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Digital tools boost profits for SMEs: survey

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A survey of small and medium businesses in Australia has found that 48 percent recorded profit increases as a result of using digital tools.

The survey polled 172 state and territory winners and finalists of the 2014 Telstra Business Awards and found that new technologies are helping to boost customer service, workplace flexibility, staff retention and profitability.

The findings were:

  • 78 percent of businesses reported improvements to customer service capabilities as a result of using digital tools
  • 77 percent use cloud computing to set up more flexible virtual offices and collaborate remotely
  • 41 percent have lower operating costs
  • 84 percent of businesses are using Facebook and 62 percent of businesses are using LinkedIn to attract and retain customers and enter new markets. One fifth of respondents credit more than 10 percent of their total annual sales to their social media activity.
  • 48 percent of businesses reported profit increases and 41 percent reported lower operating costs as a direct outcome of embracing digital.

Managing director of specialist cheese brand, Bruny Island Cheese Co, Nick Haddow, said embracing digital tools has helped customers to make online purchases, and Peta Fielding, CEO of Burleigh Brewing, said “Embracing new digital technology for forecasting and managing our operations has contributed greatly to our rate of business growth – and in particular, has enabled us to cope with that growth.”

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