5 Online Course Ideas for Small Business Owners for Continued Learning

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As a business owner, you never stop learning. Even if you’re not sat at your desk poring over textbooks or studying for an online course, there’s always something new to take in and learn when you commit to a life of entrepreneurship. Business decisions, small and large, need to be made every day and both during the process and when you get the results, you’ll learn about what to do in the future to make even better choices for your company. You may often find yourself navigating situations that you are unfamiliar with, leaving you with the need to learn as much as you can around the topic in order to ensure that you are best equipped to deal with it.

Business ownership isn’t ideal for anybody who doesn’t want to learn; you need to constantly stay up to date with the changing market and stay on top of best practices, strategies, and techniques that are so often adjusted and updated in the ever-evolving digital age.

Of course, you learn as you go, but there are also plenty of options available to you if you wish to facilitate your learning by taking a course or getting an additional qualification that will not only provide you with expert knowledge that can be applied to your business, but also help you build your credibility as a professional. So, what are the best courses to study if you want to learn more as a business owner?

  1. Data Analytics

In modern business, there’s no getting away from analytics. Data is everywhere, and every day your business is probably collecting it in some form or another. This could be data on your paying clients, data from who’s visiting and interacting with your social media profiles, or data about what visitors are doing when they land on your online store.

You probably have no shortage of data to work with. But, do you know what to do with it all? Being able to analyze, understand, and interpret the massive amounts of data that most businesses today collect is essential to success. The data that you gather has something important to tell you, and when you understand this, you can then use that information to make more data-driven, informed decisions to propel your company to success. Data can tell you:

  • Which products your customers want to buy
  • The kind of content that they enjoy reading or watching the most
  • The most effective customer service and support strategies

If you are interested in learning more so that you can effectively leverage the data you collect to help you run a more successful business, consider studying marketing analytics at Emerson College Online, a degree program that you can fit around your entrepreneurial commitments.

  1. MBA

The MBA is a very highly respected postgraduate business qualification that is designed to produce a well-rounded, knowledgeable business professional. As a business owner, getting an MBA will benefit you in several ways; not only will you be able to apply what you learn to your business, but the qualification itself can certainly earn you much more credibility and respect among fellow professionals, helping you improve your chance of getting business funding, investment, partnerships, and more.

One of the best things about studying for an MBA is that you may not even have to have been to university or college before enrolling in the program. Many business schools are willing to consider MBA applicants who have relevant experience, so if you have been running your business for quite a few years and have definitely built up a solid understanding of business basics, you will be an ideal applicant regardless of your past qualifications.

MBA degree programs can be studied both online and offline, depending on which is the most convenient for you. Many business owners opt for an online MBA program since they are more flexible and allow you the freedom to decide when is best for you to study rather than having set lectures and classes to attend. Some major benefits of getting an MBA as a business owner include:

  • Networking opportunities: Most MBA students are fellow entrepreneurs or experienced business professionals, giving you the chance to speak to, and get to know, some influential people in the industry.
  • Specialization opportunities: You can decide to study for an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship or if you prefer, focus on another interesting business topic such as marketing, finance, or management.
  • Apply what you learn: MBAs are designed to cover all the ‘pillars’ of business, so everything that you learn will be applicable to your business in some way. You can apply it as you go and see improvements in how your company is run.
  1. Marketing

Are you having trouble getting your business out there? Many business owners who start out on their own have a great product or business idea but fall short when it comes to the marketing expertise and know-how that they need to put their business in front of their audience and attract new clients and customers.

When it comes to studying marketing, there are plenty of different options to choose from. If you’re feeling ambitious, you might want to consider getting a degree or a master’s degree in marketing. This is easier than ever since many marketing degree programs are now offered online, making them the ideal choice for entrepreneurs who want to learn more about this subject but need a flexible option so that they can study at places and times most suitable for them and continue focusing on running their business.

You can also find a range of further online short courses about marketing; many expert marketers today are making a living from writing, selling, and teaching online programs that you can sign up to and study at your own leisure from the comfort of your home or office. You can choose to study a marketing program that covers all the basics or hone in on a specific type of marketing that you would like to understand more, such as:

  • Print and traditional advertising
  • Digital marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Television advertising
  1. Accounting

Accurate financial records are important for any business. Whether you’re running a small business from home or setting up a larger enterprise based in an office space or a storefront, you need to have clear and concise records of the amount of money that you are bringing in, and how much you are spending on expenses. Not only will this ensure that you know whether or not you’re breaking even, losing money or bringing in a profit and help you make the right money-related decisions for the future, but it’s also imperative to have these records when tax season comes around, as submitting inaccurate information could land you in trouble.

Many business owners find that it’s easier and more convenient to work with a freelance accountant, who can take over this side of things for them, provide advice, and generally manage the money side of things and make sure that everything is above board. However, there’s nothing stopping you from taking on this side of things yourself if you have a good eye for numbers and are interested in learning more. Maybe you have decided to use business accounting software like Quickbooks and feel that some formal education in accounting will make it easier for you to understand and operate.

When it comes to choosing the right accounting course for you, there are plenty of options available. You can take short online courses that last for around a day or less and provide you with all the basics covered in just a few hours, or if you’re feeling more ambitious, consider signing up for a longer course, or maybe even consider an online accounting degree. It might suit you to take a short course first, and if you’re still interested in managing your own business’ finances afterward, enroll in a longer and more in-depth one.

  1. Customer Service

Providing value and great experiences to your customers is absolutely imperative for any business. After all, it’s the customers who make your company tick and without them, you wouldn’t get very far. So, you want to do everything that you can to not only attract new customers to your business but treat the ones that you have so well that they wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else.

Most people who start a business have got the basics of customer service down, but taking a course can help you provide an even better service and might be a great way of getting new ideas that you didn’t think of earlier. And an online customer service course can help you deal with customers in a wide range of different situations, including:

  • Customer service on social media
  • Web chatting with customers
  • Customer service via email
  • Customer service in sales and marketing
  • Website customer experience
  • Complaints handling and procedures

The life of a business owner is all about learning, but it doesn’t all have to be trial and error. Today, you can find plenty of online courses from short, informational courses to online degree programs that you can utilize to improve your skills and get better business results.

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