There comes a time in many people's lives when they long to own their own business, to be captain of their own destiny and the architect of their own fate. For far too many people, this dream dies unanswered. Those who answer the call, however, find that great rewards only come to those brave enough to take chances--and smart enough to learn as much as they can about business before taking that fateful leap.
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Having a great idea for a new business is only the first small step in starting your own business. In order to make that business successful, you need a good education in the business of doing business.
Here are 10 important online classes every budding entrepreneur should take:
1. "Starting a Business While Working a Full-Time Job"
Leaving the security of your current job is a very scary proposition that not everyone can afford to take. This course is aimed at those who can't afford to give up the security of a steady paycheck while building their own business. Instructor Ryan Robinson, a veteran entrepreneur with a number of successful startups under his belt, teaches students his own 10-step methodology on how to successfully launch a business while keeping your day job.
2. "How to Start Your Own Side Business"
Not sure if you are quite ready to take that chance? This course provides a comprehensive guide on how to keep your job while starting a successful side business and how to avoid many of the common mistakes and pitfalls that can stall your business. This course is perfect for passionate, creative working professionals who long to start their own business while keeping the security of their current job.
3. "Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Thinking and Action"
This course provides an introduction to the basic building blocks needed for budding entrepreneurs. Topics covered include: how to evaluate the opportunity and feasibility of a proposed business; the importance of a business plan and how to create one; and how to achieve success in a new business venture.
4. "Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship"
Not everyone who has a great idea for a new business or product has a business background. This course is a general introduction to business basics, entrepreneurship, industry, and markets that can help beginners get a better handle on how to start that first business.
5. "The Lean Startup"
Two of the greatest weaknesses of startups--small staff and limited financial resources--can also paradoxically be among their greatest strengths. Being lean means you can pivot quickly to take advantage of opportunities or to recover from problems, and limited staff means it is much easier to keep everyone on task and on target. This course gives you the information you need to maximize results while minimizing work and expense, which together can quickly make your startup a success.
6. "The New Business Toolbox"
This course gives you the tools you need to recognize potential pitfalls--and opportunities--that your business may face, and how to turn them to your advantage.
7. "How to Build a Startup"
The most valuable tool any company can use to build a strong foundation is to listen to its customers. This course, led by veteran entrepreneur and author Steve Blank, focuses on the "Customer Development Process," which teaches businesses how to develop and test ideas based on feedback from their customers.
8. "Find Your First Profitable Idea"
The key to starting a successful business lies in being able to recognize that million-dollar idea when it comes along. This course will teach you how to recognize business ideas that have the potential to grow into highly lucrative successes--and avoid those that are destined to fail.
9. "New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs"
The best business idea in the world is worthless if you can't find and secure the financing to make it a reality. This essential course will teach you the "language" of startup capital, how to raise startup capital, and how to create the perfect investor pitch to get the money you need to get your business off the ground.
10. "Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship: Pitching Your Business and Yourself"
This course is a basic introduction to the world of entrepreneurship--what a true entrepreneur is, how to be an entrepreneur, and, most important, how to pitch your entrepreneur vision to potential investors and customers.
Whether you are a veteran entrepreneur or just starting out on your first business venture, these courses will help you get on the right track to business success.