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Google, MYOB: Getting Aussie Business Online

Google, MYOB launch free guide for getting online

By Michelle Hammond
Wednesday, 02 March 2011

A new Google-backed initiative has promised small businesses the opportunity to set up a company website in 15 minutes.

 

The site, Getting Aussie Business Online, is a joint initiative by Google and software specialists MYOB, with plans to sign up 50,000 businesses this year.

 

According to MYOB chief executive Tim Reed, there are three reasons stopping small businesses from establishing an online presence: fear of technology, time and cost.

 

“After looking at those three factors, we decided to introduce a system whereby any business owner can build a professional website in 15 minutes,” Reed says.

 

“The process very much mirrors the process of building a Facebook page – you essentially go through the process of answering a series of questions.”

 

Claire Hatton, Google head of local business, says certain industries completely overlook the opportunities available online.

 

“Every day in Australia, there are 12,000 Google searches for builders but fewer than one in four businesses in the construction and trade industry has a website,” she says.

 

According to Reed, local business searches are the largest search category used by Australia’s 14 million online consumers.

 

“There are five times more people searching the internet for accountants that Ricky Ponting… Consumers are out there searching, so businesses need to have a website and that website needs to be found,” he says.

 

“Australians use the internet to identify local businesses, research local businesses, and create a shortlist of the businesses they want to talk to.”

 

“Two thirds of Australian businesses are completely invisible to those 14 million Australian online consumers – that’s a massive gap and it’s a real challenge for the Australian economy.”

 

“In our last MYOB Business Monitor, we had a look at revenue growth rates. Of the businesses with a website, 25% more of them say revenues have grown in the past year and they believe revenues will continue to grow in the coming year, compared to businesses without a website.”

 

Reed doesn’t believe there is any sector that wouldn’t benefit from establishing or expanding its online presence.

 

“[For those businesses without websites], are they confident what they’ve got is working for them as hard as it possibly can? The business must be working for them while they’re sleeping,” he says.

 

Reed says in addition to providing businesses with an online presence for free, Getting Aussie Businesses Online ensures businesses are well represented in searches such as Google Maps and Google Search.

Comments (1)

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exaudi
Whilst I do agree with the assertion that almost every business needs to be online (far too few are) and that it shouldn’t cost the Earth to do so ... I also feel it prudent to remind business owners that you generally get what you pay for with "free" template business websites.

It’s a little like saying that you can run your business using an Excel spreadsheet (I did for a year or so as a single-operator myself). Sure you can, but MYOB’s 1 Million plus customers realise that this isn’t the best way to do things either.

Same thing with the "free" websites being offered here and other places ... They will get your business online just fine but they may not represent your brand/business very well or you may outgrow them quite quickly.

Don’t be afraid to try the free stuff though ... and if/when it becomes necessary then look for a more professional solution to suit your needs.

A simple small-business website built by a professional who takes the time to understand your needs often costs somewhere in the $1K to $2K range. That’s a good price to pay for a good branding and marketing tool.

I had this conversation with MYOB’s Tim Reed and Tony Palmer from C4 a couple of weeks ago on Sky News Business channel’s "Technology Behind Business".

We all have slightly different points of view but there might be some good ideas in it that are appropriate to your small business, if you have a few minutes to watch the discussion.

http://www.youtube.com/CreativeIntersection
a guest , March 02, 2011
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