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By Carl Weinschenk

This Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey is worthy of note. It is full of interesting figures that all point to the same conclusion: The use of the Internet by small businesses is deep, well entrenched and growing.

The release says that about two in three small business owners say that the Internet is important to their success. In addition, 35 percent said that its loss would have an impact—including 18 percent who say it would put them out of business.

There are other facts that can be found in the press release. The bottom line is extremely obvious: Any business person who thinks that he or she can thrive without leveraging the Internet—to both reach customers and to make its internal processes more efficient and less costly—most likely is kidding themselves. At least, they will be operating at a big disadvantage compared to business owners who get it.

Small business use of the Internet still trails that of enterprises, though the gap is not huge considering that large companies likely have specialists assigned to various Web-related tasks. The breathe of use by small businesses also is impressive. Small business owners, the survey says, often use the Net for business and personal finances, gathering business and industry-specific advice, online banking, business networking, advertising and marketing and payroll management.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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