I blogged back in August about a survey that linked technology savvy with business growth among mid-sized companies. Yet many SMBs are relative Luddites -- even in California, the epicenter of the IT universe.
According to a MercuryNews.com article, some 50 percent of California SMBs use the Internet for business less than an hour a day. Not only that, but 70 percent have not used conference calling and nearly 30 percent do not use cell phones.
In an effort to increase awareness and use of technology among SMBs, the state's Small Business Education Foundation has created a Web site filled with informational resources, including articles on topics like security and high-speed Internet access, a list of California service providers, and a forum where users can ask questions about tech topics. The foundation eventually hopes to add online training sessions.
While this has the potential of becoming a valuable resource, and one that other states may want to emulate, there are some caveats worth noting. As I blogged in February, a survey of SMBs in the UK found that while Internet usage benefited the companies in a number of ways, some respondents found the sheer volume of online resources to be daunting. Another downside mentioned by respondents was the Internet's tendency to reduce face-to-face contact with customers and business peers.