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'Getting Aussie Business Online' allows Aussie retailers to get a website - for free
'Getting Aussie Business Online' allows Aussie retailers to get a website - for free

Australian small businesses offered free websites

A nationwide initiative called ‘Getting Aussie Business Online’ has launched in collaboration with Google, with the aim of offering small businesses the chance to build their own website – for free.
The scheme, which was established with the aid of international business management solutions provider MYOB, is designed to give small businesses who are currently “invisible” online a helping hand by enabling them to launch a website that is easy to set up and maintain.

The initiative will act as a further push for jewellery retailers that have yet to establish an online presence. Like other sectors, the jewellery industry has been criticised by business experts for its slow take-up of the online medium.

Google’s head of local business Claire Hatton used the construction sector as an example of how far Australian businesses are lagging behind their customers.

“Every day in Australia there are 12,000 Google searches for builders but fewer than one in four businesses in the construction and trade industry has a website,” Hatton said.

“Australians go online first to research local products and services,” she added.  

Hatton added that the tool would remove commonly cited barriers such as cost, knowledge and time that often stop small businesses from jumping online.

Businesses who are interested in taking part in the initiative can to visit the ‘Getting Aussie Business Online’ website. Once a company has entered a few business details, their free website will be available immediately.

The tool offers a free ‘’ domain for the first year and will allow businesses to add features and information to their website over time.

After the first year, businesses can choose to pay $5 a month on a pay-as-you-go basis to maintain their website using the MYOB Atlas tool. Websites can be cancelled at any time. The ‘’ domain is free for the first two years, after which businesses can expect to pay $30 to renew for two years.

More reading:
Online jewellery sales set to soar
Why small retailers can thrive online
Luxury jewellery and watches digitally 'paralysed'
Jewellers without websites are missing a trick

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Your Say

Are free websites worth the money?!
Whilst I do agree with the assertion that almost every business needs to be online (far too few are) and that it shouldn’t cost the Earth to do so ... I also feel it prudent to remind business owners that you generally get what you pay for with "free" template business websites.

It’s a little like saying that you can run your business finances using an Excel spreadsheet (I did for a year or so as a single-operator myself). Sure you can, but MYOB’s 1 Million plus customers realise that this isn’t the best way to do things either.

Same thing with the "free" websites being offered here and other places ... They will get your business online just fine but they may not represent your brand/business very well or you may outgrow them quite quickly.

Don’t be afraid to try the free stuff though ... and if/when it becomes necessary then look for a more professional solution to suit your needs.

A simple small-business website built by a professional who takes the time to understand your needs often costs somewhere in the $1K to $2K range. That’s a good price to pay for a good branding and marketing tool.

I had this conversation with MYOB’s Tim Reed and Tony Palmer from C4 a couple of weeks ago on Sky News Business channel’s "Technology Behind Business".

We all have slightly different points of view but there might be some good ideas in it that are appropriate to your small business, if you have a few minutes to watch the discussion.
posted by Ian Exaudi on March 08, 2011 11:34

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