When you want to find information about a business or service, what’s the first thing you do? You look on the web. Yet over half of small businesses in the UK don’t even have a website, according to a recent study commissioned by UK Online. Even more don’t use email or even have an internet connection.

Online Opportunities

Chris Stening, Managing Director, UK Online explains: “Our study shows that small business owners are just not working online effectively. We found that a third (35%) of small business owners struggled to find a provider that understands how they work”.

Shane Redding, Chair of the B2B Council of the Institute of Direct Marketing, adds: “Small businesses have been relatively slow to reap the rewards that an effective online presence can bring. There is a clear need for small business owners to better understand the opportunities available so that they can continue to thrive and compete against larger businesses.”

A huge proportion of small businesses are still either not online at all, or using consumer internet packages — including using consumer email addresses on company literature such as business cards and letterheads. Isn’t it time there was a way to change that?

Getting Online

If you’re setting up or running a small business there’s no reason why you should put yourself at a disadvantage against your larger competitors. Setting up a company website and email addresses has never been easier, and maintaining it doesn’t have to be a headache.

Staying secure and productive

And it’s not just about marketing yourself — there are safety and efficiency issues as well, to keep your business up and running. UK Online surveyed 200 small businesses and found that one in five (18%) didn’t have anti-virus software and over a third (38%) didn’t have a Spam Filter, leaving them at risk of losing valuable time, data or both.

Businesses with less than ten employees often don’t have the budget for full-time IT support, which makes the service provided by their internet supplier absolutely crucial – UK Online is there for all its small business customers whenever they need it with their 0800 freephone technical support .

The solution – Find the right provider

Chris Stening continues “There is clearly a need for a dedicated small business broadband provider which can offer the right tools for them to do the job and technical support which works the same hours as they do!”

To make life better for small businesses online, UK Online has launched a new package, ‘UK Online Business Broadband’, designed specifically for businesses with between one and ten employees.

The service:

With over ten years experience supporting Internet and Broadband customers, UK Online prides itself on the quality of Customer Service and Technical support it offers.

The package is available from £19.99 a month* and includes:

• 8Mb connection

• Unlimited service with no download limits

• UK based 24/7 freephone technical support

• Up to 20 email addresses with domain name, webmail and SPAMfilter

• Free McAfee Security for 12 months (worth £50)

• Free connection until 31st August (worth £25)

The new business service is available from UK Online’s secure website at www.ukonline.net or via 0800 053 0606

References

* Businesses that are not covered by the UK Online LLU footprint will be able to purchase the service for £29.99. As part of the BSkyB group, the LLU network covers more than 65% of the UK’s homes and small businesses.

About the study

The study was carried out by Dynamic Markets on behalf of UK Online during May 2007. 200 owners of UK businesses with between one and ten employees, who subscribe to an internet package, were drawn from a cross section of British industries. In total, 588 decision makers were spoken to, 200 of which had either a consumer or business Internet access package.

Click here to find out more www.ukonline.net