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Top 5 Essential Digital Skills For Small Business Owners

Top 5 Essential Digital Skills For Small Business Owners

The business landscape is increasingly shifting towards online operations. The internet has emerged as a major global driver of business operations for both small business establishments and large multi-national business empires. Apart from the business environment, the internet has also become an integral part of people’s day to day life. The internet has become an indispensable tool, of communication, socialization and business transaction.

This internet evolution has brought with it the bad and the good, the circumstances which are beyond the determination of many businesses. Businesses can therefore only work to fit into the new business environments dictated by the internet and digital technologies. This trend has seen many businesses, small and large scramble to incorporate digital technologies into their business operations.

Many businesses, especially the small ones have found themselves in a much larger and more competitive business landscape. The transformation in the digital world has caused a lot of changes in consumers’ expectations, tastes and preferences. Many people are turning to the internet to seek solutions.

To effective apply digital technologies, maximize the benefits and mitigate the shortcomings that come with the adoption of digital technologies, small business owners need to be equipped with the necessary digital skills. Digital literacy is an important element for a seamless adoption of any new technology. Digital literacy can be taken to mean the ability to grasp the relevant skills digital devices, systems and processes that positively affect the business in the long run. It is a path to acquiring the relevant digital skills, a route to developing digital workforce with dexterity, a means of pumping digital jobs into the economy and finally creating a digital economy that is anchored on the foundations of digital technologies.

The rude and shocking reality is that every sphere of life from communication to governance, education to entertainment, tourism to business is going online. With this in mind, it is imperative that a small business owner in the 21st century should be equipped with the necessary digital skills. These skills will allow a small business put up with the growing business pressure and competition and at the same time stay relevant to its customer as digital technologies keep changing within short intervals. People’s general literacy influences their digital literacy and vice versa. Companies are constantly looking for people who are competent in key technological spheres that are envisaged to offer an operational edge. So what are some of the relevant digital skills that a small business owner should have?


The internet has become a repository of a large pool of resources and information. It therefore requires skills to be able to extract this information, manage it effectively and efficiently and store it in the most efficient and secure way so as to draw meaning and maximizes benefits from the information. Information management skills should help in identifying the necessary sources of information and their credibility and isolating it from junk. Owners of small businesses should also have vast knowledge of virus attack and cyber security.

To maximize online presence of a small business, knowledge on effective search engines is necessary. It is important to note that the quality of results obtained from a search query largely depends on the researcher’s knowledge of the basic algorithm structure. By using the right skills, one can find everything and anything online. In cases where one cannot find certain research information on the internet, it is for social good as well as the benefit of the business to create such information and upload it. To effectively do this, one needs a mastery of search engine, data storage, bookkeeping, analytics, and cloud computing among others.

A small business should be in a position to assemble and store digital information on customer, suppliers, distributors and other business stakeholders. Searching for new suppliers so as to broker the best deals can help a business save time and money. Information on customers, their location and behavior can enable a business to tailor its marketing campaigns to address a specific need and geographical location. Learning information management skills can enable a business unlock potential growth avenues.


Communication is one aspect of business and human development that has immensely benefited from technological advancement. Despite the tremendous growth, challenges have been forthcoming too. These include scam, identity theft, and invasion of privacy among others. However, with the necessary skills digital skills, small business owners can effectively protect themselves from scam, manage identities, understand and applies privacy laws. This enables business to draw and maximize value from the various communication channels available online.

With knowledge and skills client face-to-face communication, adding digital communication enables small business owner to easily connect with potential customers. Maintain client and customer relation is very important to the growth of any small business hence going digital will help unlock many opportunities.


Exchange of goods and services has assumed a whole new digital dimension called e-commerce. It is therefore important that business owners are armed with the relevant online transaction skills. Under e-commerce, a customer places an order for a good or service online, the seller arranges for its dispatch online and the buyer pays for the good or service using online payment methods. Any further complain regarding the transaction is lodged and solved online. A business owner should therefore have all these skills in order to maintain and expand business.


You need problem-solving skills to maximize output from digital technologies. With the necessary skills, you will be able to appropriately and satisfactorily meet the needs of your customers. Additionally, you are able to discover and take advantage of available market niches. By using online feedback, a business discovers an unmet demand in the market as well as customer opinion about its products and services. Moreover, online digital skills will enable a business cut on operating costs. For instance, by using video conferencing, a business is able to cut on travelling expenses.


To draw greater benefits from the internet, you need to create engaging and informative content. Content increases the business’s online visibility. To further increase this online visibility, skills like Image manipulation and SEO are necessary so as to create innovative content like logos and pictures in order to promote the business and create a lasting impression in the mind of customers. A small business owner can capitalize on social media to bring out the creativity.


RiseAtop is a membership technology platform that makes it easy for business owners to publish their digital articles, generate leads and connect with more customers. If you want to boost and increase your marketing efforts, first check if your business is listed and claim the rights to manage your company details, then complete your profile by uploading as much useful information for your ideal customers as possible.
This is Part Two of The Seven-part Digital Transformation Series For Small Business Owners(See Part Onee). In Part Three, we will discuss the top 5 incentives that a small business owner can implement in order to retain digitally competent personnel. Until next time, Follow us on twitter or share this page, get in touch, leave us a comment and like our Facebook page.