Fewer Canty firms have a website
The web presence of Canterbury businesses has inexplicably fallen from its nation-leading position at the start of the year, the MYOB BusinessMonitor survey shows.
Just more than a quarter of Canterbury businesses have a website compared with a nation-leading 36 per cent recorded at the start of the year. However, soon-to-be- released figures show the percentage is climbing back to about 30 per cent. Almost a third of the country's businesses run a website.
About 80 per cent of Kiwi customers look online before buying, MYOB says.
An MYOB spokesman said the latest Canterbury numbers were surprising as the region was traditionally abreast of Auckland and Wellington.
The book-keeping software company commissions Colmar Brunton to do the survey twice a year.
It has teamed up with Westpac to encourage small businesses into the online domain, offering free do-it- yourself website templates.
Christchurch builder Steve Cliff, of SC Projects, set up his business about two years ago but relatively expensive quotes put him off getting a website.
An up-front cost of $1000 was accompanied by an ongoing maintenance-type contract where all uploading had to be done by the company, which was too much hassle, he said. He took up the MYOB-Westpac offer because it was free.
It was set up in half an hour and the site's administration was easy enough for him to update himself, he said.
He had received three to four inquiries from the website already.
Christchurch businessman Richard Wilhelm, of Wilhelm Arms and Optics, had been in business for decades without having a website before he was helped into the digital age by a customer. The September 4, 2010, earthquake badly damaged his Colombo St building and it was subsequently demolished.
The day of the quake, he had managed to haul his stock out of the damaged Sydenham building and started trading from temporary premises. However, he was in danger of losing contact with his customers.
About that time, a customer told him he needed a website to keep his business strong and let his customers know what was happening, Wilhelm said.
"I said, 'I know, I just don't know how to drive one'."
It turned out the man was a website designer and by the end of that day he had whipped up a basic website for Wilhelm's business.
"He did it as a favour because he felt so bad about us losing the shop, ain't some people great?"
After a few lessons he was comfortable updating the site. "I feel as if I have a line to the outside world and it's great."
- © Fairfax NZ News