To say that entrepreneurship is hard is an understatement. It is one of the most challenging journeys someone can undertake. Mainly for the reason of having to wear a variety of hats. Until you have the funds and infrastructure to pay someone else, you are the accountant, marketing professional, customer service representative, strategist, and overall face of your company.
While this may seem daunting, fulfilling these roles is even harder when you do not have the basic knowledge of each functional area. That is where we can help. Below, we have gathered together six low-cost online courses that can put you on the fast track of managing the various aspects of your business.
The courses below are free (except for one), highly regarded, are taught by accomplished professionals, and are reasonably affordable. So, whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or have owned your business for a decade, the courses below can help put you on the right track.
Still not sure how social media can help you reach your revenue goals? Take a look at this comprehensive course held by the social media scheduling platform, Hootsuite. It is a six-chapter course that teaches you how to optimize your social media strategy. From setting KPIs to content curation and distribution, this class can put you on track to successfully engaging your audience on social media.
Haven’t touched a balance sheet since college? No worries! This course offered by Babson College through edX will teach you the ins and outs of financial accounting and will give you real-world lessons and tools to handle your business finances. The class is taught by Peter Wilson, professor of accounting and law at Babson College. If you are fuzzy on how to read and monitor income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, this course will provide the information you need.
This course is excellent for those who are just starting in the world of small business and entrepreneurship. Steve Blank, a successful entrepreneur, and serial start-up leader guides students through the steps of effectively setting up a start-up business. From creating value propositions to segmenting customer groups, Blank sets the stage for a comprehensive look at successful start-up creation.
While you will likely want to hand off website building to a professional, it is still helpful to know some basic HTML and CSS. Understanding these coding languages allows you to update your website, fix potential problems, and even create your own newsletter templates without having to pay a designer regularly. You can save money and time by understanding the fundamentals of HTML and CSS coding language. Codeacademy offers a variety of free courses that will give you a solid foundational understanding of how to utilize HTML and CSS on a day-to-day basis.
With an average 4.7 out of 5 rating from over 27,000 participants, this $11.00 course (at the time of this article) offered by Udemy is a slam dunk for those who want to become more familiar with PPC. This course takes you step-by-step in developing Google Adwords campaigns. Specifically, this course will dive into the concept of using Adwords to increase traffic to your website, remarketing, and conversion tracking. If you have ever wanted to jump into the world of Adwords—and we think you should—this is a great place to start.
Coursera is known for offering excellent courses taught at some of the most renowned and famous universities around the world. The Foundations of Business Strategy offered by the University of Virginia is one such course. Taught by the Darden Business School’s Michael Lenox, the senior associate dean, and chief strategy officer and Jared Harris, the Samuel L. Slover Research Chair in Business Administration, this course is sure to provide the fundamentals of business strategy. Students can look forward to developing SWOT, competitor, and environmental analysis tools while determining ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Again, starting a business is challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge you can come out on top. There are a lot of free business courses and training out there that can provide you with the information you need to excel as an entrepreneur. So, whether you are stepping into entrepreneurship for the first time, or are an established business owner that is looking to learn something new, take a look at the courses above. The more you know, the more of a chance you give yourself to create a winning business strategy.
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This has been a JBF Business Media production.