E‐commerce adoption support and advice for UK SMEs

E‐commerce adoption support and advice for UK SMEs The small business sector of the UK economy is extremely important and the government expends considerable resources in providing support services for this sector. This paper investigated the reasons why SMEs move from traditional commerce to e‐commerce, the efficacy of the support services and the barriers encountered by SMEs adopting e‐commerce. The research methodology involved literature review and interviews with SMEs’ owner‐managers and a UK Online business adviser. It was found that at least two “e‐commerce stars” used by the government to promote its support services had in fact not used those services. The historical relationship problems between Business Link and SMEs were still causing problems. Cost was not seen as an inhibitor to adopting e‐commerce. Some evidence was emerging that e‐commerce may be able to save failing or struggling businesses. Other unexpected outcomes were that e‐commerce had social benefits for SMEs’ owners in reducing working hours yet still increased sales. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development Emerald Publishing

E‐commerce adoption support and advice for UK SMEs

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1462-6004
DOI
10.1108/14626000410551573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The small business sector of the UK economy is extremely important and the government expends considerable resources in providing support services for this sector. This paper investigated the reasons why SMEs move from traditional commerce to e‐commerce, the efficacy of the support services and the barriers encountered by SMEs adopting e‐commerce. The research methodology involved literature review and interviews with SMEs’ owner‐managers and a UK Online business adviser. It was found that at least two “e‐commerce stars” used by the government to promote its support services had in fact not used those services. The historical relationship problems between Business Link and SMEs were still causing problems. Cost was not seen as an inhibitor to adopting e‐commerce. Some evidence was emerging that e‐commerce may be able to save failing or struggling businesses. Other unexpected outcomes were that e‐commerce had social benefits for SMEs’ owners in reducing working hours yet still increased sales.

Journal

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2004

Keywords: Electronic commerce; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; United Kingdom

References

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