A massive jump in the number of tax-related Google searches has prompted the search engine company and MYOB to encourage small business owners to set up a website in order to save their enterprise.
The warning comes after Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data revealed 60 per cent of Australian businesses still don’t have a web presence.
Google has used the example of tax time to show companies how their business could be lost to competitors if they’re not on the internet.
“Since April 1, we’ve seen a 1,000 per cent increase in searches in Google for a range of tax related keywords,” says Kate Conroy, product specialist at Google.
“We’re now seeing over 70,000 searches a month that indicate people are looking for accountants and professional financial advice online.
“In Australia only one third of small businesses have a web presence. The fact is, if you’re not on the web and cannot be found your business simply is invisible. Having a website is just as important as having a phone or mail address. During this busy industry period, for small and medium tax accountants in particular, it’s a big risk they really don’t have to take.”
The ABS figures also showed only 70 per cent of businesses with four employees or less have a web presence.
A Google and MYOB initiative, Getting Aussie Business Online, was launched earlier this year to make it easier for small business to get online.
South Australian company EzyAssist is just one of 16,000 to sign up for the program.
“Since registering with Getting Aussie Businesses Online I have absolutely noticed an increase of attention to my business,” says owner Fiona Carver.
“It is allowing me to compete with the bigger, more well known agencies in my area that have more cash to spend on marketing.”