Digital Investment is Top Priority for Small Businesses
Small and mid-sized businesses plan to increase digital investment by almost £30,000 in next two years, yet many neglect having a mobile presence
Digital capabilities have become a central priority for small business owners, with the majority of small firms looking to increase their investment in digital from £33,212 to £61,436.
Outlined in new research by Santander Corporate & Commercial, the study found that, despite the emphasis on digital many small enterprises are still missing the importance of having a mobile presence.
This finding is particularly alarming given Google’s recent changes to its search engine’s algorithm; known as ‘mobilegeddon’, which will demote your website’s search ranking if it is not mobile responsive.
The research also found that 54% of businesses investing in digital capabilities are looking to develop their traditional websites while only 16% are launching digital apps.
13% of small business plan to develop online payment services (currently 34% have this in place) and 10% hope to launch their business’ first website. Finally exporting appears to be on the cards for other companies, with 10% planning to launch a foreign language version of their website.
Some small and mid-sized enterprises invested significantly more than the average, with 8% confirming that they spent £100,000 on digital and 6% of business planning to increase this in the following two years.
Financial and IT firms are the biggest industries investing in digital capabilities. Last year the average IT business invested £46,429, while financial companies invested £49,500. IT firms expect to increase digital spending by £43,962 and financial services by £42,083 in the next two years.
Regionally, London-based start-ups are leading the way, forecasting an average investment increase of £42,925; followed by the Midlands at £31,531 and South East at £30,800.
Stephen Dury, managing director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, provided a comment:
“Investment in digital capabilities can significantly enhance business growth opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Just having a functional website can have a dramatic impact on a firm’s visibility and connectivity with customers and other stakeholders.
“However, while it is great to see that many firms are focused on this, the concern is that a significant number are still failing to invest effectively and are therefore missing out on these opportunities.”
For more information on how to make your business’ website mobile friendly check out Startups.co.uk’s guide here.