When it comes to running a business, there’s always more to learn. Whether it’s learning about the changing tech landscape, how to market to Millennials and Gen Z’rs or how to refinance your business, there’s a plethora of questions and answers out there. And as you dive headlong into the new year, we’ve got a list of free (and nearly free) courses to get you solidly on the right track.
The online courses landscape
The online courses landscape has been flourishing, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Coursera, edX, Udacity and FutureLearn have amassed quite the following of eager learners. Some of them have upwards of 10 million users. Some courses are even accredited by universities. But those aren’t the only online courses available to small business owners, because many experts in their industries are seeing the need for targeted knowledge, and are creating courses within their niches.
Without further adieu, here are 6 courses that small businesses owners can benefit from in 2019.
Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision Making
As a business owner, finances are everything. And learning to make smarter, sounder financial decisions will go a long way in growing your business. Learn at your pace, or complete it in 6 weeks, in 5-6 hours per week. You’ll become a better manager of your money and start to decrease the seemingly inevitable financial stress you may have felt before. The course is free if you opt out of the certificate of completion or $49 with it.
Cost: Free (or $49 with certificate)
Content Marketing Certification (Hubspot)
Content marketing has become essential to an evolving world in which consumers thrive on information and entertainment. Old-school marketing tactics and ads just aren’t as effective these days on their own as they were in the past. Learning how to create a content marketing strategy, and what you can do to better connect with your audiences in an authentic way is priceless. Hubspot provides a number of content marketing courses, so you can select the areas you want to focus on and improve your business. Oh, did we mention the courses are absolutely free?
A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
The creators of this class know what it’s like struggling to balance work and everything else to achieve a well-rounded life. The course takes a practical approach to managing happiness, focusing on neuroscience, psychology and behavioral decision theory. If you opt to forgo the completion certificate, the class is free. With the certificate, it’s $49. Contributors include Dan Ariely (NY Times bestselling (and TED-approved) author, and Flow author Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi.
Cost: Free (or $49 with certificate)
Social Media Superhero
Social media is more than a trend. It’s the future of marketing. So getting on board sooner rather than later is essential–especially if you’re running a lean operation and don’t have a staff to handle it for you. Social Media Superhero from Melyssa Griffin will teach you the “Game-changing strategies so that you can grow your community and authority on social media.” And at an affordable $37 one-time fee to enroll, there’s not much holding you back.
Personal Branding for Creative Professionals
At only $49, this course, designed by “branding expert” Dorie Clark, will give you the basics of creating your personal brand. If you are looking to be a thought leader in your space and share ideas, not just products and services, you’ll need to know how to position yourself, launch a webinar and more. And this course can help get you there.
There are many benefits to podcasting for your small business. And this course can teach you the basics of creating, marketing and growing your podcast. The course is taught by big-time podcaster John Lee Dumas. At $29, this course is a steal for small business owners who have something to say.