Is your small business armed with the skills of the future?

by | Oct 18, 2018 | NatHERS

Digital marketing, robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing … today’s business world looks a lot different to five or ten years ago. Just imagine what the next five years, or even the next 12 months, could bring. 

While every change brings exciting opportunities, it also presents a crucial challenge for business owners: what skills should you be building into your future workforce?


By arming your business with the right skills, you can ensure you are building a sustainable, competitive business for the future. Without these skills, you’ll get left behind. Simple as that. 

Here are a few skills that should be top of your list:

Problem solving and critical thinking

The ABC reports that 41% more time will be spent on critical thinking and judgment in future workplaces, while education expert Tony Wagner says problem solving and critical thinking are two of the survival skills of the future. These skills form the very foundation for innovation and will help businesses of all types and sizes push towards a competitive future. 

Data literacy

Data has the potential to affect all parts of your business. We’re talking about market data, customer behavioural insights, website analytics, sales data, and more. Understand your data and you can unlock new opportunities and overcome challenges. It’s how you can understand who you customers are, how they are engaging with you, and how to differentiate yourself from the competition. Data literacy is not a tech skill; it requires the ability to ask the right questions about data, use different sorts of tools to explore what the data means, and make sure a useful answer comes out. 

Digital know-how

We live in a digital age, so there’s no denying that digital skills are an absolute must-have for any business to survive. Australia’s Digital Pulse 2018 report revealed a “digital boom” created 22,300 ICT jobs in Australia in the last year alone. Crucially, the nature of technology investment is no longer just about driving productivity; it’s about meeting the expectations of increasingly connected and empowered consumers. 


Do your staff have the ability to adapt to meet changing business and industry needs? In a business world that is moving so fast, you cannot afford to get left behind. Case in point is the Australian retailers who are been shaken up by the arrival of Amazon, or the hotels struggling against Airbnb. Your task is to ensure everyone you work – at every level – has the ability to move with change, not against it. 

How to access the right skills

You don’t have to hire and train staff to get the skills advantage. Outsourcing is a hugely popular trend amongst small business (or any business, for that matter). It gives you access to the skills you need, when you need them, without costs associated with hiring employees. As you scale up, or as your business evolves, you can simply find freelance specialists who can help. For example, virtual assistants can provide the extra resource you need to manage your inbox and basic admin tasks, or more complex and time-consuming tasks, such as managing your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. While a freelance marketing assistant can help you avoid the common marketing mistakes.

If you do decide to invest in your own staff, be sure to check for any grants and subsidies that can help with costs (read our quick guide first!).

How do you know which skills your SME needs?

Start by doing some research into your industry and how it is changing. This will reveal which skills will be valuable to your business. But don’t stop at your industry niche, look at the wider business world. For example, global trends like the “gig economy” and the “sharing economy” have an impact on practically all businesses. 

Look to recruitment consultancies for the latest insights – they make it their business to know who’s getting hired (and who’s not). Sign up to their newsletters and blogs for general and industry-specific insights. For example, Seek published this article on core skills you should look for in your next candidate

Business.gov.au also has a web page on how to identify your skill needs. Look out for the latest insights and advice right here on our blog too.  


Recent Blog Posts Testimonials

“The course is really well organised, your videos and zoom meetings were extremely helpful, the platform functions perfectly, your response time to queries and questions is always prompt and overall it is just been a wonderful experience”

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021.

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for offering such a great course, I have really enjoyed studying my Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Transformed”.

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021

“…I originally enrolled in Transformed’s Diploma of Project Management on the basis of their flexibility. ..As I subsequently discovered, Transformed’s approach extends even further to include ‘one on one’ coaching sessions… and adjusting the training to fit in with the client..”

Michael Irwin

“I found the course easy to follow and navigate through. I would recommend this course to others”

August 2018

“The excellent and prompt communication from my assessor”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“I engaged Michael Young from Transformed to assess me for the Australian Institute of Project Management Certified Practicing Project Manager. I wanted to be certified as I wanted to verify that the skills and knowledge was in line with industry best-practice. At first it seemed a bit daunting, however, Michael made the process very easy, providing templates for references and self-assessment as well as providing a list of the project management documents I would need to provide as evidence. The assessment interview was very relaxed and more like a conversation than an assessment, which brought out the best experiences to evidence my capabilities. Because of Michael’s current government security clearance, we were able to look at specific of particular projects, rather me than having to spend a heap of time sanitising documents. Since the assessment, I have been successful in gaining a promotion..”

Mike McCarthy

“Learning – I have now fine-tuned my existing skills”

Brian Peterson
Moreton Bay Regional Council

“I am so appreciative of you and Transformed for your flexibility and support- THANK YOU”

Louise Anderson
Cert IV in P & C student - May 2020

“Ease of delivery, completing from work”

Qld Health

“The most practical and well organised course I’ve been involved with, perfect for anyone with a demanding full time career and family commitments. My facilitator was extremely helpful and being part of the construction industry applied a very focused approach to the course content which assisted me in completing my studies, Would strongly and have already recommended Transformed to those looking to complete their Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction. Thanks for all your efforts and support.”

Aleks Petrovic
Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction Student

“The self-paced learning it allowed me to work whilst studying”

Haylea Edwards
Efficient Living

“I am very satisfy with the study”

Eric Lam

Completing my CPP41119Certificate Home Energy Efficiency & Sustainability course has been a significant step in my professional journey.
Thank you for your support and guidance and every single subject in this course you have taught me

Cert IV HEES student - April 2024

“Easy to deal with”

Laura Lace

“Phenomenal course to understand contract management in the best way possible. I am working as a Procurement Manager and never understood contract part completely but this course helped me to understand key points of contract management. Thanks to author for creating this wonderful course. ”

Student - Introduction to Contract Management - August 2021

“I want to thank you for providing that encouragement and feed back at appropriate times. You make me and I’m sure all students, feel special and like we are getting personal assistance, which I have received. I don’t know how you manage all that you do but you do it well. Thank you”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me and getting me over the line!! Which I know was a bit difficult with no background in the industry!! Thanks very much and I look forward to starting my business and conquering the world as an Energy Rater!”

Laura Lace

“I think everything worked very smoothly”

Susan Mariott
Quality Home Design and Drafting Service

“All round I’ve been really impressed with how professional everyone at Transformed has been”

Diploma of PM

“I’m extremely impressed by The Cert IV in HEES delivered by Transformed. It is a fantastic, relevant, and interesting course with great content. The study materials and assistance have been exceptional. Thanks again to Transformed for their support”.

Matt Wade
Cert IV in HEES Student – April 2022.

“Always good and prompt feedback from Michael”

John Logan
Draft Comps Services

“Don has been a terrific teacher and very prompt with feedback throughout the whole diploma, which has been great!”

Diploma of PM

“Thanks for your support over the years and I look forward to doing more courses at Transformed in the future”.

Cert IV in HEES - March 2022

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank you for all your help during my studies. I think your training company is very professional and I would endorse you and Transformed to anyone looking to study distance learning”

Doug Madarovski

“My assessor was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved this without her encouragement and guidance’.

Cert IV in Procurement & Contracting - March 2022

“Working at my own pace online and the response time to emails and responses were always great”

Ekaterina Sidorova
Lend Lease