Knowingly or unknowingly, we are all learning new things each day. As an entrepreneur, it is important to keep learning and to quit thinking that you stop learning at a certain age. Picking up new skills is a lifelong, ongoing process, and it becomes even more necessary when you are the helm of things with a whole workforce looking up to you for motivation. However, in this age of fast-changing technologies, it wouldn’t suffice to be a jack of all trades. You will need to have a basic understanding of a wide range of topics. This doesn’t, however, mean that you need to pay humongous tuition fees and attend classes. You can learn new things and pick up newer skills from the comfort of your home through online courses. So here’s a list of five free online courses that every entrepreneur can invest their time in:
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As entrepreneurs, you are likely to find yourself in situations that require you to convince the person sitting across you about your company or discuss price quotes. In every discussion, you should make sure that it is collaborative and the final decision is arrived at only after seeking everyone’s views. You must be really adept at negotiating with the other person for what you really want without making them feel as if you are pulling your personal agenda through. George Siedel, in collaboration with the University of Michigan, has put together more than eight hours of practical, usable information that breaks down the process of negotiation for you. You could also suggest your sales team to take a look at this course.
This course is suited for all newbie entrepreneurs or those who are still contemplating on taking the plunge. The course is packed with tips and guidance to walk you through successful pre-launch works of your dream venture. Designed and taught by Dr Jeff Cornwall, professor of entrepreneurship at Belmont University, the course is based on his own experiences. Jeff took a nine-year break from his academic career to co-found Atlantic Behavourial Health Systems, so there’s the added advantage of hearing it right from the horse’s mouth.
One of the trickiest areas when it comes to launching or scaling up your
startup is funding. While sitting at an uneventful pitch meeting, you may have mentally prayed that if only someone could guide you through the whole process. This course is the answer to all those prayers. Professor Michael R. Pratt from University of Maryland has got you covered right from prepping for funding, to whom to approach, how to pitch and how to close the funding process. This course will be an eye-opener for all entrepreneurs who think that the funding process starts and ends with a good pitch presentation and a stunning business plan. Prof. Pratt talks about the other factors like planning and preparation that play a huge role in this process.
Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management at Coursera
Being a good entrepreneur does not guarantee that you are a good manager. At some point in the business, you are going to have to step in to handle people and projects. You could have the best idea and may have put it down in the best business plan, but getting that rolling is easier said than done. The course, designed by the University Of Virginia, starts at how to plan a project, but its crux lies in explaining what happens when unpredictable situations topple all your plans. You could take this course and also suggest it to your project manager and head of departments to help brush up their managerial skills and drive productivity.
Marketing In A Digital World at Coursera
Today, it is not possible for a business to survive without having a digital presence. Digital marketing has become sort of a necessity to get your brand noticed among the din of other new entrants or established names furthering their market. Having a good idea will be of no use if you don’t know how to get it seen and heard by the millions on social media. This four-week course by Aric Rindfleisch of University of Illinois is a good primer to digital promotion. It will give you a lowdown on how digital tools are enabling customers to become an active part in making crucial decisions on topics ranging from development to even pricing. It is one of the most popular courses on the site, with over 1,00,000 learners having enrolled for it till date.
This is just a tiny cross-section of the vast amount of free information that is available online. We live in a fortunate era when we have access to such high-quality educational resources right at home, so make good use of it to drive your venture to success.
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