Starting your first company as an entrepreneur can be an unpredictable and stressful experience, particularly if you haven’t conducted extensive research before going into business. While an education can’t promise anyone success, it can certainly help entrepreneurs avoid common pitfalls and carry out plans with greater efficiency and efficacy.
However, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to enrol in a university programme and dedicate years of your life to studying before you can launch a successful startup. Instead, try taking one or more of the following online courses that will benefit any novice entrepreneur:
1. Microsoft Excel Training
For someone who is an advanced entrepreneur, there’s about a 90% chance that they already know how to manage spreadsheets within Microsoft’s practically ubiquitous Excel software. To continue your entrepreneurial efforts without even knowing how to edit and manage a spreadsheet is silly, because eventually you’ll encounter the need to work with spreadsheets in the course of operating most businesses.
Luckily, there are plenty of Excel courses that will help you become a spreadsheet wizard within a few weeks of dedicated studying. To get started on that route, you can kickstart your learning at findcourses.co.uk – an extensive database of online courses and certifications that boost entrepreneurial skills and enhance CV appeal. findcourses.co.uk has Excel courses on various topics, and for users of every skill level, so you can start with an introductory course and move up from there.
2. Writing and Word Processing
Business writing is a skill that every entrepreneur should aspire to develop, as the vast majority of successful companies have been built around the power of word. Most modern business documents are prepared digitally within a word processor, so it stands to reason that you’ll want to become a proficient user of Microsoft Word.
This will help you create professionally formatted and worded documents like official business plans, proposals, and carefully crafted email responses for clients. Companies also look to hire people who are proficient in using Microsoft Office products, so just by taking the first two courses on this list, you’ll be significantly increasing your overall employment eligibility and appeal as a business partner or prospective investment.
3. Advertising Methodology
Understanding advanced advertising concepts puts you on an elite level in business because effective advertisers are some of the most in-demand professionals in the world. You can’t put a price on the ability to create worldwide awareness for a brand. The advertising efforts that you put forth within the first few years of doing business will shape the entire fate of your company for years to come, so it’s best to make sure you’re off to a great start by going into the endeavour with a solid understanding of advertising methodologies.
This kind of course will teach you how to create ads that achieve higher conversion rates and better metrics across the board. You’ll also learn how to thoroughly assess progress and gauge results through the use of advanced analytical interfaces. Many investors feel that advertising metrics are the official universal language of business. When you can show investors that your ad campaigns are getting great results, all you need is a great pitch and you’ve essentially got your first major funding round in the bag.
4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is a form of organic brand promotion that makes your sites and pages more discoverable, rather than attracting attention through aggressively placed advertisements. While PPC and other forms of aggressive marketing are necessary, it’s always wise to build the authority of a site around its search engine rankings.
Pages that rank on the first page of the Google search results for major keywords will experience an influx of highly targeted traffic that can last for many months or years. Before you participate in writing content or doing web design for your business, be sure to take an introductory SEO course and create a content strategy around what you’ve learned.
5. Business Management
Taking a course in business management will benefit any entrepreneur for obvious reasons. By definition, as an entrepreneur you’re not only managing one or more businesses, you’re also assuming the risks, liabilities, and responsibilities of the company.
With that burden on your shoulders, it would be wise to educate yourself about the specifics of business management before you dive head first into calling yourself an entrepreneur. Obtaining certification as a trained business manager could also make you eligible for high-paying corporate jobs, so you’ll have a prestigious backup career on standby.
If you heed the previous tip of taking a business management course, you’ll gain a fundamental understanding of business accounting. However, depending on the financial complexity of your business model, it may be best to complete an accounting course as well. This would be a particularly beneficial step if your company conducts many transactions on a daily basis and has quarterly filing obligations.
Regardless, knowing how to do your own accounting will always help even if you’re only going to be double-checking the work of your accountant. Preventing accounting mistakes will let you avoid the hassle of undergoing an audit or having to play catch up when tax filing season comes around.
7. Social Media Marketing
It’s no secret that social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are incredible traffic sources when used correctly. However, you can’t just sign up for one of these sites and expect treasure troves of traffic to come pouring in immediately.
In a comprehensive social media marketing course, you’ll learn how to navigate each platform and use marketing strategies to gradually build up your followings. You’ll also learn how to avoid PR problems and how to target specific demographics using social media advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads.
8. Web Design
Since most businesses will have a website, it makes sense to go ahead and become a skilled web designer as an entrepreneur. After all, why would you want to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds for a service that you could do yourself at no cost and with complete creative freedom?
The idea of building a website might seem out of your league, but with a content management system (CMS) and pre-made templates, almost anyone can do a great job after taking an advanced WordPress course, for example.
Reducing Third-Party Dependency to Save Money and Gain Creative Control
Ultimately, learning all of the skills mentioned above not only makes you a more effective entrepreneur, it would also keep you from having to hire freelancers or agencies to perform these tasks at a premium. As you know, many of these services can be quite costly, and there are never any guarantees that you’ll continue to receive desirable results in the long-term.
When you have the knowledge and the skills needed to do your own web design and marketing, for example, you’ll be playing a hands-on role that gives you creative freedom and the ability to directly monitor and gauge progress as it’s happening, rather than waiting on status updates from your team.
While outsourcing definitely has its uses, particularly when you’re trying to accommodate an elevated workload, there’s also tremendous value in bringing some of your own expertise to the table within any endeavour.