Whether you’re just starting a new venture or hoping to grow your business further, we’ve gathered together some resources and courses that can help.
There are many ways in which you can grow your business. However, part of the challenge is having the right skills and knowledge to do so. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources that can help you out, including our range of online courses.
To help you get your business growing, we’ve gathered together a variety of learning opportunities related to some key subjects. These 30 courses cover a range of skills that can help you maximise the potential of your company.
How can courses help you grow your business?
It can sometimes be difficult to find the time to dedicate to learning, especially if you run your own business. Your existing commitments might make it hard to travel to campus or classroom, for example. Yet with an online course, you can structure your learning around your current lifestyle. This gives you the opportunity to:
- Learn new skills. If you want to grow your business, the chances are you’ll need to develop some hard and soft skills to do so. The wide variety of online courses means you can improve your current knowledge and learn new skills and techniques.
- Generate ideas. Every business is different, which means there often isn’t a cookie-cutter approach to new ideas. Online courses can help you gain insight and inspiration about your own company and how to expand it.
- Understand your industry. Business growth often comes from staying up-to-date with what’s going on in your niche. The right course can help you to appreciate the current market conditions and how to take advantage of them.
- Understand others. Whatever industry you’re in, you’ll have to work with others to grow your business. Learning online gives you exposure to different viewpoints, whether from your tutors or your peers.
How much learning is required?
The courses we’ve highlighted in this article vary in length. However, most only take a few weeks to complete, with only a few hours of study required each week. The course structure is divided into steps to be completed in sections, helping you to gradually build your knowledge.
The exact details of how and when you study depend on both you and your course. However, you’ll receive a clear outline of the topics you’ll cover and the learning outcomes, helping you stay on target.
What type of courses should I take?
As you’ll see, we have a diverse range of courses on offer. As such, you’ll be able to choose to learn about a host of different topics. The exact type of course you’ll need depends on how you want to grow your business, and where your current knowledge gaps are.
To help you get started, we’ve highlighted 30 courses that will help you grow your business. These cover all kinds of different subjects, giving you some inspiration for your learning.
Business basics courses
Let’s start by looking at some of the basics you’ll need to get your growth ideas up and running. These cover some of the fundamentals you’ll need to start expanding your knowledge in some key areas:
1) Starting a Business
This is a six-part series of courses on starting a business. The University of Leeds created the courses to give you the essentials of planning, forming, and managing a company. You’ll learn about a variety of topics that can help you start and grow your business.
2) Introduction to Business Management
With this four-week course, you’ll learn about some of the fundamentals of managing a business. It covers topics such as managing people, money, and information. You’ll also discover how to understand and appreciate your management style.
3) Innovation: the World’s Greatest
When you’re trying to grow your business, innovation can play a central role. This course explores what the term means, and how technology develops to impact our lives. You’ll research ideas, discuss relevant topics, and learn how incremental, radical and disruptive innovations can impact businesses.
4) The Science of Success
Business growth is often about setting goals and creating an action plan to achieve them. This course explores how successful people do things differently. You’ll learn how to use small, achievable actions to reach your ultimate goals.
5) Competitive Strategies to Make your Business Stand Out
This three-week course helps you position your business to make it stand out. You’ll learn about how to create a competitive strategy that can improve your advantage against your competitors. This includes things like competitor research and defining your competitive landscape.
Hard skills courses
Hard skills are the teachable abilities or skill sets that are easy to define and quantify. They’re the types of skills you can enhance through education and practice and are the ones needed to carry out specific tasks. When trying to grow your business, they can be invaluable:
6) Create a Robust Financial Plan for Your Business
Every entrepreneur needs to know how to manage their business finances. With this course, you’ll learn some of the fundamentals for planning and sticking to a financial plan that will help you succeed. You’ll explore topics such as revenue forecasting, cash flow analysis, and financial statements.
7) Digital Skills
In the modern workplace, you’ll need a variety of digital skills to thrive. Getting a grasp of the basics is a good first step towards further growth. With this course, you’ll learn about topics such as online collaboration, creating digital content, and how to effectively use search engines and databases.
8) Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting
As well as understanding how to plan your financials, you’ll also need to know how to balance your books and keep accounts. This course details how money flows in both personal and business environments. You’ll also learn some of the essentials terms and practices needed to manage your company books.
9) Foundations of Project Management
The ability to successfully manage a project requires a host of different hard and soft skills working together. On this course, you’ll learn about some of these fundamental elements, including theoretical and applied perspectives.
10) HR Fundamentals
People often form the basis of business growth. Knowing how to leverage personnel to achieve business goals and strategic objectives can go a long way in helping you expand yours. This course explores ideas such as workforce planning and employee recruitment and retention.
Soft skills courses
Soft skills are the non-technical and interpersonal skills that relate to how you work. They’re essential to success, as they often determine how effectively you perform, both by yourself and with others. Here are some courses that can help you to develop your soft skills:
11) Communication and Interpersonal Skills at Work
Communication skills are essential in forming strong relationships with customers, clients, employees, and co-workers. On this course from the University of Leeds, you’ll discover a variety of communication strategies for the workplace. This includes things like sharing ideas, matching your communication style, and managing challenging conversations.
