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Casting a Wide Net: Online Activities of Small and New Businesses in the United States

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Research Paper

24 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2011  

Alicia Robb

University of Colorado at Boulder; Next Wave Impact

E. J. Reedy

University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship

Date Written: October 1, 2011

Abstract

Businesses, particularly new businesses, are using the web in diverse ways as they pursue their commercial activities. While newly released data shows overall incidence of a reported website among the population of U.S. businesses was only about a quarter in 2007, young businesses in 2007 were more likely than not to have a website. Using a variety of sources, we expand on the industries and types of business owners that are more likely to report use of websites, email, and online sales. Most of the industry-level trends appeared similar, with firms in manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Professional Services, Retail Trade, Financial Services, and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation tending to have higher proclivities for website use and email but with Professional Services and Financial Services having lower levels of reported Internet sales. Online sales were reported by 6 percent of all U.S. businesses in 2007, compared with more than a quarter of young firms. Additionally, among online sellers, young firms were about twice as likely to generate more than 50 percent of revenues online. In examining differential outcomes from online activities, our analysis shows having a business website had the earliest and most long-lasting effects among startups.

Seventh in a series of reports using data from the Kauffman Firm Survey.

Keywords: new business, website, Internet, sales, technology, online, Kauffman firm survey, KFS, young firms, new businesses

Suggested Citation

Robb, Alicia and Reedy, E. J., Casting a Wide Net: Online Activities of Small and New Businesses in the United States (October 1, 2011). Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1947354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1947354

Alicia Robb (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Next Wave Impact ( email )

7455 Park Lane Road
Longmount, CO 80503
United States

E. J. Reedy

University of Chicago - Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Ave., Suite 207
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-0812 (Phone)

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