Sales, marketing and PR are the most needed skills for small business, according to a recent survey by the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB).
The survey was biased towards the very smallest ‘micro’ businesses, but even so I was amazed that 47% of them had not invested in any training at all in the last year (up from 29% the previous year).
There is a clear link between the size of the business and training. For self-employed businesses, 61% did no training; of those with 21 or more employees, 13% did no training.
Another disappointment is that training on lowering carbon emissions is way down the list at no. 11. I went to a Lloyds Bank presentation on July 8th, at which our bank manager (Graham Muse) gave a great presentation that explained why environmentally conscious businesses are likely to do better financially than their competition. With the web these days there is no excuse for this neglect. You can find some great free training and advice on how to cut carbon and costs on the Carbon Trust website.
All this is despite the fact that training and sustainability are two of the few areas where grants and tax incentives are still available. See my blog posts here and here for details of grants. Did you know that your limited company can get tax relief for just about ALL training for employees and directors, even if it’s not work-related?
Here is the full list of training needs from the FSB, with most in demand first:
- Sales, marketing and PR
- Legal and regulatory
- Other (sector expertise)
- Leadership and management
- Project management
- Customer service
- Low carbon
- Literacy and numeracy
For the full article see here.
What skills are most needed in your business, and what are you doing about it?