By Daniel Hunter

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression and it’s a phrase that rings true for hundreds of thousands of small businesses nationwide, according to a new report.

Despite being the equivalent to a 'shop window', just one in six small businesses (16%) believes they have a website they can be very proud about.

One in ten small business owners (11%) say their websites use out of date technology and a further 11% describe their company’s online presence as either “poor” or “embarrassing,” according to new figures released from technology company, BaseKit.

A quarter of small businesses (25%) say they are envious of their competitor’s websites as they struggle to keep pace with technology change and maintain a customer-friendly site.

Keeping up with changing technology is a real issue for half of the small businesses polled in the survey as they admit to grappling with ecommerce functionality, mobile friendliness and search-engine optimisation. Only a quarter of businesses (25%) are able to process transactions online currently and just 9% have a site that is compatible with mobile phones or tablets.

BaseKit, which offers small businesses self-build website packages and helps get 40,000 small businesses around the world online every month, conducted The BaseKit “Small Business Report” research to help inform its new online resource for small businesses — the BaseKit Learning Centre.

Simon Best, founder of BaseKit, says:

“For many small enterprises, their website is their window to the world, yet so many feel poorly served by what they’ve created for themselves online.

“Three quarters of the small businesses we spoke to admit having a well-designed and functioning site is important for their reputation - as well as critical to drumming-up new leads. Yet they are really struggling to know how to keep up with the latest developments and are scared of becoming so-called Digital Dinosaurs.”

Rachel Bridge, business expert and best-selling author of four books including “How to make a million before lunch” comments:

“It takes so much courage, not to mention hard work to start a business and so it’s a real shame so many small firms aren’t making the most of what the web has to offer them. Simple steps like ensuring the website is optimised so it shows up in Google searches or is compatible with smart-phones could make a real difference to a business’s bottom line.”

The changes that businesses would like to make include better design and cheaper hosting as well as better analytics and the opportunity to change and refresh content themselves.

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