Now is a great time to seek out ways to enhance your skills as an entrepreneur online. Whether the economy is in recession or in recovery, entrepreneurs are the people who have the greatest opportunities to enhance both their income and their control over the way that they work.
With distance learning technology becoming so powerful and widespread these days, it is now possible to find a variety of outstanding entrepreneurship courses online. In fact, many of these courses are just as good as those that you would encounter as part of a degree program.
Not only that, but more and more online entrepreneurship courses are free. Some courses are actually designed by entrepreneurs so that you can be sure they will have up to date, relevant information. They can be accessed from anywhere, and you won’t have to worry about heavy tuition bills or student loan debt.
How does that sound for a really “entrepreneurial” way of getting your business education? Here is a quick look at some of the most exciting and effective FREE online courses that you can look at in order to bring your business skills up to the next level.
[This list is ongoing! If you have a free online course we should have listed contact us]
- Critical Thinking in Global Challenges: Critical thinking is an important part of any entrepreneur’s life. It becomes even more challenging when you apply it to the kind of global thinking you will need to achieve in order to develop a massive global enterprise. This quick introductory course can get you thinking the right way.
- Organizational Analysis: Any entrepreneur realizes that he or she can’t “go it alone” for good. When you enroll in this course, you will have the opportunity to analyze the change management strategies of real organizations and apply your analytical skills to your own enterprise issues and problems in the real world.
- Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: If you want to “wow” potential investors and make sure that your ideas will get both the press and funding that they deserve, you will need fresh ideas that capture the imagination. This course will give you ways to come up with new ideas and to develop them as business plans.
- How to Reason and Argue: As an entrepreneur, you will constantly be “selling” your great ideas and will have to deal with the objections that others might have. This course will teach you how to deal with the problem by using logical and powerful arguments that will help win your critics over to your way of thinking more easily.
- Introduction to Operations Management: When you are running a business of any size, you will find that “operations” covers a lot of ground. In order to be a truly effective leader, you can use this course to understand the basic principles of operations management that you will be using on a daily basis as your team grows.
- Smart Growth for Small Business: As your business changes and grows, its needs will be more complex. Use this course to garner an understanding of how to shepherd your business through that crucially important early phase in its life and grow it more effectively so you can realize your goals.
- Foundations of Business Strategy: In order to grow beyond the opening stages that you just conquered above, you will need to understand the principles taught in this course. Find out how to compose and express a business strategy that will guide your business through the other phases of growth and help attract capital.
- How To Build A Startup: Even a great startup idea is not so great without customers to bring your ideas to fruition. This course focuses on finding customers and employing proven strategies to ensure that you will be able to secure and use their feedback effectively.
- Web Development: Unless you are planning to develop a completely local business that only uses a traditional storefront, you will need a powerful website to get customers to your products. Take a hands-on approach in this course and you’ll be able to guide the creative direction of your site and avoid scams from fly-by-night web marketing firms.
- Internet Marketing: This course goes hand in hand with the one above in helping entrepreneurs develop the savvy to understand what’s necessary to make their website successful and ensure that it creates a proven bottom line impact throughout the entire organization.
- What Is Networking?: Too many people believe that networking is just another way of asking people what they can do for you. Go above and beyond with this course that teaches you the truth about networking and puts the power of social capital in your hands.
- Mission and Vision: Without a strong mission and vision, you might find that it’s difficult to convince others that your business matters. Learn about the steps in developing a mission that will resonate with others and put you on the map quickly.
- The Art and Science of Negotiation: Entrepreneurs need to be able to negotiate on behalf of their organizations. To make sure that you can capture high value contracts while minimizing the costs of what your business needs, use this class.
- Business Ethics in Contemporary Business: Virtually every MBA program includes at least one class that focuses on the meteoric rise and cataclysmic fall of Enron, the company that was touted as one of the most profitable and important before unethical accounting practices came to light. Now, you can discover how ethics relate to the business landscape of today through this convenient free course.
