The below chart represents internet usage, and more importantly growth, across US and Canada. If you step back and let those figures sink in, you’ll realize this is amazing growth. I show you this graph because there is a severe disconnect between user internet adoption and US and Canadian small business website usage. Over 50% of businesses are missing out.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has an amazingly awesome website that provides statistics for internet usage in Canada. I happened upon this recently and it brought my attention to internet adaption for individuals and businesses in North America. Yes Canada and America I’m looking at you!
Here is a scary, but telling quote from the website:
While Canadians are heavy users of the Internet for a wide variety of activities, Canadian businesses have been slow to develop an online presence. Only 45.5 per cent of Canadian businesses have a website. For Canadian small businesses – a significant portion of Canada’s private sector – this number drops to 41.1 per cent.
While Canadian business usage is lower than it should be, this number is just slightly behind that of American businesses. In 2013, Google reported that over half of American businesses do not have a website.
Am I picking on Canada then? No I’m not. I’m using it as an example because the Canadian people are the second highest group of internet users worldwide.
Businesses across Canada and the United States are missing out on exposure, branding opportunities, leads, and revenue. Let me rephrase that by saying they are losing money each and every day they are not online.
Quick Stats for Canadian Internet Usage
- 97% of the Canadian population has access to broadband
- 87% of Canadian households are connected to the internet
- 69% of Canadians visited a social network site last year
- 17% of Canadian households have a Netflix subscription
- 55% of Canadian business do not have a website
What? 97% of Canadians have broadband, yet only 45% of Canadian businesses have websites?
I Know – I don’t get it either. And American stats are just as scary.
Quick Stats for American Internet Usage
- 80% of American adults have high-speed connections at home
- 87% of American adults use the internet
- 59% of American adults aged 65+ use the internet
- 71% of American seniors go online every day
- 58% of American adults have a smartphone
- 52% of American business do not have a website
- 10% of American small businesses have figured out how to market their products through social media and online advertising
I’m at a loss as to why Canadian and US businesses are lagging so far behind individuals on internet usage. It’s missed opportunities, lost sales, and it greatly limits a small business’ options for growing a brand.
This confusion is even more amplified when open source CMS solutions like WordPress offer such a robust and economical solution for business owners.
You can go the DIY route and build your own small business website with a stock WordPress theme for as little as $50 or you could hire a professional design firm to create a custom website for about $5,000. Mid-market and enterprise level organizations can quickly scale that $5,000 up to $100,000 or even $1,000,000.
The point is that any business – be it big or small – can have a website. WordPress offers many price points and the lowest price point is affordable by all businesses throughout the United States and Canada.
If you are small business and you don’t have a website yet, take a moment and reread those stats I posted above. You are losing customers and revenue each and every day you fail to embrace the internet.
If you’re technology savvy and you are willing to dig in, educate yourself, and set up your own website, visit our theme store and browse through some templates we’ve designed specifically for small businesses.
If you’d rather hire an expert to focus on your goals, objectives, visitors, and driving ROI, then reach out to us because we’d love to help create a custom website designed around you and your ultimate visitors. I’ll spend time reviewing your requirements and we’ll talk about best practices. Next you’ll work directly with our professional graphic designer who will craft a custom look and feel all around you and the needs of your target market. We’ll then load your content, optimize your pages, and we can even set up social media accounts to get you and your business active on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
There are solutions for you and there are people willing to help you get online. You just need to take the first step and make sure you are not one of the 50% business owners who lack an online presence.