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I'm Writing This Using Voice Dictation On My Waterproof iPhone 7 In The Jacuzzi

07/11/2016 16:01

OK, so I'm not really, but I have extracted that sentence from a genuine email I received this week!

There are so many reasons I was stunned by sentence, not just the thought of this person in a jacuzzi writing an email, but also the technology involved.

In the email, the person apologised for any typos, but it came through word perfect.

So not only do we no longer need to be able to spell, but now we no longer need to be able to write OR type because iPhone can type out for you while you relax in a jacuzzi!

(I find this both worrying and incredible in the same measure, and the latter when you think of the potential in developing countries where many people can't write - but that is another topic).

I digress.

Receiving this email got me thinking about the never ending forward march of technology and how we can keep up, and whether it even matters if we do.

I think keeping up with this stuff is so important, and new research agrees.

What is certain is that small and micro businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy. They make up nearly a fifth of the UK economy and represent 95% of all businesses.

But despite the small and micro-business dominance of the economy, when it comes to digital skills things are very different.

The domain name provider 123reg, with the help of their research partner ResearchNow recently interviewed 1000 small to medium sized businesses with 779 out of 1000 being micro-businesses (0-9 employees).

An overwhelming 86% said that they were at best 'building experience' when it comes to digital, with half saying they have 'not yet started' when it came to their digital knowledge.

Search engines and websites are seen as working best for micro businesses, yet nearly half of those surveyed do not have a domain name or any online present at all, representing a clear missed opportunity.

Significantly, the study found that Facebook and online Advertising are now almost as important as websites and SEO too, but how can you even begin on those if you don't have a website or a domain name.

Digital marketing is now one of the most important tools for businesses, and its power is now just as strong as 'traditional' forms of marketing. 70% of micro-businesses thought digital knowledge to be critical to their future success, yet over 85% said they lacked the skills to grow their business online and steal a march over larger more established companies.

Ultimately in an ever changing digital world, a lack of digital skills could be holding back as much as a fifth of the overall economy.

There is obviously digital skills gap with many considering lack of knowledge a hurdle to their businesses.

So what can be done?

I passionately believe that everything is learnable, to the point where I actually do believe that should I want to become a brain surgeon, I could!!!!

Put it this way, the brain surgeon isn't really that different to me, apart from he or she has learned how to do different things to those which I've learned how to do! (in this case, taking apart and piecing back together human brains!)

And the good news is that digital skills are much easier and quicker to learn than brain surgery.

What I see time and time again is people feeling blocked by lingo and vocabulary that make things sound more complicated and feel more daunting than they should be.

I remember feeling this way when I first set up my first online business in 2007. I was baffled by what my hosting was, and why I needed it, and how on earth I'd cope if something went wrong with my hosting.

The digital world is filled with jargon and new words, but if you accept that once you enter the digital arena, you are going to have learn say 50 or so new words, and learn 50 or so new meanings, and that some of these meanings might be new concepts that you will also have to get your head around.....

But, that after that, it won't seem nearly as difficult as it once did, then it suddenly seems a lot easier!

The irony is that, at least all over the digital world, there is training on all of this widely available and much of it for free. So whether it's an online course or attending a real world workshop, choose whatever is more appropriate for you and take time to invest in digital development.

Now, back to that jacuzzi.....

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