One in five small firms still without a website, research finds

Business owners across Britain are being invited to a series of free events which will explain how to make the internet work for them.
Web design and search engine optimisation (SEO) are among the topics set to be covered at the 11 breakfast events, which will also provide businesspeople with valuable networking opportunities.
The seminars are being hosted by the Forum of Private Business, which has just discovered that a surprising 21% of UK small businesses still do not have a website.
The Forum is arguing that the figure, obtained through the not-for-profit organisation’s latest Referendum ballot of members, underlines its drive to raise awareness of web technologies among business owners.
Forum spokesman Phil McCabe said: ‘We believe that having a website may not be right for every single small business, for a variety of reasons. 
‘However, the vast majority of small firms should, by now, have at least some form of online presence – they are missing out on valuable sales and marketing opportunities if they don’t. The internet is now thought to be the first port of call for around 80% of people when looking for a product or service, and having a website carries with it a range of other benefits, such as adding legitimacy to your business in the eyes of your customers and clients.’  
Mr McCabe added: ‘Additionally, many small firms do have a website but may not see much benefit from it because they haven’t invested in the right SEO services. That’s why all business owners should find out more by coming along to one of our events, which will also be a great chance to make new local contacts and potential business partners.’
The Forum is hosting the events in partnership with the UK’s largest web design and SEO company, Creare.
Creare MD Mike McKinlay said:’Starting off as a small company we have had to learn the tricks of the trade over recent years. We are hoping that these seminars will make this easier for companies to reach their goals by understanding the problems they may be having and how to resolve them effectively.
‘With experts on board to offer advice, businesses can learn so much by coming to these seminars and listening to us; a company which aims to help others succeed.’
The programme starts with an event at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane today (Friday, September 10) and continues with an event for the wider South East region on Tuesday (September 14) at the Holiday Inn in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
An event for business owners in the South West takes place on Thursday (September 16) at the Exeter Court Hotel, Exeter.
The view a full programme of events, which all start at 8am, visit the ‘Development’ heading on the Forum’s website – – or call 0845 6126266 for more information.
The seminars are absolutely free of charge and open to both members and non-members of the Forum.

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