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Peakhour Launches Online Vehicle for SMEs

Australian business-to-business (B2B) Internet company Peakhour has launched a free package which aims to get small to medium-sized businesses online faster and with minimum cost.

FreeBiz is a 12 month offering for 20,000 business customers which allows small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to 'try before they buy', including free Internet access, five business email accounts and a 'do it yourself' Web site building package.

"Although most small businesses intend to get online over the next six months, there is a certain reluctance to invest the time and effort in something unproven to them," said Peakhour's chief executive officer David Harrington."These business people are very savvy and don't have the time or the inclination to invest in technologies off the shelf or spend time with a Web developer to develop a Web site," he said.

Peakhour said that as FreeBiz customers expand their business via the Internet, they will come to require more sophisticated tools and applications such as domain name registration, marketing tools and e-commerce applications. Peakhour intends to provide these customers with the opportunity to upgrade to a range of paid products.

"Peakhour offers small businesses the kind of sophisticated Internet tools that until now only large companies have had access to," said FreeBiz business manager Len Patane. "Only about 15 per cent of smaller businesses have taken advantage of e-commerce to date, and we want to make it easy for the other 85 per cent to get on board".



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