A recent study by Boston Consulting Group has shown that the UK is the most internet based major economy. This is good news for SMEs, as it presents real opportunity for growth in the wake of many high street closures. With cash flow often being tight, any way to increase revenue is welcome in the UK’s still recovering economy.
The survey by BCG has suggested that the internet contributes 8.3% of the UK economy. This is a bigger share than for any other G20 country. This includes both the internet sector and internet based business ventures, as well as online retail.
In 2010, the internet generated £121bn of income. When put in per person terms – £2000 each – this is clearly a significant sum. This is greater than the equivalent figures for healthcare, education or construction, all major sectors in their own right.
The UK’s online retail figures also show that Britain buys more on the internet than any other major economy. 13.5% of all purchases were made over the web in 2010. BCG forecasts this to rise to nearly a quarter of all purchases by 2016, when internet income could total £221bn.
What does this mean for the SME sector?
These growth figures show that the internet is going to remain vital for all businesses. If your business needs to boost sales, it really is self explanatory how this can be achieved. A business without a website or online retail arm will be hard pressed to keep up.
Now’s the time to get your business online. If you’re struggling to free up the time and cash flow to allow expansion, then invoice financing and asset based finance can help. You can release funds from unpaid invoices, giving you the room to manoeuvre and grow. With many businesses looking to grow in the next twelve months, if your business is stagnating, now is the time to act.
Alternative finance is going to be essential for many SMEs who are looking to take advantage of growth opportunities. Getting your business online is a key part of this, and should not be forgotten. The swift growth and unrivalled reach of the internet could see your business growing in leaps and bounds.