How to brush up your professional skills online
You don’t necessarily have to pay a premium to become an expert at running a small business.
Many people who go into business for themselves do so as an expert in their field.
However, the first lesson of entrepreneurship is that in the early days you have to act as your own marketing, sales and accounts department, just to name a few of the added responsibilities you might be taking on.
It can be overwhelming and expensive to get your head around all the elements of running a business.
The good news is that nowadays you don’t necessarily have to enrol in hours of courses or hire a pricey business coach to increase your knowledge.
The following are some handy online resources that can help you to gain a better understanding of the areas of your business that you want to know more about.
The internet is a valuable tool for every modern business. One of the most important elements of the world wide web you can learn to harness is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
By having good SEO, your website can feature more highly in the results of search engines such as Google and Bing. This has the flow on potential of more traffic to your website and (hopefully) more sales.
It’s not rocket science, but having good SEO is ever-evolving, so you need to maintain your level of understanding if you’re going to keep up.
Moz, which is actually a suite of software tools to help you grow your traffic and your business, also has a highly informative free blog.
Some of Moz’s helpful posts include:
- How to appear in Google’s answer boxes
- How to build a killer content / keyword map for SEO
- Generate 100 blog topics in seconds
- SEO for bloggers
With a focus on sales and marketing, Hubspot also has a potentially very helpful blog for businesses interested in building their customer base.
Hubspot hosts reams of articles on prospecting, networking and closing deals as well as covering hiring sales staff and providing worthy incentives to your team.
Developed in Australia, BRiN is The World’s First Business Advisor in Your Pocket. Artificially Intelligent BRiN can chat to you about your business and then let you view her library of exclusively created small business education videos.
BRiN’s content covers marketing, finance, sales, social media, international expansion, operations management and more.
There are detailed tutorials about how to successfully leverage crowd funding, how to hire the best staff for your business and how to use handy tools like Google Apps, Fiverr and MailChimp.
As a busy business owner, you’ll love the handy features that let you switch from video to audio, listen in double time and create playlists of content to view later.
Coming from the US, SkillShare has video tutorials on a huge range of topics, with titles including:
- How to make a website (premium access)
- Branding an online shop (free access)
- From business plan to real world success (premium access)
The categories for learning with SkillShare include technology, entrepreneurship, writing, business development and productivity.
You can be a student or even apply to be a teacher on SkillShare if you have some information you’d like to share with the world.
This platform works on a ‘freemium’ model, so while you’ll be able to access three hundred videos at no charge, premium membership will currently cost you between $8 - $12 per month, depending on your subscription.
Take a free course on an area of your business through Open Universities Australia.
Courses that you might find helpful as an entrepreneur include:
- Diagnosing the financial health of a business
- Entrepreneurship and family business
- Online advertising
- Writing for the web
Some of Open2Study’s lessons are self-paced, while others are more structured. The courses usually take around one month to complete.
Taking the time to understand some of the business concepts outside of what you specialise in has the potential to make a world of difference to the number of customers you can reach, your sales strategies and even your profits.
Need help boosting your skillset? Check out these digital learning tools to help boost your career, to either refine experience you already have, or build a new set of skills and potentially take yourself in a different direction.