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Micro-businesses acknowledge digital skills, do nothing to improve them

Two of the most important things in the UK economy today arguably are micro-businesses and digital skills. However, those two don’t seem to be working together. Micro-businesses make up a fifth of the UK economy, a new report suggests, saying that 85 per cent of them lack basic digital skills. 

A third of them have a website, and among one-man businesses, only half have one.  The research, commissioned by 123 Reg, concludes that micro-businesses desperately need more digital training. Almost three quarters don’t advertise online, and 42 per cent lack ‘any form of digital presence’. Almost half don’t know what SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is. 

The report also says digital media is nowadays as important as word of mouth, and Facebook is considered the third most successful digital marketing tool.  

“Micro-businesses are time-poor and resource light, juggling multiple hats on a daily basis. Lengthy digital guides that may work for larger companies are not right for them,” commented Nick Leech, Digital Director at 123 Reg.  

“What micro-businesses need is a more direct steer on the one or two things they should implement to help their businesses grow and thrive. It’s about learning the little things that can take you a long way.” 

What’s interesting is that 70 per cent of micro-businesses know that having strong digital skills is essential. They also know it’s not expensive, and doesn’t take long to get online. Still, time, money and confidence are considered the biggest obstacles to getting online.