Today's entrepreneur has a world of knowledge at his or her fingertips - literally. A few taps on the keyboard and you're on the Internet - and in the midst of a multitude of online courses designed for the entrepreneur. Here are the top three things you need to know to get started in online learning:
- Take the basic courses to give you a good broad overview.
- Focus on the courses that are specific to your company and industry.
- Keep learning through new courses.
Begin with the BasicsIf you're just getting started in your own business, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the many things you have to learn. First, focus on the entrepreneurial basics to build a firm foundation on which you can build your knowledge, and your business.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - click on the "FREE Online Entrepreneurship Course" to sign up.
Hone Your SkillsEven if you have years of experience as an entrepreneur, you must continually hone your skills, and follow the ever-changing business world. Look at the general trends and topics that relate to your enterprise. Which skills would aid you in becoming a more successful businessperson?
SBA's Free Online Courses offers dozens of online training courses for topics ranging from finance to management to international trade. Go to Visa Small Business Online Workshops for a list of free e-learning courses.
Keep Current on LawsThe long hours often involved in running your own business can mean little time to devote to the latest in tax laws and regulations, but never fear - you can even learn about taxes online!
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – the organization people love to hate – has stepped up to the plate with several computer-based training courses and tools for small businesses and entrepreneurs. And guess what? They're free!
Go for the DegreeKill two birds with one stone: learn to run your own business while earning an MBA - and do it online! (If the learning is related to your business, you can likely earn a tax write-off in the process - ask the IRS for specifics.) Well, what are you waiting for?
- Save some time: Online courses save time for the entrepreneur working 60-plus hour weeks.
- Save money: With affordable online training, small businesses don't have to spend thousands of dollars a year for costly employee seminars.
- Convenience: You can take online courses from home, while traveling on business - even while catching some rays at the beach.
- Never stop learning: Keep current on the newest online courses. The more you learn, the better your chances of succeeding in business.
- Sample first: Most companies allow you to take a free trial before paying for a fee-based course. It's a great way to check out the course before you invest money.