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Free online courses to improve your small business

a-person-taking-free-online-courses-on-an-ipadStarting a business can be daunting. Especially when you consider that there are so many variables that could prevent your good idea from becoming a great business. From customers to competitors, products to profits, any successful small business owner will know how important it is to always keep an eye on a myriad of things.

With this in mind, entrepreneurs have to wear several hats at once because they’re in charge of so many different business functions.

For small business owners looking to ‘up’ their game, there are a number of free online courses you can take to ensure that you’re not falling behind your competitors.


1. FutureLearn’s Starting a business courses

FutureLearn offers a wide range of free online courses from top universities and cultural institutions around the globe. As part of their Starting a Business series, they offer six free courses from the University of Leeds. What makes these courses so valuable is the fact that they cover all the bases – from the initial business concept to identifying customers, understanding business processes, managing finances and securing business funding.

2. Finance 101 from ALISON and Udemy

All businesses, regardless of size, require a good knowledge of finance. Udemy, an online learning and teaching marketplace, and ALISON, a global online learning community, have a variety of free online courses to help entrepreneurs who need to add to their financial knowledge. From a business accounting perspective, ALISON has a Financial and Economic Literacy suite of free online courses. Udemy’s range of business courses offer corporate finance and financial accounting training.

3. Social media savvy

Keen to Tweet your way to success or up your likes and shares? Social media is a handy tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking to make their mark. If you want to better engage with people, grow your audience and develop your brand identity, understanding social media is an essential digital skill. The Canvas Network offers free online classes from the world’s leading universities. Businesses who complete their social media courses will learn the ins and outs of social networks and how to develop an effective social media strategy.

4. Digital marketing made easy

For start-ups, taking a quick online marketing course is a good strategy if they’re looking to get the most out of their marketing budgets. Blueprint Marketing’s new business course is a great starting point. Over the nine lessons, course participants learn how to choose the right marketing tactics for their business and improve their marketing results. If you’re looking for something more specific, Udemy offers a range of courses around SEO training and how to create a website using WordPress.

There are a multitude of free online courses you can take to improve your skills and increase your business success. Our Entrepreneurs ebook also has some useful skills development tips to help you make your small venture a big success. Download the ebook here.