Ask any successful entrepreneur if continuing to learn the industry and educate yourself is important, and they will say yes.
You may not have much time, or you may be choosing to put your money into your business rather than your education. You may feel that what you learn in a classroom is more theory than practice, or you may just love learning and knowledge! With the modern accessibility of online and distance learning, business owners can now take their intellectual growth into their own hands, on their own time, and for free by taking online business courses.
Whatever aspect you’re looking to enhance in your life, there is probably an online business course for it out there. Here are some of our favorites!
General business knowledge –
The Foundations of Business Strategy course by Udemy offers an introduction to strategic analysis and how to apply it to your organization. The description states, “Managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, analysts, and consultants all may find value in mastering these fundamentals.” No matter what aspect of the business world you’re interested in, this is a great course to get started with.
Small business owners –
This Small Business Management course by Saylor offers an introduction to entrepreneurship and business planning. The units cover the entrepreneurship phases, how to build the right team, how to create a business plan, how to implement a marketing strategy, and ways to finance your venture.
Coursera offers a multi-part program through the Wharton University of Pennsylvania covering several aspects of entrepreneurship in depth. Two popular ones are Entrepreneurship 2: Launching Your Start-Up and Entrepreneurship 4: Financing and Profitability. (Both key elements for success!)
Getting funding –
The Entrepreneurship Through Lens Venture Capital course by Stanford Online explores how successful startups negotiate and acquire funding, manage operations and scale their new enterprise for logical growth. The description states that, “This process is explored through guest lectures and mentorship from experienced venture capital investors and seasoned entrepreneurs who manage these issues on a daily basis in Silicon Valley.” Looking for a mentor but don’t have one in your life? This could be the course for you!
Content marketing –
There’s marketing, and then there’s digital marketing. The Strategy of Content Marketing by the University of California Davis explores how to create a proper marketing strategy for your business and track the effectiveness of it. It also covers writing compelling copy (a must for modern websites and email blasts), writing structured posts, and building your professional as well as personal brand.
App development –
You could have a business solely on an app, or you could be interested in creating an app for your business. The University of Toronto offers the iOS App Development with Swift Specialization four part course that is useful for beginners and intermediates alike. The course focuses on working with swift for iOS on iPhones with units on coding, user interface, multi-app integration, and other assets to enhance your product. Apps are all the rage right now, make one before your competitors do!
Financial guidance –
Finances can be one of the hardest aspects of running a business. That’s why the Introduction to Financial Accounting by the University of Pennsylvania teaches students the technical skills involved in analyzing financial statements and disclosures, and how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. The course also teaches how to read the three most common financial statements: income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows, and includes a real-world business challenge to apply your knowledge at the end.
Human resources and relationships –
The key to a successful business isn’t money, it’s relationships. Relationships with other businesses, coworker environments, management, everybody. In the Negotiations and Conflict Management course by Saylor, you will learn negotiation, conflict management and relationship management to increase your clients, company culture and how to even better handle employees asking for a raise or promotion.
Women in business –
Goldman Sachs created 10,000 Women: Assessing Your Business Growth Potential to support the economic opportunity of investing in women. The online environment allows participants to connect with like minded business owners and share their stories of success and lessons learned. Connecting with other alumni of the course is just one benefit, “Through focused and tailored exercises, you will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business and yourself as a business leader. You will also identify and refine your key opportunities for business growth.” says the description.
Business Law –
You don’t need a law degree, but you do need to understand the laws of the business world (there are a lot). Corporate & Commercial Law I: Contracts & Employment Law by the University of Indiana. It covers actual topics on the CPA exam like: Agency, Contracts, Debtor-Creditor Relationships, Government Regulation of Business, and Business Organizations. Many tricky businesses situations are governed by law. Know the right choice before you have to make it by taking a business law course!
Interested but not feeling any of these? Coursera offers thousands of other free online business courses so you can find the perfect one!