- Management vs. Leadership: The Difference: While virtually anyone can learn to “manage,” it takes true talent, persistence and dedication to become a great leader. Learn about the differences and how you can realize the best aspects of both “leading” and “managing” in this insightful class. This can help you get the most value out of all of your team members by winning and keeping their respect.
- Characteristics of the Successful Entrepreneur: Jeff Hawkins is the co-founder of Palm and Handspring and is the architect of many computing products such as the PalmPilot and the Treo smartphone. In this course he will take you on a journey through his career, how he became an entrepreneur and the importance of believing in your product. He teaches valuable lessons about the importance of experience, following your passions and how to keep a work/life balance. He discusses how to design successful products, the role of market research and the need to continuously test products. In terms of the company workplace, he talks about how a good business culture and a strong human resources policy are vital. You will also learn about the importance and inevitability of portable technology.
- Creating Business Start-ups the Kawasaki Way: Guy Kawasaki is best known as “chief evangelist” of Apple. In this free online course he gives important lessons about entrepreneurship. He explains why he thinks that the most successful companies will be those that aim to create a positive change in society. He explains how to make meaning in your company so that you can make a difference. You will learn about mantras, getting going, defining a business model and creating a niche for your company. He also recommends that you hire “infected” people, people who love the product or service. You will also learn about lowering barriers to adoption, approaching sales and how to become a “mensch”.
- Creating an Entrepreneur’s Checklist for Success: Steve Blank is a serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in high technology companies and management. He is also a Consulting Professor at Stanford in the Graduate School of Engineering. In this free online course he goes through a checklist of questions and answers that will be helpful to any new business leader. He offers insights and case studies from industry and new technology companies. He focuses on important areas for business start-ups including market opportunity, market regulations and distribution, competitors and complimentors, and technology breakthroughs.
- Critical Skills for Entrepreneurs: Jerry Kaplan is widely known in the computer industry as a serial entrepreneur, executive, technical innovator and author. In this free online course he explains what the best qualities of serial entrepreneurs are and the five biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. He discusses the five critical skills that entrepreneurs need: leadership, communication, decision-making, being a team player and the ability to telescope. He explains the vital importance of sales skills and recruiting people to sell for you. This course will show you how the timing of an idea is very important and why it is very difficult to call. Kaplan shares his advice on the types of risks that companies face when they start off and how the trick is to get the risk out as soon as possible.
- Why Entrepreneurs Should Think Big: Donna Novitsky has many years of experience as both an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. She is CEO of Big Tent Design and was formerly venture capitalist at Mohr Davidow Ventures. Her motto is “Go big or don’t go!” and this has driven her work as both entrepreneur and venture capitalist. In this course, you can listen to Donna Novitsky as she explains why entrepreneurs should think big when they are investing so much of their time, energy and passion into creating a business. She also explains how to differentiate between the roles of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in areas such as business strategy and execution, technology and team building, business diversity and singular focus.
- Entrepreneurship – Creating the Business: Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of any modern economy – Everyday entrepreneurs around the world are starting their own business. This free online course from ALISON examines characteristics of entrepreneurs and also examines the kind of business models and marketing strategies an entrepreneur can use to start a business. This course is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about entrepreneurship or who may be thinking about starting their own business.
- Creating a Need for Your Product: AgraQuest is a company which developed a groundbreaking bio-pesticide that changed the way food is cultivated using pesticides and was a revolution in growing safer food for consumers. In this free online course Pam Marrone, founder of AgraQuest, discusses about how she guided AgraQuest to be today’s leader in bio-pesticides. With her savvy business sense, we learn how Pam pioneered a huge turnaround in marketing the AgraQuest product to capture a niche in the pesticide market. We learn the key factors which brought about the formation of AgraQuest and what changes were made in the pesticide market to convince farmers that they needed to make the change to bio-pesticides manufactured by AgraQuest.