Skip to Content

Essential Resources for Small Businesses to Bridge the Digital Skills Gap

Reskilling & Upskilling: Essential Resources for Small Businesses to Bridge the Digital Skills Gap

Upskill your workforce & future-proof your small business with these useful, free resources for digital training. Read more here!

Business performance is skills-driven. Your team needs the necessary skills to carry out their tasks and projects – but what happens when there is a skills gap?

Often companies look to new hires to bring in new skills to the company. But small businesses are increasingly looking to reskill and upskill their existing teams. This is often a more efficient and cost-effective way of ensuring that your business model and operations are best prepared for future trends and crises.

Clearly, growing your company’s digital skill set can result in significant competitive advantages. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, the companies in the retail sector with the largest array of digital skills are the ones that have struggled less. Having marketing staff that can set up and manage a web shop, or translate your business model from brick-and-mortar B2C to e-commerce proved invaluable in weathering this crisis.

Get your SME Ready for the Future

This guide will take you through what you need to future-proof your small business from two perspectives: people and technology.

Get your SME ready for the future

Another reason to aim for upskilling and reskilling current teams is brain drain. Highly skilled employees have many opportunities as companies compete to try and bring in the necessary skills. According to research conducted by Salesforce over half of the business leaders surveyed said they were concerned about a potential future tech brain drain. Clearly, this digital skills gap is a major concern.

reskill and upskill digital skills free resources

Focussing on increasing skill sets internally not only enables employers to counteract potential brain drain but also offers additional incentives to their current workforce. Upskilling opportunities further the company’s cause while also helping to build each team member’s personal skill set. Now more than ever, employees see a job as an opportunity to learn and grow – and they expect to learn new skills as part of their career package.

Upskilling and reskilling resources, apps & platforms

So, how do you set up a successful reskilling or upskilling programme or make some resources available for your staff without breaking the bank?

Compiling a set of useful training resources is a good place to start. Fortunately, there are many great digital resources quick and easy to set up and for all skill levels and areas of expertise. Here is a small collection of some great free learning apps, resources and platforms to get you up and running, grouped by topic:

1. Great for beginners

Google Primer App is a free mobile app with an excellent catalogue of courses, including budgeting, accounting, cash management, marketing, brand identity and many others. It’s a great place to start, especially if your small business team is unfamiliar with these topics.

2. Sales training

Driving sales is the backbone of any business, and digital training courses can help your sales team keep their skills sharp. One insightful resource is the LinkedIn Sales Academy, where your sales reps can enjoy world-class digital training in modern selling techniques.

3. Digital marketing

Facebook is a major part of many small businesses’ paid marketing strategies. Get up to speed with beginner, intermediate and advanced digital marketing strategies across Facebook at Facebook Blueprint. For more digital marketing topics, check out Future Learn by Accenture – you will find a host of free courses that cover everything from social media to web analytics and even AI.

4. Data, coding & AI

Coding and machine learning are two of the most in-demand skills for small businesses right now. Try exploring Google Digital Garage and its excellent course catalogue for machine learning and AI courses for all levels. If you specifically want to focus on coding, Code Academy features many popular coding skills including web development.

5. Complete digital skills platform

Ranging from e-commerce solutions to insights on data management and automation, Trailhead by Salesforce has got you covered. Skills are broken down into free bitesize, informative learning modules and feature interactive lessons and videos. While everything you need to know about the Salesforce CRM platform is included, it also covers wide-ranging topics such as leadership, storytelling, presentation skills and other general business skills, just to mention a few.

Future-proof your business through upskilling

Upskilling and reskilling your workforce has a whole host of benefits, including offering your team more opportunities to grow and learn new skills. This boosts employee motivation and, ultimately, retention. But being up to date with key digital skills tools is also an excellent way to future-proof your business against crises. It will give your small business the agility to react to changing circumstances while your team gains the confidence to take on new roles and responsibilities.

But it is only one method. Our latest eBook “Future-proofing your business” offers insights on how people and tech can play a vital part in setting up your business for future growth and challenges.

Get your SME Ready for the Future

This guide will take you through what you need to future-proof your small business from two perspectives: people and technology.

Get your SME ready for the future
Ana Lara

Ana is a Marketing Specialist at Salesforce for SMBs

More by Ana

Get our bi-weekly newsletter for the latest business insights.