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Why small businesses need to embrace a digital profile


The world has gone digital and online profiles are proving an increasingly important aspect of a business operation, regardless of the sector it operates in.

FSB Business Profiling has created, for the first time, a report based on the raw data of its customer base. This outlines an honest and transparent view of the state of the UK’s small business digital profiles.

The typical small business does not have a clear view of online information used to make decisions about them - and how it is used by people to make decisions. Not effectively managing your business’s digital profile can lead to lost customers, damage to reputation, unfavourable payment terms constraining cash flow or restricted access to finance and services to support growth.

What is clear from the report is that small businesses are embracing digital and understand the importance of actively managing their digital profile.

But SMEs struggle to keep pace with digital behaviour – half of small businesses don’t appear on the first page of search engine results, for example.

Poor online visibility is the top ranked challenge named by FSB Business Profiling customers. Time-poor business owners are often limited to sporadic digital activity that hinders rather than helps overcome this challenge.

A further problem that compounds this is that an astonishing 89% of SMEs have no social media engagement, and 87% never respond to customer feedback. What is more, three-quarters of small business websites are not mobile friendly. This means sales are lost before a small business ever sees a lead or receives a phone call.

Despite this, there is a clear appetite from SME owners to embrace digital. Gareth Jones of Saint Arnold Management, said: “Our investment in digital is not only helping us get more customers from many different sources but the data and insight we gather about our customers across those channels is what will help us drive the future growth of our business.”

To read the full report click here