London’s small businesses need to embrace digital tech

Just 15% of London’s small businesses have an online presence and a lack of digital awareness could be costing firms dear, according to new research.

More than 91,000 companies have set up in the capital in 2016 to date, bringing the total number of firms in London to more than 975,000.

However new figures from 123 Reg highlight that only 15% of those have an active online presence – leaving those without a website at risk of lost business and missed opportunities.

London has a strong reputation for business on a global scale but not being online makes it difficult for small firms to take advantage.

The StartUp Britain campaign has sought to raise awareness of the importance of having an online presence for networking and international sales.

From booking services to ordering products online, embracing digital opens up new avenues for exploration, while enabling a company to have closer links to its customers.

This boost to customer service can help to enhance a company’s reputation, which is key for those looking to break into new or competitive markets.

Reaching new customers is also important, as it tends to bring further sales and growth – a failure to find new customers puts a strain on resources and will ultimately see a company fail without adequate action.

To stave off the threat of insolvency, firms must either embrace new means of finding customers or should consider alternative finance options that can drive growth.

Good quality online content can promote a business and its products or services, while targeting customers via mobile is also becoming increasingly common.

While these methods do carry a cost, the benefits for the business in the long-term tend to far outweigh the initial financial outlay.

The increased connectivity and networking that comes with being online can also open up potential merger or acquisition opportunities, should firms be so inclined to go down that route.

By Phil Smith

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