A survey of Australian microbusinesses has found those that already have a web site or that are planning to build one have much more optimistic growth projections than those which aren't going online.
The survey of 502 microbusinesses - those with no more than five employees - was conducted for domain registrar and hosting provider GoDaddy.
Asked about the prospects for their businesses over the next three to five years, 79 percent of those planning to build a website expect 10 to 50 percent growth, and 64 percent of those with an existing website expect to grow by up to 50 percent.
Only 4 percent of those with no plans to build a website expect growth in the 25 to 50 percent range. Yes, there's a lot of difference between "up to 50 percent," "10 to 50 percent," and "25 to 50 percent," but they're the figures the company is quoting from the survey.
While 74 percent of microbusinesses have an online presence, only 39 percent have their own web site. Presumably the rest are relying on Facebook, eBay and so on. We're with GoDaddy's ANZ country manager Tara Commerford when she says "it’s critical these businesses also consider creating a long-term and strategic digital presence. Registering a domain name for their business and creating a website allows them to build their brand, and reach more customers effectively. This approach allows micro-businesses to really tap into the growth potential that an online presence can deliver."
Just the other day we heard someone say "I hate businesses that are only on Facebook! It's useless for finding information about them. They should have a proper website."
The survey also found that only one-fifth of microbusinesses that intend to build a site have already registered a suitable domain name. That's crazy! The longer you leave it, the greater the risk that someone else will have registered the name you want to use.
It's not difficult and it's not expensive, just a dollar or two a month for a .com.au name if you shop around (.com.au registrations run for two years at a time). And in the event that a low-cost registrar doesn't provide adequate service or charges extra for certain capabilities which makes it a false economy, you can always transfer your domain to another registrar when you're ready to go live with your own site.