12) Collaborative Working in a Remote Team
As well as being able to communicate with the people you work with, you’ll also need to collaborate with them on a variety of projects. To grow your business, you’ll likely have to liaise with people locally and remotely. With this course, you’ll discover how to plan projects and which collaboration tools you can utilise.
13) Emotional Intelligence at Work
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognise, understand, and use your emotions. Not only that, but it’s also about recognising and appreciating other peoples’ emotions. It’s a skill that helps with things like communication, empathy, conflict resolution and overcoming challenges, all of which are important as you grow your business.
14) Using Creative Problem Solving
Creativity and problem-solving are two soft skills that go hand-in-hand. What’s more, taking a creative approach to overcoming different situations can help give you a competitive edge. On this course, you’ll learn about how to use creativity to solve problems, as well as some of the tools that are available.
15) Decision Making
Making decisions is a skill that’s closely related to problem-solving. Part of the process is choosing the right problems to solve, which is what this course focuses on. You’ll evaluate your existing skills, as well as learn some of the transferable skills you’ll need when making important decisions.
To grow your business, you’ll need to draw on a variety of skills and tools. One of the most essential areas to help with growth is marketing, as it can help you expand your customer base and sell products. We have a broad range of marketing courses available, and we’ve highlighted some of the most relevant ones below:
16) Digital Skills: Digital Marketing
For many companies, the digital frontier presents a unique opportunity. Yet there are many different areas of digital marketing that can help you grow your business. By taking this course, you’ll learn the basics of some of the key digital marketing strategies, such as pay per click advertising and email marketing.
17) Introduction to Marketing Strategy
There is a lot of planning and strategy that goes into creating a successful marketing campaign. With this course, you can learn how to run such a campaign, as well as how to measure how successful it is. It also covers how to make a marketing plan.
18) Introduction to Strategic Brand Management
One of the most effective ways to market your business is to establish a brand that your customers and clients recognise and can trust. This is easier said than done. However, with this course, you can learn about building a strategic and memorable brand vision and identity.
19) Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign
Social media has significantly changed the way in which businesses and industries market towards their audience. It’s a medium that presents a real opportunity for growth, which is why learning how to create a social media marketing campaign can be useful. This course teaches you many of the fundamentals you’ll need to plan, create, and measure the success of such a campaign.
20) Local SEO: A Definitive Guide to Local Business Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of helping your website appear as high up in search engine results pages as possible. Local SEO can help your business rank as high as possible, and this course explores some of the key concepts of how to optimise your website.
As you’ve probably noticed across quite a few of the courses we’ve mentioned so far, understanding the results of your efforts is crucial to measuring success. Being able to analyse the various parts of your business is essential for growth, which is why these courses will come in useful:
21) Marketing Analytics
This course relates back to the previous section about marketing. Analytics plays a central role in quantifying how effective your marketing campaigns are. As a business, you’ll have access to large amounts of data about your customers. However, turning that data into relevant insights can be challenging, which is what this course helps to address.
22) Digital Skills: Web Analytics
If you have an online element to your business (which you should), web analytics can help you understand a lot about your customers. Tools such as Google Analytics provide all sorts of information about the online interactions between you and your customers. This course explores how these tools work and how you can create a measurement plan.
23) Digital Media Analytics: Introduction
Another key source of customer and client information comes from social and digital media. This course explores how you can turn this information into business intelligence. You’ll explore a range of tools and trends to help produce more useful insights.
24) Big Data Analytics: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future
Data is fast becoming a new commodity, and harnessing the power of big data can help you grow your business. On this course, you’ll learn how you can evaluate data from a variety of sources, as well as how it can be used to solve problems and shape the future.
25) Decision-making and Risk: An Introduction
We’ve already mentioned how important the subject of decision-making can be when you’re trying to grow your business. With this course, you’ll explore how you can use data and information to help you make decisions and analyse risks.
As we’ve established, to drive your business forward, you’ll need to use a whole host of different skills. One of the essentials for success is leadership, which encompasses a wide variety of other related abilities. Here are some of the top leadership courses that can help you out:
26) What is Leadership?
As this course explores, leadership isn’t an easy quality to define. People often confuse it with management or positions of power. Yet leaders must possess a wide range of abilities to be successful. Here, you can learn about some of the key concepts of leadership, as well as how to define your own unique style.
27) Management and Leadership: Leading a Team
Growing your business usually means leading a team of people to greater successes. Often, this is closely tied to a business plan that accounts for those people. On this course, you’ll examine how the two principles are tied together, as well as how to build and manage a successful team.
28) Leading Culturally Diverse Teams in the Workplace
Managing a team also means that you’ll work with a wide array of people. In doing so, you’ll likely need some cross-cultural management skills. This course can help you to learn these skills and understand the challenges and benefits that come with cultural diversity in the workplace.
29) Leading and Managing People-Centred Change
As your company grows, you will have to manage the changes that come with it. Often, this also means helping others through these changes to prevent it from being overwhelming. This course enables you to prepare for people-centred change, as well as how to manage it during and after the process.
30) Leading Strategic Innovation: How to Lead with Purpose
Change can often be a positive thing, particularly when you’re reaching for expansion. It can give you the opportunity to improve and innovate, helping to make a positive difference for you and your business. This course explores some of these concepts, as well as how you can harness change for a positive outcome.