The majority of Canada’s smallest business owners (under five employees) recognize the benefits of having a website, yet 59% of them don’t have one. Most say their business is simply too small to need a website, even though they understand the competitive advantage to having an online presence. The study, conducted by RedShift Research and commissioned by GoDaddy web hosting, found the same attitude globally. However, the number of small businesses without a website is 6% higher in Canada.
The good news is that 33% of those surveyed said they plan to bring their business online within the next two years (compared to 55% globally), although just 19% of them have purchased a domain name. These entrepreneurs are already convinced that having a website will benefit their business, with 38% anticipating growth of 25-50% in three to five years. 40% of Canadian small business owners who plan to build a website expect to also sell online through eCommerce and 73% understand that their website must be mobile-friendly. 49% of the entrepreneurs who intend to take their website online are women.
- 45% of Canadian micro-business owners expect their website will grow their local customer base. 72% of them currently have less than 100 customers.
- 23% anticipate national growth.
- 16% believe they’ll gain international customers.
Only 7% of those who don’t plan to build a website believe their business will grow in the next three to five years, and 59% expect no growth at all.
77% of Canada’s very small business owners who are already online feel it gives them a competitive advantage.
“While many very small businesses in Canada are not online – and don’t have plans to be – the lack of a website puts them at a competitive disadvantage,” said Jill Schoolenberg, Vice President of GoDaddy Canada. “No business is too small to benefit from a website, and this study shows companies that do go online are more optimistic about their future and attracting new customers. Given that Canada is a country of small businesses, getting more small businesses and entrepreneurs online could have a significant impact on the economy.”
Why NOT Build a Website?
- 19% of micro-business owners think they don’t have the technical expertise to build/maintain a website. This is sad, considering it has never been easier to do so, with most website building tools being built specifically for people who have very little technical knowledge.
- 20% said they couldn’t afford a website. Again, this is unfortunate as it has never been cheaper to build and host a website.
- 21% said they don’t have time to create a website. Yet, if you consider the return on that investment this reasoning is considerably flawed.
- 41% think their business is too small to warrant an online presence.
It’s interesting to note that new businesses are more likely to get online (71%) than businesses three years of age or older (20%).
The following infographic provides a shareable snapshot of this data:
If you’re ready to bring your micro-business online but need some guidance:
Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business
10 Tips for Taking Product Photos That Sell Online
Finding Suppliers for your Canadian Business
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
10 Low-Cost Side Businesses you can Start Online from Home
Is your Canadian micro-business online? Please post your thoughts or questions in the comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.