Businesses in the UK recognise that a shortage of digital skills is costing them customers and affecting their bottom line. But few have done anything to identify the solution and are getting on with resolving their digital skills shortfall.
A timely survey earlier this year by the British Chamber of Commerce showed that 84 per cent of UK firms believe digital and IT skills are more important to their business than two years ago, with 51 per cent saying these skills are significantly more important.
But, alarmingly, three in four UK businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce, and lots simply don’t know where to turn.
What digital skills do you need?
While, understandably, the most important skills for small and medium size enterprises are basic computer skills, British companies realise that communicating and connecting with their customers through digital channels, and the management of digital information is increasingly important to their growth.
Put simply, your company most likely needs some or all of:
- a professional website
- consistently updated and relevant content showcasing what you do and the services or goods you sell
- a social media presence that reinforces that website and engages with new audiences
- email newsletters and marketing that communicates with your ever-increasing database of customers or potential clients, with data gathered from all your digital touchpoints
- a content strategy, that supports your marketing strategy and/or your overall business strategy and goals
- a team of skilled digital experts to do the above for you!
But, if you’re a company owner or director, where do you turn faced with these problems? Recruiting expertise in-house might be a sensible long-term plan depending on your size, but do you have the commercial, marketing or communications expertise in place already to facilitate that staffing growth, and the strategic planning required to make the budgetary investment worthwhile?
A company that outsourced the build of its website to an agency that has not continued to understand or look after their needs while their site languishes requires expert help quickly. As does a business that markets to its customers but does not include a digital marketing element – including its website content and use of appropriate social media channels – in its overall plans.
Find a digital expert to provide digital skills for you
For many organisations, forging a short-term relationship with a digital specialist that identifies any gaps in their digital channels and their management, can remove a significant headache – offering the expertise to dull the digital pain, and start working towards long-term success.
So if you’re stuck without the digital skills you need, start by finding digital experts that can identify and understand your business objectives and can identify the right digital channels for your business and how to maximise their impact and make them work for you.
No two businesses are exactly the same. No two digital solutions and the digital skills required to implement them successfully will be the same either. At DigitalMode we understand that and work with clients to find the solution that satisfies their unique demands and requirements.
Training staff in digital skills need not be a problem
Lots of businesses surveyed by the BCC also said the main barriers to having the right digital skills were not enough time for staff training (41 per cent), the difficulty in identifying the right training needed (32 per cent), and the cost of the training itself (25 per cent).
DigitalMode can remove that cost by offering the skills directly, or maybe a training package or recruitment support if you would rather move long-term to providing all or some of your digital expertise in-house.
The important thing is to do something, now. Start the ball rolling. So that next time your business is surveyed, you can feel confident you are well on the way to having the digital skills you need to make your company successful.
DigitalMode is a new venture from Mark Morrell and Julian Goode – that launched in 2017. Get in touch with us and discuss your digital skills requirements today