The UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are risking business growth due to technology blind spots, according to new research from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index.
The Index is a new research study based on the analysis of Lloyds’ customer data and a comprehensive survey of just under 2,000 small business owners, charities, clubs and societies, in association with Accenture.
The report claims there is a positive correlation between digital maturity and SMEs’ confidence in their business.
Almost a third of small businesses surveyed said they felt being online was ‘irrelevant’ for their business, with only half of SMEs surveyed having a website. Those that do are only providing basic functionality to their customers, while a third of business lack basic online skills and refuse to invest in improving them.
Miguel-Angel Rodriguez-Sola, director for digital, marketing and customer development at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Most businesses do use digital technology in some shape or form. However there is a real blind spot for many firms who are doing the basics but can’t see the benefits of doing more.
“Businesses that are willing to invest for the long term could reap huge rewards from digital technology. Some of the benefits are quick wins, but businesses that really do focus on making digital technology a priority may even find that they can capitalise more easily on growth opportunities and that their confidence continues to rise.”
However, the study found that a third of SMEs believed they were already doing all they could to maintain and improve their digital presence.
The regions with the most SMEs lacking basic online skills were the North West (38 per cent), followed by the East Midlands (35 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humberside (34 per cent).
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