A third of entrepreneurs start their businesses with less than £10,000, which means that many don’t have enough money for things like IT, a new survey reveals. According to research by Microsoft, small businesses spent over £20bn on IT and telecommunications last year. Researchers also found that 79% of small businesses run up to 50 computers and a further 64% plan to replace or buy more PCs within the next two years. Microsoft Office is still the product of choice for many small businesses, as 98% of respondents said that they have the software installed on their computers. However, 46% of small business owners don’t feel that they are making full use of the software they have bought. A lack of training appears to be the root cause with 35% of survey respondents admitting they do not invest in IT training for their staff. The main reasons are the perception that training requires too much time and is too expensive. Interestingly, 10% of small businesses only employ people who already have the required IT skills. Ram Dhaliwal, marketing manager at Microsoft, said: “For a small business IT is a major investment that needs to deliver real benefits, small businesses are typically working with very limited capital and need to be sure any investment will deliver business benefit. “This is why it is concerning to learn that many staff aren’t getting the most out of the software they have invested in due to lack of training.”

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