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6 ways to boost your business’s digital skills

Digital skills can make the difference

Want to sharpen your business’s skills but not sure where to start? Try online. By getting digital right, companies could boost their revenue by 6.6% [1].

Over 1 million businesses find it difficult to recruit digitally-savvy employees [2], yet there are plenty of simple-to-use online tools that can help you boost the digital confidence of your team. Here’s a taster of what’s available.

1. Swot up on security

Staying safe online is a concern many business owners share [3]. If you’d like to learn more about online security, Responsible for Information is a good starting point. It’s a free, e-learning course that helps small business owners and employees understand information security.  

The Open University's  Introduction to Cyber Security , a free 8-week course you can do online, also covers the basics of online security.  

Having the option to accept payments online offers new opportunities to extend trade and increase sales of your products or services. Our Digital Wings, by Barclays is an online and interactive guide to today’s digital world. It includes modules on digital payments and how to ensure security when taking payments online.

2. Organise your admin  

To help you save time with the essentials of running your business, there are administrative tasks you can do online through gov.uk , such as renewing commercial property leases and registering as a limited company.

By registering for Online Banking for business you can keep track of your everyday business banking, as well as perform key timesaving tasks such as co-signing third party payments and downloading transactions into spreadsheets or accounting packages.

We also have useful cashflow guides to help you stay on top of your finances. For more information on online accounting, take a look at ByteStart's guide to selecting accounting software.

3. Store data

When it comes to storing digital files and documents, online cloud storage is an efficient way to keep important company data safe yet accessible. There’s also a Digital Wings, by Barclays module on customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud computing, to help you get to grips with the basics of cloud CRM systems.

CloudAcademy hosts assessment tools, interactive labs and video courses about several cloud technologies, including an introduction to cloud computing and using the cloud for storage.  

4. Market your business

With 86% of UK adults using the internet in the past 3 months [4], you can get in front of a larger audience by giving your business an online presence. However, only 11% of small-and-medium-sized companies currently have a digital marketing plan [5].  

For free tutorials on how to make the most of the web, try Google’s Digital Garage . It’s a free learning service where you can create a personalised learning plan.  

Digital Business Academy has a range of free courses to help you grow your reach and connect with customers online, from setting up a website to running a digital marketing campaign.  

Once you’re up and running online, Google Analytics can help you analyse traffic and gain insight into how customers interact with your website.

5. Get creative

Working with images, music and video online is a skill almost half of the UK population struggles with [6]. Using videos in your marketing can increase people’s understanding of your products by 74% [7]. Virgin’s Digitals Skills Hub has tutorials offering advice on getting started with creating your own content. It also has modules to help you use social media.

Although coding is still seen as a specialist skill, Codecademy can walk you through the fundamentals of creating and editing web pages. By boosting coding knowledge within your company, you may be able to begin tackling your HTML in-house, before going to the experts.

6. Find new talent

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 400 million members worldwide [8]. This makes it a great place to advertise job opportunities when you’re looking to expand your team. Lynda has expert-taught videos to help you get started on LinkedIn.

The internet can be useful for finding fresh talent, but also searching for and comparing potential suppliers. Startups has a number of practical guides to help you research new suppliers.

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Important information

1.  Startups, Start-ups have digital potential to boost economy by £56bn, Startups, October 2015.

2.  Go ON UK.

3.  Digital Capabilities in SMEs, page 8. gov.uk, September 2015.

4.  Internet Users 2015, Office for National Statistics, May 2015.

5.  Digital Capabilities in SMEs, page 5, gov.uk, September 2015.

6.  Basic Digital Skills UK Report 2015, Go On UK.

7.  Get More Engagement with Directly Uploaded Facebook Videos, MavSocial, 1 February 2016.

8.  LinkedIn User Statistics and Demographics, Expanded Ramblings, October 2015.

This article is proprietary to Barclays Bank PLC. Every attempt has been made to try to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate at the time of publication. However, any articles written by any third party are the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group ('Barclays) nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of Barclays. Barclays takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in any third party articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information is given. Barclays accepts no liability for the impact of, or any loss, however arising, from, any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed by any third parties or in their articles.