Maybe you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit. You have the idea, the vision, and the talent, but perhaps you aren’t well-versed in all of the business logistics that will aid in making your dream a reality – and a success.
Not to worry! Did you know that there are several free, online options available to you where you can learn how to run a business?
Free Business Training
The following options can teach you how to build a business at no cost to you:
Facebook Blueprint provides free online training to help build your digital marketing knowledge and gives you the resources to effectively market your business on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more.
The site provides a robust collection of self-paced, easy-to-follow training courses that will teach you how to bring your business online, how to establish a presence, and how to attract and grow an audience.
You can either follow the recommended learning paths, select courses based on popularity or by topic, or directly search the subject you are wanting to learn more about.
As if Google isn’t already the place to find any and everything, it’s also a source of free online business training.
Grow with Google offers workshops to help grow your professional skills and career, as well as free courses for small businesses on topics like “How do I get my business listed on Google Search and Maps?” and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There is also the Google Analytics Academy, where you can learn how to use Google’s website measurement tools to collect data and grow your business. The academy offers free beginner, advanced, and expert analytics coursework and certifications.
Small Business Administration
While Facebook and Google have programs geared toward helping you learn how to build, promote, and analyze an online business, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wide array of online courses on all aspects of business ownership.
From the legal requirements of starting a business to financing options, to pricing your goods or services – the SBA has a little bit of everything
Later is an Instagram marketing platform that enables users to plan and publish their social media posts as well as get analytics on engagement metrics.
The site offers free Instagram training, as well as an expansive library of video tutorials teaching you how to stay organized, create great content, and grow your business. However, if you’re a paid user of Later’s marketing platform, you have access to a wider database of training tools.
Hotjar is an up-and-coming analytics tool that differentiates itself from Google Analytics by using heatmaps, recordings, surveys, and more to help businesses understand their customer and/or user experiences on their website.
Hotjar is also what’s known as a “freemium” service. It provides some aspects of its tool and basic training materials at no cost, but paid users receive more robust capabilities and learning tools.
Shopify also provides its users access to Shopify Compass, an extensive library of resources covering all facets of entrepreneurship.
Whether you want to learn about email marketing, how to start a particular kind of business, or how to increase your sales over the holiday – Shopify Compass has a course, tutorial, or workshop for you!
Udemy offers over 1000 courses ranging in topics from web development to photo editing and everything in between. Taught by actual industry professionals, not some random person who said they could teach you how to do X,Y, and Z, these courses are top-notch quality—and free. The best part is that Udemy offers certificates of completion that you can add to your resume, which will help you stand out when applying for jobs. If some of the course material is outside of your interests, no problem. These courses are totally self-paced so you can dip in and out whenever you want.
If certificate building isn’t really your jam, check out Alison. Much like Udemy, Alison offers free online business courses but focuses more on underprivileged learners who might not have otherwise had access to this type of training. Alison’s courses range from technical skills like QuickBooks to more soft skills like effective communication in the workplace—all available for free (although there is the option to donate if you’re feeling generous). Plus, when completing one of Alison’s “Diploma” programs, which are composed of multiple courses totalling around 10 hours, you can add their cool little badge to your LinkedIn profile or resume to show off your new skills.
Coursera is similar to Udemy and Alison in that they offer entire college-level degree programs online—for free. That means if getting an MBA has always been a life goal but face-to-face classes just won’t fit into your schedule or budget, Coursera has got you covered with over 2,000 courses from some of the world’s top institutions like Yale and Princeton. And yes, certificates are available for most courses as well.
edX rounds out our list as another provider of high-quality (and free!) online business courses that come with certificates upon completion. Boasting 130+ partner institutions including Harvard, MIT, Microsoft, and more, edX offers plenty of impressive class options for budding entrepreneurs and upwardly mobile professionals. All told, edX has over 2200 courses spanning 42 different categories that range anywhere from 6 weeks up to 20 weeks in length—perfect for busy schedules or short attention spans.
Ready to become the next big thing without spending a fortune? These free online business classes will give you the foundation need without breaking the bank. From technical skills like QuickBooks to soft skills like effective communication in nonprofit organizations—these courses are top-notch quality and totally self-paced. These courses are perfect for anyone with big dreams and a limited budget. So what are waiting for?