Web 'no good' for many enterprises
Almost half of all small business owners feel the evolution of the Internet has made it harder to run a company, according to research by Cranfield School of Management.
The study, commissioned by Pipex Business, found that small and medium-sized enterprises have a love-hate relationship with the web.
More than 90 per cent of the 422 businesses that took part in the survey had e-mail and a broadband connection and 84 per cent had created a website. However, 60 per cent did not feel the internet had increased their operational efficiency and 46 per cent said the internet had raised the complexity of running their business.
The report concludes that the popularity of online communication in society has created more competitive markets and more picky customers.
Andrew Burke, head of Cranfield School of Management and the report's co-author, said that the uptake in internet use by SMEs had been so dramatic that most now shared the same benefits "so few can garner a competitive advantage as a result".