Lloyds Bank recently released the findings of their 2017 Business Digital Index.
The Digital Index measures the digital abilities of small businesses and charities across the UK, to better understand their attitudes towards digital technology.
Whilst there is certainly an upward trend in small businesses improving their digital skills, many still fall behind or feel that digital skills are irrelevant in their business. However, with more consumers than ever now citing social media and online reviews as an influence in their purchasing process and the HMRC requiring businesses to use new digital services to provide their taxes, then the need and relevance for digital skills are becoming harder to ignore.
The figures for the North West of England almost echo what is going on in the rest of the country with just over half (53%) of small businesses having Basic Digital Skills.
Despite the report’s findings that digitally capable businesses are twice as likely to see an increase in turnover, 51% of businesses in the North West reported not having their own website, only 50% are using social media, 28% say that being online is not relevant to their business and a whopping 65% don’t invest anything in digital skills.
Of those that are embracing the online world 57% say they are saving costs and 72% are saving time, through being online.
Martin Dodd, a Lloyds Banking Group ambassador, said: “We know how powerful digital skills can be for small businesses, opening up new opportunities, boosting sales and saving time and money, but for many investing the time and resource to up-skill in this area can be a real barrier.”
To read the full UK report and to find out how these figures differ across the regions, visit the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2017 website.
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