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Small firms lack confidence in technology


That is the conclusion of a Business Link report based on a survey of small and medium sized enterprises. Now the business support organisation has produced a free 28-page guide on e-marketing to encourage SMEs to make more of ICT developments and test e-marketing with confidence. 
The survey found that keeping up with technology was a major challenge for almost half of respondents their business. Most SMEs had a website but uncertainty over business benefits and concerns about cost were proving to be major barriers to future ICT investment.
A total 68 per cent of SMEs view ICT as important for marketing their business and more than a third planned to invest in ICT hardware, software or training over the next year. 
Business Link operations director Peter Griffiths said it was essential that the region’s SMEs did not limit their potential for growth simply because of a lack of knowledge and confidence in ICT.
He said: “Using ICT effectively is critically important for all types of business and there is no doubt that e-commerce has transformed the selling process for many companies. But the technologies and their applications do not stand stillso it is important that businesses know when, how and where to make the right investment decisions to maintain competitiveness at all times.”
Investment could keep costs down, improve sales and strengthen links with existing customers and suppiers.
“The need for guidance is loud and clear so we are expecting our new free and impartial guide to be very popular. We encourage firms to review their ICT systems regularly and make the most of their online presence. After all, the benefits are substantial “

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