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Seven Free Online Courses for Small Business Owners

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small business online classes

As a small business owner, you probably know how important it is to keep up with the latest trends to help ensure the growth of your business. But how much time and effort do you put into your own learning and development? In today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to continue learning and growing as an entrepreneur. All you need is small business Internet to access information right at your fingertips -- from watching TED talks to listening to podcasts, the web is filled with resources that can help you improve your small business.

In this post, we share seven free online courses that can help improve your business skills in a variety of domains.

1. Increase productivity

Efficiency and productivity are important to achieving business success. With this in mind, The Balance Small Business offers a host of online Business Success Articles. These include a variety of time, task and team managing skills to help you gain the upper hand as a small business owner. Each short, easy to digest article covers a topic ranging from “basic” (such as selling on Amazon) to “Entrepreneurship 101” and “Tax Savings Strategies.” 

2. Enhance your marketing strategy

HubSpot Academy is one of the most recognized names when it comes to online training for anything marketing, sales and customer service related. It is a tremendous resource for business owners trying to sharpen their marketing skills.

With so many marketing courses to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one!  Each course takes around 6 hours to complete and is offered in bite-sized lessons that offer a great deal of helpful information. .

3. Dive deep into Excel

As a small business owner, you are likely familiar with Microsoft Excel, but most people only scratch the surface of what Excel can do. An online course can show you to use the tool to its full potential and ultimately improve productivity and organization. Udemy offers multiple Free Excel Courses and Tutorials that can help you learn the basics and not so basics of Excel.

4. Improve accounting and financial management 

Udemy also offers great free accounting courses. In these courses, expert accounting instructors distill complex financial management concepts into approachable short lessons. From the accounting basics to modeling and reporting, Udemy has a course for every small business owner.

5. Master social media advertising

One of the most powerful ways to connect to your customers is through social media. Buffer’s Introduction To Social Media Advertising includes everything you need to implement an effective social media strategy. This class will teach you all the key terms, plus how to set campaign goals, define audience segments and optimize campaigns for long-term success.

6. Improve the SEO rankings of your business on the Internet

Many consumers use search engines to find a local business, and the fact is that most customers will choose a business that’s ranked in the top ten search results they see. Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is the reason why some webpages appear first in Google search results.  You can improve the ranking of your business on the Internet, drive more traffic to your site and increase your online sales by implementing SEO best practices.

Moz’s free SEO Training Course helps acquaint students with SEO strategy development, site audits, keyword research basics and reporting.

7. Sell your business

If you’re ready to move on and sell your business, there’s a course for that too. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a free online course on Selling Your Business. In just 30 minutes, you’ll explore concepts such as defining a business exit strategy, preparing a sales agreement and successfully closing a business. 

This list of online classes is a good starting point for your ongoing learning and development. Once you get started, you’ll probably discover even more relevant and related courses at your fingertips. By sharpening your business skills, you’ll become a more well-rounded and informed small business owner.

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