Nearly 2 million small businesses in the UK lack basic digital skills, according to a new report from Lloyds.
The bank’s Business Digital Index found that a growing number of small firms and charities lack even the most fundamental digital knowledge.
However, the report found that if those firms were to learn just one more digital skill in the next 12 months, 75 per cent of businesses would have “full digital skills” by 2018.
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The Business Digital Index is an annual survey into the digital habits and activities of the UK’s small businesses and charities.
This year the report used a combination of measured actual behavior and survey analysis to build a picture of the digital position of the UK’s smallest firms.
Digital skills bring benefits
Announcing the report, Lloyds laid out what it says are the benefits of digital skills for small businesses.
According to the bank, the “most digital” business leaders are three times as likely to report increasing turnovers, while the most digital businesses are 11 times more likely to trade overseas.
The benefits are also seen in the third sector, with highly digital charities ten times more likely to save costs. Those using social media are reportedly 51 per cent more likely to see an increase in donations.
How can I build digital skills?
In response to previous years’ findings, Lloyds have built a suite of online tools intended to help small businesses grow their digital skills.
The Digital Knowhow Kit includes training for businesses who wish to build their customer base, improve their advertising, stay safe online, and more.
You can find the Digital Knowhow Kit here.