London, UK, 22nd May, 2015 – 123 Reg, the UK’s largest domain registrar, is today announcing survey results which demonstrate that small businesses require additional help in order to successfully run their website and grow their business online but say many lack awareness and expertise to do this.
The survey of over 2,300 small business owners reveals an optimistic outlook for small businesses: SMB’s are expanding, with 69% of respondents saying their company had grown significantly or a bit in the last two years. Additionally 37% anticipated bringing in a new partner or employee in the next 12 months.
The survey provides insight into the struggles that UK small businesses face when setting up their company and website. Nearly 90% of all British businesses who operate an online shop manage all of their online marketing with no external help. The survey found that word of mouth, SEO and social media were the most important marketing channels for SMB’s owners, with over two thirds relying on these channels. Of the help they needed, 30% of businesses said they were looking for advice on how to rank for SEO.
Half of respondents set up their website at the same time as they started their company, but a quarter (24%) waited up to 12 months. A third of businesses (36%) purchased their domain name but didn’t set up their website for up to six months. For 5%, it was well over a year before the website was populated with content. These results demonstrate that purchasing a domain name is often the start of a business journey, but there can be a considerable time lapse before a business feels confident to move online. This conclusion is bolstered by the fact that only 16% of survey respondents said they had the expertise to run their websites.
Kate Cox, CMO at 123 Reg commented: “Our survey found that over half our customers who have an online shop don’t measure their online marketing because they either don’t have the time or don’t know how to. Small business owners face daily challenges to run their companies and maintain a website. While it is sometimes easy to neglect an online presence, it’s a vital part of boosting a company’s growth in today’s digital economy. Business owners should reach out for advice and support in order to increase website usability and boost their online business.”
Of the respondents who didn’t set up their own websites, 59% said they didn’t have the time or knowledge to do it themselves. However, some businesses said they paid an external provider, with 39% spending between £250 and £999, with some organisations spending vastly more to get their websites up and running.