According to a new study from high-tech market research firm International Data Corp., U.S. small businesses are accessing the Internet with a vengeance.
The study, "U.S. Small Business on the Internet," reveals that the number of small businesses accessing the Internet has increased from 19.8 percent in 1996 to more than 50 percent in 1998. And, by 2001, the Internet will be used by 4.3 million small firms.
Other key survey findings:
- The professional services sector--which includes law firms, insurance agencies, real estate agencies and accounting firms--leads in Internet usage.
- Retail and health-care industries continue to be the laggards in Internet use.
- Internet users in manufacturing companies log on to the Internet most frequently and for the broadest range of applications.
- PC-owning small businesses with home pages will increase from 9 percent in 1997 to 20.1 percent by 2001.
- Thirty-six percent of small businesses that plan to go online expect to use the Internet to sell products.
- Small businesses that use the Internet have higher revenues, averaging $3.79 million annually, compared to the $2.72 million average revenue of the overall market.
Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at email@example.com
International Data Corp., (800) 343-4952, http://www.idc.com