First, Further Your Education
By Amber Ramsey
When you’re busy launching, running, or growing a small business, furthering your education may be one of the last things on your mind. After all, you already have a bunch of responsibilities on your plate and not much time left over for learning. However, various online programs make it possible to balance business ownership with learning — helping you to become a more well-rounded leader, networker, and business owner.
The Benefits of Furthering Your Education
Whether you’ve been running a business for years or you’re in the process of launching your very first company, there are many reasons why it may be helpful to further your education before taking your next big career leap. And according to Entrepreneur, a few of these reasons include the opportunity to build new skills and enhance your existing ones, learn from instructors and fellow classmates, and increase your business knowledge.
As a few examples, many small business owners can benefit from expanding their knowledge of:
- Accounting. With an online accounting degree from an accredited university, you’ll improve your business judgment and learn valuable skills in leadership, finance, marketing, and economics. As a business owner, these financial skills are useful regardless of whether you work with an accountant or manage your own books.
- Marketing. In order to identify and connect with your target audience — and grow your small business in the future — you should have a basic understanding of four marketing principles. These principles include product, price, place, and promotion.
- Leadership. Leadership skills don’t come naturally to all business owners, and some of these skills — including empathy, decisiveness, and collaboration — need to be learned.
Moreover, furthering your education could also help you to pivot your business model and explore a new niche — which is especially useful in the age of COVID-19. Knowledge is power, and you can never be too skilled or educated when you’re running a small business.
Flexible Learning Opportunities
Unless you’d prefer to learn in a traditional classroom setting, plenty of flexible learning opportunities are available to meet your needs as a busy business owner. For instance, you could enroll in an online degree program, take an online or in-person course at a community college, use online learning platforms such as Coursera or Lynda, or join your local Chamber of Commerce. Additional learning opportunities and events are offered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or you can check out business podcasts such as The Indicator, Brown Ambition, and The BizChix.
If you’re just getting your business up and running for the first time, visit the Small Business Administration’s online Learning Platform to find tips for writing a business plan, accessing financing, launching your startup, and growing your business. Free online courses are offered to guide you throughout each stage of the business lifecycle.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned business owner, continuous learning is essential to the success of your new or growing company. And thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to further your education from home — even if you can’t commit to a full degree program. From online courses and degrees to webinars, books, and podcasts, there are so many ways to further your education as you prepare to launch, run, or grow your small business — and now is the perfect time to get started.
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