Many small-business owners do things the old-school way when it comes to gaining customers: They rely on word of mouth. It’s still the No. 1 marketing source of growth, according to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. But a surprising number of entrepreneurs don’t back that up by also digitally getting the word out. Almost half (45 percent) say they don’t have a business website. And only about one third (36 percent) use a business website to communicate news to customers and potential customers.
“People are just afraid of technology and don’t realize how simple or easy it could be,” said Antara Dutta, a digital marketing expert who has founded two small businesses — a consulting company that works with banks, including Barclays, and a health-and-wellness center start-up — and also serves as a mentor for the Delaware branch of the nonprofit SCORE program.