The Small Business Group
It is with regret we advise that Jenny Searle has resigned from her role as chairperson of the Small Business Group. Her association with InterForum has spanned many years and has contributed in a variety of ways to the continued sucess of the organisation. She will be missed.
The secretariat and members of InterForum wish her every success in her new role.
In the interim and until a new chairperson is appointed the Small Business group will be chaired by Phil Flaxton.
To help small to medium sized businesses and UK voluntary sector organisations realise and adopt the enormous potential new and emerging information and communication technologies offer for greater competitiveness, profitability and effectiveness.
The Small Business Group uses InterForum's unique connection with small firms to:
- Examine specific issues faced by the SME community in evaluating and adopting technology for change
- Build the business case for small businesses to adopt ICT technologies by demonstrating their concrete benefits in improving business productivity.
InterForum has been involved with small businesses almost since its inception through initiatives such as the National E-Commerce Awards for small to medium sized organisations (with UK online for business), our own publications such as How to Dot Com Your Business, the E-Connect symposia, our work in conjunction with The Sunday Time's Enterprise Network supplement, The Daily Express and the Daily Mail in promoting the use of information and communication technologies to small businesses, and most recently a memorandum of understanding with the British Chambers of Commerce.
Small businesses stand to make some of the largest gains from using new technology to improve business productivity. The Small Business Group uses InterForum's unique connection with small firms to examine specific issues faced in evaluating and adopting technology to educate and bring about change. It focuses on building the business case for small businesses by demonstrating the concrete benefits of investing in new technologies.
- Keeping members up to date on the uptake of ICT by UK small firms; the issues they face in capitalising on their ICT investments and the benefits from and barriers to ICT adoption. This is done through the sharing of research undertaken by government and individual members.
- Developing indepth case studies of how specific small firms have gained from their investments in ICT.
- Disseminating that case study material through electronic and face-to-face mechanisms.
- Contributing to specific government projects to encourage and assist ICT uptake by small firms, for example, the National eProcurement Programme.
Stages of Internet usage for business
Tips for building IT systems into your business
White papers and publications
Electronic Commerce - the challenge for UK business
(Updated March 2003)
There is little doubt that e-commerce is set to be the next major development in the use of Internet technologies. As the technologies mature, and solutions become available for particular problems, more and more companies will turn to e-commerce to gain real business advantage. This white paper gives businesses in the UK an early insight into the significant commercial opportunities Internet technologies present, and guidance on how to turn those opportunities into reality with a "how-to" guide to setting up an electronic business.
This White Paper is available in Word format only. Click here to download the White Paper
Your route to the networked economy
(First published in 199?. Updated March 2003)
This white paper helps British companies make effective use of computer networking to meet the commercial challenges of the future. With a suggested course of actions, case studies and a list of further resources, it is essential reading for any business joining the networked economy.
This White Paper is available in Word format only. Click here to download the White Paper (File size .8 Mb).
Commercial Opportunities and Threats in the Networked Economy
(First published in 1997. Updated March 2003)
Why has network technology become such a pressing business issue? How can businesses exploit this technology to gain competitive advantage? First published in 1997 and updated in 2003, this white paper explores the importance of networking your business for small to medium-sized businesses that want to remain competitive in the shifting market.
This White Paper is available in PDF format. Click here to download the White Paper (File size 2.6Mb).
How to dot-com your business: e-Business made simple
This handbook provides small to medium-sized organisations with an introduction to exploiting Internet technologies to gain real business advantage. From implementing a secure e-mail strategy, through the development of a corporate intranet to facilitate significant internal cost savings and cultural change, the handbook lays out a framework for fully implementing an e-commerce strategy. The book highlights developments of business-to-business e-commerce through extranets and the growing interest in e-marketplaces, to the creation of secure consumer based e-commerce.
A new up-to-date version of our popular Dotcom Your Company publication for SMEs is due out in December 2003. To order a copy, click here.
You will need Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.
Click here to download Acrobat Reader.
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