Accounting software provider, MYOB, has teamed up with Westpac to launch Ready for Business , a joint initiative to help boost the digital economy by advancing digital capabilities of small business.
Key to this is a tool to build an off-the-shelf website and provide the SMBs with what they need to start and grow their businesses.
“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,” MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, said.
The partnership follows Westpac’s recent Ready for Business Report , which surveyed 1000 SMBs and found that 53 per cent of Australian small businesses do not have a website – equating to more than one million businesses that are not promoting their businesses online.
The report, which also surveyed 1000 Australians on their preferences when shopping, showed 50 per cent of respondents use the Internet to research prior to purchasing a product or service, and 53 per cent of them said they spend more than an hour shopping online a week.
“The results demonstrate a divide between the ‘digital haves’ and the ‘digital have-nots.’ Many businesses without digital tools such as a website and online invoicing and payment capabilities are competitively disadvantaged,” Westpac retail banking general manager, Gai McGrath, said.
The report also found that two of the biggest challenges identified by respondents were setting up an online business (28 per cent) and knowing where to start (22 per cent), which McGrath said indicated a need for additional support.
“The research also found that 53 per cent of respondents claimed they have missed out on business opportunities due to not having a website. These figures suggest that a large group of Australian businesses are missing out on a significant amount of money as a consequence,” she said.
As such, Westpac has committed to getting at least 100,000 Australian small businesses online through the initiative.
“We share a goal of making business life easier by helping small businesses engage in the digital economy. 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,” Reed added.