Canadians spend an average of 45 hours online every month – that’s more time spent wired in than any other nation on the planet and almost twice the global average. Remarkably, despite Canada’s high level of internet penetration, the Internet Association has found that Canadian companies are largely underrepresented online and it could be bad for business.
CEO of business advisory firm MSCO, Mark Stevens says: “Having a website proves you are a legitimate business and it gives you credibility. This is especially important for financial services firms as [a company’s] reputation is based in great measure on access and transparency.”
Does your firm have a website? And if it does, it is up to date enough to properly represent your services? The IA report found that less than 50 per cent of Canadian companies have any website at all and warned that many of those that do have an online presence are too slow to adapt, hosting outdated sites and information.
Colin McKay, head of public policy and government relations for Google Canada, says that any business without a website is passing up an easy opportunity to grow revenue and build a consumer base: “You have the ability as a small business to target someone who is looking for your business at that very moment and give them some specific information about what services you have available.”
“While business owners are working on their business plan, financing, and other parts of the business, a good website is working while they sleep,” says professional consultant Michael T. Irvin. So industry experts and internet gurus are in agreement – keep up to date or get left behind.