Westpac Bank and MYOB have launched a digital toolkit called ‘Ready for Business’, a joint initiative to help small businesses get a foot in the door in taking advantage of digital technologies.
The toolkit is designed to give small businesses access to tools that will help them build an off-the-shelf website, and set up online invoicing and payment capabilities.
The companies said the initiative is in response to a Westpac March 2013 survey that found 53 per cent of 1000 Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) do not have a website, with 61 per cent of those saying they don’t have enough information and support to be able to successfully set up a website.
The biggest challenges for many small businesses in engaging in the digital economy, according to the survey, are setting up a website and knowing where to start.
“We understand the major issues faced by SMEs and topping the list is getting paid, getting more customers and getting more time,” Westpac general manager of retail banking, Gai McGrath, said in a statement.
“These figures suggest that a large group of Australian businesses are missing out on a significant amount of money as a consequence.”
For the SMEs that do have a website, the survey found 73 per cent have report an increase in their level of business awareness, followed by leads and customer traffic at 69 per cent, sales and revenue at 61 per cent, sales footprint at 55 per cent and conversion rates at 52 per cent.
For the SMEs that have a transactional website, the survey found 79 per cent reported an increase in sales as a direct result.
“The benefits of being online include the ability to compete on a more level playing field with local and global rivals, increased productivity and less time spent on administration,” MYOB CEO Tim Reed said in a statement.
“Businesses taking up Ready for Business will be able to build an attractive website, raise invoices, get paid online and integrate this with their business bank account where transactions are automatically fed through to their online accounting. What’s more, they will get help along the journey from MYOB and Westpac experts.”
The toolkit offers small businesses:
- Free access for the first three months to MYOB Atlas, a website builder that includes a payment/transaction facility, integration of social media and online search optimisation.
- Free access for the first three months to MYOB LiveAccounts, an online accounting tool that includes secure bank feeds and invoicing.
- A complimentary one-hour consultation with a MYOB certified consultant for an introduction to MYOB Atlas and/or MYOB LiveAccounts.
- A Westpac Business One Low Account with no monthly plan fees for 12 months.
- Online tutorials, through Westpac’s Davidson Institute, on how to create a comprehensive business plan - detailing the purpose, identifying the core proposition and managing key performance metrics.
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