Magazine article American Banker

A Third of Small Businesses Benefit from Internet

Magazine article American Banker

A Third of Small Businesses Benefit from Internet

Article excerpt

Almost a third of U.S. small businesses think the Internet has had some impact on their overall success, according to a survey conducted by KeyCorp.

Of more than 400 small-business owners interviewed for the study, 7% said the Internet has had a major effect on their business, while 25% said it has had a minor impact. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents, however, said that Internet use has had no effect at all on their business.

While interest is clearly growing among small-business owners, the fact that most still don't use the network has caused KeyCorp to think twice about the idea of providing direct connections to the Internet on its PC banking platform.

"Entrepreneurs are very bottom-line oriented," said Sandra Maltby, senior vice president for the Cleveland-based banking company, which is a major lender to small businesses. "If can't find value on the Internet, they shouldn't spend time with it."

The survey, conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, Salt Lake City, polled the owners of businesses with annual sales from $1 million to $3 million. Fifteen percent of the business owners polled said their technological resources were "cutting edge," 28% said their technology was "sophisticated," and 45% termed their resources "average."

Businesses whose owners described their technology as cutting edge or sophisticated were more likely to have experienced high revenue growth than businesses whose technology was average or behind the times.

Of the businesses with above-average technology, 71% experienced revenue growth greater than 10% over three years, compared to 60% of the time for businesses with average or below-average technology. …

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