Small players mean big business ... globally

DO YOU have a business with overseas customers and are willing to share some of your online tactics for international success?

A QUT researcher has launched a national survey into small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and is keen to hear from businesses with up to 200 employees who have delved into the international market.

Charmaine Glavas's PhD study with the QUT Business School is examining how Australian firms have acclimatised to a changing global marketplace, particularly via their web presence.

"Small and medium-sized firms play a significant role in the Australian business economy, accounting for 98% of enterprises and 84% of jobs," Ms Glavas said.

"Despite this, most research in this area tends to focus on large multinational corporations.

"It used to be very difficult for smaller businesses to export their goods or services internationally but the internet has changed all that.

"Now there is a lot of academic research that suggests you really aren't competing as a firm if you don't exist in an online environment.

"It has also been suggested that Australia will rank in the top five OECD countries for the number of businesses using online internet capabilities with access to high speed broadband by 2020.

"I'm investigating how small and medium-sized firms have used technology and the internet to get into the global marketplace, and how these firms are sustaining successful international business."

SMEs already involved in the study range from manufacturing and retail businesses to finance and professional business consultants.

Ms Glavas said her national online survey was open to Australian business owners with 1 to 200 employees who exported their goods or services to international markets.

To obtain a link for the 10-minute survey, email or click here. Surveys should be completed by the end of February.

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