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The importance of quality websites for small businesses has been further highlighted through figures released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which show that nearly half of small businesses that use the internet to advertise their firm increase turnover by one fifth.

The FSB's biennial survey of 8,700 members found that 43 per cent of respondents improved their sales after linking to suppliers and using their website to advertise their firm, showing the ever-increasing value of the internet to business transactions, particularly during an economic downturn.

Dr Gary Packham, Head of Enterprise at the University of Glamorgan, where the report was compiled, said: 'These figures show the very clear link between new technologies and business growth. If the country's 4.7 million small businesses are to take advantage of the internet to grow their businesses and the economy, they will need good quality services to be in place, as well as good information and education about how to use them.'

John Walker, FSB National Policy Chairman, said: 'The number of small businesses who have their own website has grown over the past two years, which indicates that small firms are becoming increasingly internet-savvy. Despite the onset of an economic downturn, all small firms should look to the internet to maximise their sales and increase efficiency.'

Dean Watmough, Managing Director of ORCA Websites, comments: 'This is a clear justification in our belief in the power of the internet for small businesses. A good quality website could be the lifeline they need, especially during the current economic climate. The internet is now the first port of call when searching for a product or service so having a professionally designed website that ranks highly on the search engines is vital in getting noticed and giving a small business the edge over bigger competitors.

'We have developed a wide portfolio of clients in a wide range of business sectors from finance and IT to healthcare and property. We firmly believe that no business is too small to benefit from having a quality website. Whether a tradesman looking to simply advertise your services, or a clothes shop wishing to sell worldwide, 24/7 through online trade, we have expert designers available who can design sites to meet any need.

'Perceptions are that branded, quality websites which rank higher on the search engines must cost a fortune, but as the ORCA concept was built specifically with small businesses in mind, we empathise with their needs. Most small firms have to work within very tight budgetary restraints when it comes to marketing their products and services, especially in today's economic climate. ORCA websites have to be, and are, affordable.'


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