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Small businesses bring in £36bn a year from online trading: research

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The UK’s small businesses are bringing in more than £36bn a year from online trading, according to a new report.

More than half (51%) of British small businesses say they’re making money online,’s NetCheck 2011 research found. But, found the report, which was researched through a study carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and an online poll for YouGov, internet income only accounts for 2.4% of small business’ turnover. Larger businesses quizzed by researchers say that up to 18.7% of their turnover comes from online channels.

But even as 51% say they make money through the worldwide web, 46% don’t bring any income in at all through this channel, while 38% do not invest in any internet tools to help them do so.

Britain’s small businesses should be exploring ways to grab their share, argues Phil Kingsland, director of online advice site

“Our research shows that whilst small businesses are beginning to make considerable amounts of money online, many don’t yet see its full potential,” he said. “There are limitless possibilities for small businesses to profit here – either by selling goods and services directly, or by marketing themselves to customers. There remains a job to be done to help every small business understand the opportunities at hand and make the most of the net.”

The site has launched a new free online tool, NetCheck to help small businesses assess how effectively they are using the internet compared to others of their size and sector.

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