By Aimee Chanthadavong

Research conducted by Intuit reveals 27 per cent of Australian small businesses cannot run their business without access to a mobile device, with 63 per cent recognising their importance.

The research also showed the majority (93 per cent) of SMBs believe it is important or very important for their business details to be available online, yet nearly a third remain invisible on the web. Cost (20 per cent) and time (20 per cent) were cited as barriers.

As a result, to help Australian SMBs embrace the benefits of mobile technology, Intuit has launched a grant scheme Love Our Local Business, awarding SMBs $1,000 grants to help them embrace online.

Speaking to RetailBiz, Robert Gerrish, founder of Flying Solo and Love Our Local Business judge, said the grant will act as an encouragement for retailers to invest in developing their online presence, as well as integrating mobile technology tools as part of their business.

“It’s one of those situations where I think when there’s a competition and you stop a business owner in the street and you ask them ‘what are you planning to do to increase your online presence?’ And their action list about what they would do is further down the list. Whereas if you go here is a $1000 those desires will come to the top of the list,” he said.

Gerrish said he is eager to see the entries for the grant and is on the lookout for businesses that are grasping at opportunities to improve their business.

“Classic bricks and mortar businesses still struggle on how online will work for them. Increasingly though there are businesses that are doing innovative things such as a hairdresser who is using online as an outlet for customers to book and pay is finding it works for them. So we’re really please businesses will be able to be offered some cash support to grow their business in this way,” he said.