As a business owner, you constantly have to stay on your toes to figure out more ways to bring in revenue. No matter what phase your career is in, knowledge is power—and it can help you get ahead.
By investing in continuing education courses, you'll be able to hone your business skills and determine the right moves for your company.
“It's easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and lose sight of the fact that continuing education provides you with skills that impact your revenue and profitability," says Alex Azoury, founder and CEO of Home Grounds. “If you analyze your existing talents, you'll uncover areas to improve that will directly impact your bottom line."
Courses to help you grow your business
Here are a few types of continuing education courses to consider as you build your business.
- Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing are two business-development skills that you should focus on, according to Azoury. “This is the backbone of your business because without the ability to reach your audience, generate leads, and close sales your business will not survive, profit, or grow," he says.
- Leadership development. Brian Patrick, CEO of Pest Strategies, says that pursuing classes “in leadership management or leadership development is a good place to start for owners wanting to ease back into education." Camille Chulick, co-founder of Averr Aglow, agrees. “Every business leader or manager should take courses in leadership skills," she says. “There is always room for improvement and there are always new people to learn from. You can never have too much of a soft skill like this."
- E-commerce. Shari Smith, a business coach and founder of Shari Sells, recommends taking an e-commerce course to help you generate more sales by going online. “Since online transactions are a trend nowadays, it will be a huge benefit if your company enters e-commerce," Smith says. “This will widen the number of consumers who are patronizing your brand."
- Accounting and finance. In order to run a business, you need to know how money works. Taking courses in accounting and finance can be helpful. “Most of us think we're capable enough when it comes to handling money, but taking some courses on how to do it right should be a big help," says Jack Wang, CEO of Amazing Beauty Hair. “More than 80% of [small] businesses fail due to cash-flow problems," adds Deepu Prakash, senior vice president of process and technology at Fingent. “A degree in finance or economics could help mitigate such risks for business owners by [helping them] know the markets better."
Finding time to invest in continuing education
You don't need an MBA to run a company, but you do need to further your skills to ensure that your business continues to thrive.
Today, obtaining an education is easier and more accessible than ever thanks to online courses, podcasts, YouTube videos, e-books, and blog posts. You can take courses on websites like Coursera, HubSpot Academy, edX, and Udemy for free or at a low cost and learn valuable soft and hard business skills that will propel you forward.
“Successful business owners plan," Azoury says. “They master their use of time and focus on ways to improve in all areas of their life. If you're committed to learning, then you'll make the time to do so."
Find out more about Managing Your Business