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Six Online Courses That Will Help Your Small Business Succeed

Nov 4, 2010 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 1 Comments

Interested in starting a small business? If so, it’s likely you have a lot to learn. Running a successful small business requires that you do a lot of things well—from making or delivering your product or service to crafting the right message, marketing and selling successfully, and overseeing all aspects of operations. As a small business owner, you’re much more likely to try to do everything yourself—at least at first. Once things take off, you might be able to afford to hire more staff—but it takes a lot of individual effort to get a small business off the ground.

Here are a few online classes that gives business owners the skills they need to start a successful small business—and nurture its growth.

Internet Marketing

E-commerce marketing skills have never been more valuable in today’s business environment. Chances are, no matter what kind of business you have, there’s a way you can make money with it online—and if you’re not, you’re leaving significant cash on the table. Learn the basics of Internet marketing,
and you’ll be able to make sure your company operates effectively on the web to
communicate with customers, attract new clients, and sell its services and products.


business woman holding open sign
Not every small business owner has a natural talent for sales. But any entrepreneur will tell you that knowing how to sell your services and products face-to-face is an invaluable skill for anyone who owns their own business. Learn how to assess your customers’ business needs, develop a strong sales message, and promote it persuasively in meetings with potential clients, stakeholders, and investors—and your business is likely to have a much better chance of success.


Most small businesses fail—even those run by people with previous business experience. Basic entrepreneurship skills are often learned on a “sink or swim” basis. You can give yourself a head start by taking classes in entrepreneurship. You’ll learn how to develop a winning business idea, how to conduct market research, how to promote your business, price your products, and sell your services. A class in business with an eye toward running your own may be just what you need to get started.

Small Business

When you own a small business, you often have to wear multiple hats—and perform different roles throughout the company. There are many things you need to know about how to operate a small business—not just sales and marketing, but operations leadership, recruiting, management, and choosing the best legal setup for your business. Small business courses in math, contract development, consumer protection law, client relations, event planning, payroll, and accounting can also be useful.

Tax Preparation

Many small business owners hire accountants to take care of their taxes. But if you can do it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money during tax season. In addition, understanding the tax implications of your business decisions can make a big difference in your profits—and could lead to a more successful business down the road. There are plenty of online tax preparation classes available—from how to complete basic income taxes to Chartered Tax Professional certifications.


You can’t have a successful business without getting new customers—and encouraging existing customers to come back. Marketing is a crucial skill for any business owner. Learn how to design a marketing campaign, when and how to utilize many different marketing platforms, and how to craft the right message for your audience. If you do, you’re much more likely to be able to generate new business—and keep it coming in.

Running a small business isn’t easy. It takes a lot of talent in many different areas—from sales and persuasion to product development and operations leadership. Most people aren’t born with natural talents in all these areas. Raise your chances for success by taking classes in the areas where you need the most help—whether that’s business math, business planning, sales and marketing, or operations. In addition, look into classes that can help you hone your natural business talents. If you do, you’re much more likely to be one of the small business owners whose companies succeed—and operate profitably for years to come.




eslconsult Over a year ago

I am in the throws of an online Internet Marketing class. There is so much to learn. I started using the internet for learning in 2000, And for business in '09...Geewiz, I need to catch up! This article shows there's always more to learn.

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