“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Continued education will help pave a clearer path for any professional journey. Even in the startup world, whether you’re a newbie here or already an experienced business owner, you’ll have to continue learning to grow and develop in the field. Learning does not necessarily have to happen within the four corners of a classroom. You can learn anywhere and in many different ways. But, similar to how things have changed in today’s digital age, you can also now choose to enroll in an online course. Doing so will give you access to an incredible amount of resources to assist you in improving your knowledge on different subjects. The good news is, you don’t have to spend a single dime for many of these online courses. A lot are offered for free, so you can learn something from anywhere you want minus the financial pressure.
Here are some online courses every entrepreneur may find handy.
Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
One of the central keys to business success is negotiation. All of us negotiate on a daily basis. We do this on a personal level, with people around us - our families, friends, colleagues, employers, and strangers we transact with at the bank, the store, and everywhere else. Within the organization, we work in and between companies in our business field, we need to learn how to negotiate properly to be successful and to advance our careers.
So whether we have a business contract to seal, employees to reach an agreement with or lease and vendor contracts to straighten out, we need to be able to handle discussions well. In this course, the keys to a successful negotiation are laid out by Prof. George Siedel of the University of Michigan. The course, which is available on Coursera, is divided into four parts to explain in detail at least eight hours of education on the process of negotiation. Your sales team can learn negotiation fundamentals from the different sales scenarios covered by the lessons provided by Siedel.
Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management
Aside from negotiations, project planning and management are among the things that all organizations carry out. We all run projects, whether formally or not. Do you remember the last project you worked on? How did it go? Anything, in particular, that needs improvement? Some of us might have had the most amazing plans in mind for our respective projects. But let’s admit, not every one of these ideas was executed the way we planned or hope for. Sometimes the results were so bad that the projects were nothing but a failure.
This course also available on Coursera and provided by the University of Virginia shows how to properly plan our projects. The course also helps us come up with an action plan for when things don’t fall according to our plans. This is a great course for any entrepreneur to take since business also means knowing just what to do when some things get out of hand.
21 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs
This is a short two-hour course from Jason Nazar, Docstoc CEO. In this video, Nazar discusses the key steps every entrepreneur must learn to run a successful business. He shares his experiences and the lessons he learned when building his online document repository store. He discusses with people the journey he took to turn Docstoc into a successful business venture which involved screening ideas, raising the needed capital, as well as some useful growth and scaling strategies. All the insights from firsthand experience of a successful entrepreneur are surely something other budding entrepreneurs will find valuable.
Introduction to Web Development: HTML
With digital marketing turning things around with the way we do business, online presence has become even more vital than we previously thought it could be. Any business now will only seem legitimate when it has a website or social media accounts. So when starting, it greatly helps when you or someone from your team knows even just the basics of HTML to get you that online presence any business must have. Although there is no guarantee that after taking this course you’d be a certified, first-rate coder you’d still develop a more-than-the-basic understanding of doing simple yet good HTML web pages.
Marketing in a Digital World
Aside from a strong web presence, you also need to have a digital footprint. Any business is successful with such mark in the digital marketing industry. While you can always opt to hire a digital marketer, it is still best that you have thorough knowledge about how to do business online. It is imperative that you have an understanding of the fundamental concepts of a digital marketing campaign. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, through Aric Rindfleisch, provides us a discussion on digital promotion and the creation and marketing of digital products. Every entrepreneur can use the valuable lessons Rindfleisch will give in this four-week long course. Surely, after educating yourself in the know-hows of digital marketing, you can better promote your business for a stronger presence and higher returns.
All the courses listed here will help anyone run a successful business. With the application of the knowledge we acquire and the skills we learn from these online courses, we can then develop our business through time. There is now greater accessibility through these free courses offered online; we just have to make use of such opportunities that are a click away. We also have to continue learning while we gain the needed experience to become an accomplished entrepreneur.
Patrick Panuncillon has dedicated himself to nurturing his passion in digital marketing for almost a decade. He now owns LinkVista Digital Inc., an online solutions company in the Philippines with driven professionals who provide quality results their clients deserve. Connect with him on Linkedin.