Internet the most important tool for small business survival according to latest research

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It had barely been invented when the UK was last in recession, but less than 20 years later, the Internet  is providing a life line to small businesses fighting the recession; 45% of small businesses surveyed by Easynet Connect  believe the Internet will be an important tool in helping them survive and prosper during the recession with one in five believing it will be the most important tool in helping small businesses beat the recession.
 
Part of an upcoming report into SME survival, the survey of 255 IT Managers from companies with 10-250 employees, shows how small businesses see the Internet  as key to boosting their profiles and unlocking new revenue opportunities. For example, 74% of small businesses will use the web to grow their company profile with 52% claiming that the web would put them on a level playing field with bigger companies. When it comes to creating new opportunities, 46% are looking to create new products and services on the web and over 58% are looking to use the web to expand into new markets at home and overseas.
 
SMEs are also keen on using the Internet to power modern working practices and cost-cutting technologies. A considerable 75% of companies are looking to use the Internet  to enable remote working, 33% are considering using VoIP to reduce telephone bills and over half (52%) are looking to use video conferencing to reduce business travel. Notably, a growing number of companies (23%) are considering adopting SaaS applications to help save on the cost of traditional software licenses.
 
Timothy Francis, Head of IT & Online Marketing, at derivatives trader Blue Index and Easynet Connect customer said of the findings; The Internet is one of the most powerful tools for companies of all shapes and sizes. For Blue Index it is critical that we have a fast, low latency Internet connection, to ensure we receive split-second market price updates, and so maintain a competitive edge. The Internet enables us to trade the world's markets and expand our services as and when we see opportunities in the financial services market.
 
We have recently launched our new FOREX service, Blue-FX , which includes a new dedicated online FX trading platform which places additional demands on our Internet connection. The Internet is essential not only for the marketing of the new service via email campaigns and a new website, but also for the successful monitoring and the fast execution of transactions during market hours. As we expand we have a greater reliance on our connection to support and deliver our various services to our customers. The Internet has literally given us access to a wide number of foreign markets, including North America.  Our business just simply would not be able to exist without the Internet, and a fast, low latency, easily expandable and reliable connection.
 
Chris Stening, Managing Director of Easynet Connect  said of the research The critical difference between now and the recession of the early 90s is the Internet, which could easily be the most important tool in helping small businesses through the current down turn. The Internet has meant that businesses are much better equipped this time around. In the early 90s we were a world away from e-commerce, online marketing, or having a mobile workforce, let alone using cloud computing or holding video conferences with customers on the other side of the world.
 
Our previous research has shown that 71% of UK SMEs could not survive for more than a day without the Internet. With SMEs using the technology in more and more innovative ways to help them out of the recession, it will be interesting to see how this figure changes in the coming years, concludes Stening.

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