Being an entrepreneur is about wearing many hats. Inventing a product or service is just the start— there’s also marketing, funding, sales and so on. In light of all this, it’s common for entrepreneurs to struggle in the early years.
Having an M.B.A. can be helpful but entrepreneurs who get started later in life usually don’t have the time to go back to business school. But there is another option: online courses. For example, with Udemy, you can get access to high-quality courses for a reasonable fee (they can cost as low as $11).
A course will also allow for engagement. To this end, there are quizzes and exercises. You also can ask questions to the instructor, which can be invaluable. What are some of the best courses for entrepreneurs on Udemy? Here are seven of the best:
The late Steve Jobs had an innate ability for storytelling. During the early 1970s, when most people didn’t even know what a personal computer was, he was able to bring the technology to life and quickly create an iconic company.
So how can you be a storyteller in business? Well, you should check out the Storytelling for Marketing and Entrepreneurship course taught by Alex Glod, a corporate trainer and a three-time TEDx speaker. In it, you’ll learn about putting together concise and convincing pitches. There is also coverage of areas like word-of-mouth marketing, the role of emotions and customer behavior and the use of social influence.
You know what one of the biggest reasons for business failure is? A lack of cash-flow management.
While accounting can be somewhat dull and complicated, you still need to know the fundamentals. And this is where QuickBooks Online 2019 & 2018 Start to Finish course comes in. It is comprehensive, providing information you need for all the steps like reconciling bank accounts, generating reports and analyzing financial statements. In fact, there are about 50 hours of video content. The instructor is Robert Steele, who is not only a CPA but also holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.
One of the toughest challenges for entrepreneurs is getting new customers, as it is extremely difficult to rise above the noise in the market. It also does not help that early-stage companies do not have long track records. Oh, and there is also a proliferation of new mediums on which to market.
To help with all this, take Digital Marketing Masterclass: Get Your First 1,000 Customers. The instructor is Evan Kimbrell, founder of Sprintkick, a digital agency, and a former VC, whose clients included Walmart, GNC and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The course provides a good background on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. But there is also a look at the various tools to improve your performance like Google Analytics as well as how to setup a PR campaign and content strategy.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, Guy Kawasaki is one of the top experts. Back in 1983, he was pivotal in marketing Apple’s Macintosh, becoming referred to as a “tech evangelist.” Since then, he has written best-selling books and has been an advisor to companies like Nike, Google, Microsoft and yes, Apple. His Udemy course, The Essential Guide to Entrepreneurship by Guy Kawasaki, is engaging, compelling and full of useful advice. Some of the topics include the dos and don’ts of being an entrepreneur; tips on putting together a killer pitch; and techniques for supercharging your marketing.
If you look at many of the world’s top entrepreneurs—including Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff—they are pretty great at sales. And this is more than just about convincing prospects to buy products. Sales are also extremely important for recruiting and forming partnerships. So to power up your own sales abilities, there is an excellent course to try out: Learn to Sell Anything by Grant Cardone, an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His course offers a look at some proven techniques but also help with learning about factors like pricing/discounts, finding ways to boost your confidence, and learning how to create a predictable process.
Whom you hire—especially in the first few years of a business—is absolutely crucial. Even one bad decision can wreak havoc on your nascent company. But with the Recruiter Training: Hire Top Employees in 30 days course, you can get some guidance on avoiding the gotchas. (There is also an e-book companion.) The instructor is Craig Brown, who has over 15 years of experience with recruiting, and offers techniques such as “Heavy Door” and “Cross-Platform Verification.” You’ll also get an understanding of how to advertise for candidates, build a pipeline, conduct reference checks and negotiate a salary.
Raising money can be challenging, especially for traditional approaches like bank financing and angel funding. But over the past decade, there have emerged alternative approaches, such as crowdfunding. This not only allows you to get an infusion of capital but also to help create an audience for your product.
A good way to learn about the crowdfunding process is to take The Complete Crowdfunding Course for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, taught by Angela Yu, an app developer/trainer. In it, you’ll get details and advice on understanding how the platforms work, building a campaign and how to drive more traffic.