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Entrepreneurs need to embrace new technology such as broadband or risk going out of business, management guru Sir John Harvey Jones warns.

In a speech to the Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LSEP), Sir John, star of the Troubleshooter TV series, praised the role that small firms play in the economy, but warned that businesses that do not pace with electronic developments will fall by the wayside.

"Small businesses are a vital component of the economy. They account for the majority of jobs and are the creative force behind British business. Because they are small, they are quick and nimble - they can react to a situation faster than big business, and far faster than the public sector. In ten years time, small businesses will have either accepted the electronic changes that have been made in the economy - or they will no longer be in business," he said.

LESP said that its own research found that many small firms have not yet accepted the importance of IT, e-commerce or even computers.

Sir John said by embracing new technology, small businesses can save themselves time and money: "Just by investing in a new computer and broadband, a typical small business can save two hours a day. Many small business owners are also the finance director, the chief salesman and the dispatch clerk. They give it everything they’ve got, 18 hours a day. But by investing some time and money in the appropriate technology, they could spend more time working on the business rather than running around frantically fire fighting."

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