A small business owner wears many hats. Often, they are responsible for finding business, customer service, sales, advertising, and bookkeeping. This is in addition to the duties surrounding the actual service or product the business provides.
There are many resources available on the internet to help you wear your many hats with more confidence. Here are some of the most useful courses, websites, and other resources you can access now.
1. The University of the People
The University of the People is an online, fully accredited university, based in the United States. They offer tuition-free associate and bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health Science.
One of the greatest bastions of self-directed education, Coursera offers instruction in on a variety of topics. Learn how to market yourself, and improve your personal brand. Take a class on bookkeeping or accounting. Or, sharpen and expand your marketable skills.
3. Open Culture
Open Culture bills itself as a repository of free cultural and educational resources found on the internet. Their list of videos, courses, and audio files, related to many different aspects of business management, will keep you busy for days.
4. Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration should be the first stop for every self-employed entrepreneur. Their website offers free courses, downloads, and videos to help you on every step of your path. Learn how to write a business plan, find funding, do market research, and so much more. The SBA also offers a mentoring program for new small business owners.
5. Free Management Library
If you want the knowledge that comes with participating in an MBA level business program, but don't want the expense, the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA is for you. You get access to all the lectures, readings, and assignments that you would in a full university course. But you get to do the work at your own pace, and all for free.
The iTunes app gives you access to hours of podcasts. Many prestigious universities and schools have partnered with Apple to bring you audio and visual files straight from the halls of Ivy League business schools. Enjoy top notch instruction from schools like Stanford, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.
Udacity is one of the newer faces in online self-directed education. Their courses concentrate on web and computer technologies. Take one of their free courses, or invest in one of their paid offerings. If your business is web or computer based, their offerings can help you find new services and products to help grow your business.
8. MIT OpenCourseWare
Best known as the gathering place for academic elite to explore engineering, science, and other futuristic technologies, MIT offers many past lecture courses for your personal development. They offer courses that cover many topics, including classes in business and entrepreneurship.
Another new website catering to the self-educated crowd, edX offers a variety of courses that a small business owner or entrepreneur will find indispensable. They also offer certifications that prove you put in the work. Their MicroMasters program will have you feeling like an expert in no time.
10. Code Academy
Computer technology is the future. If you find your computer programming skills are holding you back, look at the courses offered by Code Academy. Their short, interactive tutorials and lessons will get you up to speed with what you need to know to tackle lucrative online markets with confidence.
11. HubSpot Academy
This one is for all you keyboard warriors! If you are attempting to carve a slice of the internet marketing pie for yourself, this is the site for you. You can work towards a certification in inbound marketing, email marketing, inbound sales, content marketing, and many other offerings. Most courses are free.
12. TED Talks
Make this your one-stop source for information, entertainment, and inspiration. TED talks cover the whole fabric of life, from personal stories to motivate to advant garde and unusual instructions and solutions.
13. ALISON Diploma in Social Media Marketing
If you want a quick yet thorough guide to effective social media marketing, the diploma in Social Media Marketing might be what you need. This free course will take you from social media newbie to media marketing master in under 20 hours.
Being a business owner is hard. But these free online business education resources can make it easier!
by Bob Tom