You don’t have to be an expert in everything to run a successful business (that’s why we have employees and freelancers!). However, gone are the days when an entrepreneur could skate by without technical savvy.
Today, digital skills are a core part of a business owner’s toolkit, whether you’re in charge of a multinational corporation or freelancing from home. These are the top digital skills entrepreneurs need to succeed today.
5 digital skills every entrepreneur needs
1. Cloud computing
Instead of hosting files, software, and other business infrastructure on servers that are expensive to buy and maintain, cloud computing moves business online. This enables remote work, improves operational efficiencies, and saves time and money compared to on-premises infrastructure.
Doing business in the cloud has big benefits, but it also exposes businesses to more risk from cybercrime. The risk of data breaches grows greater every year, making cybersecurity a critical piece of any company’s digital transformation.
3. Data analytics
Data is at the heart of modern business strategy. Data analysis extracts trends, statistics, and actionable insights from raw data. Data analysis is used to set pricing strategy, forecast demand, measure marketing effectiveness, reduce costs and inefficiencies, and inform other business decisions.
4. Digital marketing and social media
Whether your customers are local or global, digital marketing is one of the best ways to reach them. Digital marketing uses social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, and other web-based strategies to build brand awareness and engagement with a company’s target audience.
5. User experience (UX) design
UX design is a skill cluster covering end-user interactions with a company. UX design makes websites and apps engaging and user-friendly to drive conversions and customer loyalty. Principles of good UX design include simple navigation, relevant content, clear calls-to-action, and consistent cross-platform experiences.
Digital skills and the training gap
Despite the rising importance of digital skills for entrepreneurs, women-led businesses continue to face training gaps. Women receive less support from investors and mentors while juggling more caregiving and domestic responsibilities than their male counterparts. Combined, these factors make it difficult for women entrepreneurs to access the training and resources they need to succeed in entrepreneurship.
The common advice women receive is to delegate, build flexibility into their work, and adjust their expectations in order to strike a work-life balance and create room for growth. These tips have merit, no doubt, but not all barriers can be overcome alone.
Where to find help with digital skills development
That’s why Digital Women came about —to empower women to develop, strengthen, and share digital skills in the pursuit of their goals. Through training sessions, networking meetings, and online resources, and virtual courses, Digital Women makes it easy and fun for women to gain the skills they need to succeed in business.
Other places to acquire digital skills include:
Professional certifications and advanced degree programs from online and local universities.
Online courses from top organisations via e-platforms like FutureLearn, edX, and Coursera.
Classes and webinars from subject matter experts on Udemy, MasterClass, and LinkedIn Learning.
Remember: You don’t have to learn everything about everything. Smart entrepreneurs know when to outsource to specialists rather than do it themselves. However, you should understand the fundamentals of these digital skills to make educated business decisions.
It’s not enough to simply hire digital experts. As an entrepreneur, you need to understand how the digital economy impacts every aspect of your business. Join the members club and mailing list at Digital Women and become part of an online community of women devoted to upskilling in digital.
By Gloria Martinez of womenled.org