One of the most difficult things about being an entrepreneur is the wide array of skills you must learn to be successful. Not only must you be the jack-of-all-trades, but you must be an absolute master of them as well. However, time and money are crucial resources that your startup can’t afford to waste when it comes to harnessing these talents.
Thankfully, there are a number of free courses online that will help you learn these skills, so you can save both of these resources to develop and expand your business venture. Here are a few completely free online courses that will help you and your business succeed, but won’t break your bank account in the process:
If you want to learn about how to get your startup going, Sam Altman’s videos are a good way to ground yourself in the basics of entrepreneurship. Altman, a tycoon, programmer, and blogger, gave this series of Stanford lectures about topics like team building, building user trust, employee management, and talking to investors.
Hubspot Academy’s course covers the fundamentals of digital marketing and social media strategies, with topics ranging from SEO optimization to everything you need to know about effective blogging. This course includes a wide variety of tests to help reinforce the material and earn you a certification after the course’s completion. To get started, you do need to make an account at the site, though this is an entirely free process.
If you want to be able to learn on the go, iTunes U offers a free, downloadable series of audio lectures that delve into the practices of successful startups, including market strategy, issues of company culture, and company growth. It also includes guest lectures from experienced entrepreneurs who have paved their way to success in Silicon Valley.
This edX course focuses on how to successfully lead your budding company and trains you to develop a Personal Leadership Plan to ensure inclusive leadership skills. This course only takes up to an hour and a half of your time each week, and it is perfect for anyone who is looking to develop their leadership abilities in a simple, clear way that won’t take up too much of their valuable time.
5. Code Academy
Don’t let the idea of a “code academy” hinder your growth, especially if you don’t consider yourself a programmer! This site covers a wide array of topics in a very approachable and appealing way, and is an excellent place for an entrepreneur to learn how to make an interactive website, learn about data management programs like Git, or how to use SQL to analyze business metrics.
If you’re very short on time, they also have special mini-projects that can be completed in thirty minutes that teach you basic programming concepts, such as making a simple website or creating small animations.
6. Accounting I
This course from the Professional Educational Organization International (PEOI) is good for those who learn well by reading. Since this course presents itself like a textbook, it’s easy to pickup whenever time is available, and it even has a quiz after each section, followed by a comprehensive exam at the conclusion, to test your understanding.
Many courses on this site follow this format, so if a classroom format is more your style, it’s definitely worth looking into. It is also perfect for those who find themselves lacking accounting knowledge that may be crucial to building your business.
If you feel that your general economic knowledge is a little lackluster, Khan Academy’s videos cover the core concepts of microeconomics at an introductory college level. These videos cover supply and demand, competition, economic vs. accounting profit, and basic game theory. Khan Academy also features a host of other free videos that cover science, mathematics, computing, and more.
This course focuses on the realm of entrepreneurship in regards to family business, and the special management and development tools you need to succeed. This course covers the basics of entrepreneurship, such as finding strategies, business plans, and leadership, but also goes into issues of managing a family while supervising a business. In addition to videos, this course also has a handful of smaller quizzes and three bigger assessments to test your knowledge.
This free e-course, sent to you by email, covers the benefits blogs can give your business, such as blog writing basics, SEO, and how to market and promote your company’s posts. All you have to do is submit your email, and you will receive a series of tutorials about how to better your blogging abilities.
The Small Business Administration’s Learning Center contains a huge array of small, thirty-minute courses that all add up to a larger series of courses that will help you grow your business. With headlines like Understanding Your Customer, Legal Requirements for Small Business, Market Research, and Introduction to Crowdfunding, this learning center has something for pretty much any new tycoon.
Many of these free courses are not structured like traditional classes, so it may seem challenging at first. However, if you make sure to stay diligent and use proven techniques to keep yourself going, then you will find yourself on the path to success— for you and your business— in no time!