Posted: Wed 21st Oct 2015
More than a million UK small businesses don't have five basic digital skills and are missing out on their share of the UK's annual website sales of Â£193bn.
A total of 1.2m, or 23% of all small and medium sized businesses, lack the skills, according to digital inclusion charity Go ON UK, which was founded by Baroness Lane Fox, the co-founder of travel website Lastminute.com.
As the charity warned, small companies that lack the skills "risk losing potential business because they can't be found online, may be missing an opportunity to deliver a better, more efficient service to their customers, and may not be maximising their competitiveness".
Go ON UK has come up with a measurement framework to determine levels of digital skills and ensure that all businesses and individuals in the UK achieve the same minimum standard of digital literacy and full exploit the benefits of the web.
The framework for businesses is below. Be honest; does your company do it all?
Store digital information on suppliers and customers
Search for new suppliers to find the best deals
Understand who uses your website
Discover potential growth opportunities for your business
Maintain customer and client relationships
Use social media to promote your business and connect with new customers
Improve your customer service by providing accessible product information and answers to frequently asked questions
Maximise your selling potential through a website
Save time by applying for government business permits and licences
Manage invoices and accounts
Receive payments or donations
Protect yourself from fraud or scams
Save on business travel and be more efficient by using video conferencing
Quickly understand which products and services work based on online feedback
Interpret simple analytics to improve website performance
Get solutions to problems from safe, accurate sources
Create an informational or e-commerce website
Use social media and create communities to engage with customers
Create resources to improve employee skill levels
Create content (pictures, logos, text) to promote your organisation and reach customers
This week the charity also released figures showing the 12.6m. or 23% of all UK adults, don't possess the basic digital skills above.
This means one in five people are unable to do simple things like send a Facebook message, apply for a job online, pay bills with an app, or even check what day the bins are collected on their local council website.
And these people could be your employees. Are your confident that your staff know how to respond to customer queries online? Are they fully embracing the power of social media to build an engaged community around your brand.
It was for issues like those above that we created Go and Grow Online, our campaign to help businesses fully exploit the power of the internet.
With our supporters Microsoft, Dell, BT Business and .COM we're helping thousands of small businesses do better business online.
Let us know how you got on with the basic digital skills test by commenting below or tweeting with #GoandGrow. After that make sure you visit the Go and Grow Online page for practical advice, on and offline events to attend and special offers from our supporters.