economic growth, and improve productivity and competitiveness.

There are more than two million active small businesses in Australia which employ around 42% of private sector workers, making a vital contribution to the Australian economy.

Research has showed small businesses making full use of the internet with high digital engagement enjoy better business outcomes, growth prospects and a bigger customer base.

The digital economy presents unprecedented opportunities for growth and development for business and I encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to consider engaging the space to grow their opportunities.”

ACCI and Google plan to continue to join forces on similar events to assist SMEs in learning and engaging with mobile, social, data analytics and cloud technologies.