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Digital skills to boost your business

Tools and tips to make the most of digital

Want to sharpen your business digital skills but not sure where to start? An online presence can give your business a real boost – as can being cyber savvy and staying safe online. Here are 5 ways digital can transform your business.

Leading the way in digital tools

We’re always looking for innovative ways to help you move forward, not just financially but digitally, too. We have a range of online tools that can help you to manage and grow your business. And we’re committed to cyber security too – we have plenty of articles and tips on how to stay safe online.

1. Stay safe online

We’re committed to helping you stay secure and preventing your business falling victim to fraud. Learn about scams that target businesses and find details of our fraud webinars when they’re happening.

The National Cyber Security Centre, part of Government Communication Headquarters, has guidance on cyber security for small businesses. Learn how to improve digital security within your business – easily and at low cost.

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

2. Organise your admin

Our online banking for business has lots of helpful tools designed with businesses in mind. Beyond the everyday banking features you’d expect, you’ll find plenty of useful extras to help make running your business easier, such as group payments and Barclays Collect – a pay-as-you-go service that comes to you to collect cash and cheques.

To help you save time with the essentials of running your business, check out gov.uk. Here you can learn about the many business admin tasks you can do online, such as registering a trade mark and renewing commercial property leases.

HMRC is moving to a fully digital tax system, through Making Tax Digital. Read what the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales have to say about how this will help businesses, and how to get prepared.

Make managing cashflow easier with the help of digital tools. Take a look at ByteStart’s guide to selecting online accounting software. When you’re up and running, you can then connect your accountancy software to your SmartBusiness Dashboard1, which is free to use through our Business Online Banking. Your dashboard brings together information from your business bank accounts and the apps you use to run your business – such as Xero, Quickbooks or PayPal.

3. Store your data

As a business owner, it’s important that you store your data securely. The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has completely changed how businesses must look after their customers’ data. Read more about what GDPR means for businesses.

When it comes to storing digital files and documents, online cloud storage is an efficient way to keep important company data safe, yet accessible.

You can also securely store documents, like staff IDs and payroll information, through our business online banking.

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. Growing your business

Growing a digital presence for your business can boost awareness and reach among existing and potential customers. Whether it’s broadening your customer base by selling your products online, or building your brand through social media, there’s lots of ways digital skills can grow your business.

A good place to start is with a website. Digital Business Academy has a range of free courses to help you start and grow a digital business, from creating a website to building a strong brand. 

Google’s Digital Garage offers free online marketing training to gain digital skills that’ll help you grow your business online.

Selling your product or services online through e-commerce can hugely increase your potential customer base.

Social media is a great way to reach thousands of people across a variety of platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all have useful guides on how to use their channels to advertise your business. You could also use a social media management tool, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to manage all your content in one place.

Once you’re up and running online, it’s important to track your performance and understand what works well with your customers. As well as the analytics on each social platform, Google Analytics can help you analyse traffic and gain insight into how customers interact with your website.

5. Find new talent

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 500 million members worldwide2. 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, as well as searching for and comparing potential suppliers. Startups has a number of practical guides to help you research new suppliers.

Please note that Barclays is not affiliated with all of the third parties mentioned in this article or the content on their websites.

Please be advised that other online providers are available.

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