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Keep up with the pack or be picked off.

Small businesses in the region are being urged to review their IT systems and invest in updates or risk losing out to competitors.

Bibby Financial Services issued the warning after UK Business Barometer research showed that just 23% of small businesses felt confident in their knowledge and understanding of new tools such as blogs, podcasts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

In addition, a second nationwide study revealed that over a fifth of small and medium sized businesses were missing out on commercial opportunities because of their failure to adopt new technologies and update their IT infrastructure.

Bibby Financial Services North-East spokesman Glen Callander said: "With the growth of new technologies within the business environment, small firms need to follow market trends or get left behind.

"Owners and managers who conquer their fear of the unknown, and take the plunge into new technologies, will find themselves rewarded with access to new customers, increased market share and greater profitability." Bibby has now issued tips for small businesses to get themselves more up to date with new technology.

These include budgeting properly for IT systems and updates; fitting broadband; using smart phones or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to keep on top of emails away from the office and investing in IT support.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 15, 2006
Words:209
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