18 Oct DIY Small Business MBA: 18 Awesome Free Courses To Take Right Now
Educators raised me. My mom has a Ph.D. in Biology and my dad has a Ph.D. in Leadership. They are both college professors. Being raised by overachievers has its ups and downs. Down? Being forced to read every day, even when I didn’t want to.
The up? Their discipline has made me what I am today. Their strong belief in “lifelong learning,” literally shaped my destiny. Reading and learning were as fundamental as eating dinner at my house. If I didn’t know something, I was taught to figure it out first before asking. This was waaaaaay before Google.
Thanks for their continued encouragement to be curious and to teach myself, I am where I am today. The whole reason you are reading this blog all started because of my parent’s passion for learning.
So you can understand my frustration when I hear so many entrepreneurs blame a lack of resources or education as a reason why that can’t reach their goals. If you don’t know how to run and market a business, for God’s sake, stop making excuses and start learning. There is NO excuse to not know something with the amount of information at our fingertips.
I decided to share my favorite resources and courses that have helped me stay at the top of my field. Then a surprising thing happened, as I was going through my research, I began to see a trend. I had self-taught myself into an MBA. That’s right! A DIY MBA utilizing FREE resources and courses.
After I had realized what I’d done, I began studying the course lineup in a traditional MBA program and developed my own. This DIY MBA curriculum is a work in progress that I will regularly be updating, so please comment below if you know of any additional opportunities that would fit into each category.
DIY Small Business MBA Curriculum
US SBA Learning Center: The SBA offers a variety of online courses to help you start and run your business, especially when it comes to financing. They have so many courses designed to help you find new funding, customers, and locations. But that’s not all. They have an extensive library including:
- Courses designed to help you research, plan, and turn your ideas into a great business
- Courses designed to help launch your business and turn it into a reality.
- Courses designed to help you master day-to-day operations and run your business like a boss.
Plus, several courses with information on SBA programs, such as government contracting, mentorship, and more.
IRS Business Video Training Library: Yes, the IRS provides very detailed business training videos to help you navigate business taxes. Hint? Spend time and watch them all. They will come in very handy, even if you hire an accountant to do the work.
Financial Accounting Made Fun – Eliminating Your Fears by edx: Accounting made fun? Maybe. This course is more like actionable made less scary. It introduces you to the form, content, and definitions included in the primary financial statements: income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. You will learn how to use this information to make key operating decisions, such as how to balance growth with cash constraints and so much more.
Foundation of Business Strategy by Udemy: One of my favorite free courses, this curriculum dives deep into strategic analysis from a competitive point of view. The course delves into fundamentals on how to position your business for success.
Strategic Management by Alison: This free online course goes through the strategic practices and procedures needed to achieve business goals. You will learn how to develop a mission statement and a strategic plan. It also covers decision making, strategic management, competitiveness, risk, flexibility, strategy analysis, and more.
Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital by Stanford: Straight from the IVY League school, this audio course explores startup from a venture capital point of view including funding, managing, and scaling a business. Topics also include value equation, board management, market strategy, company culture, and hyper-growth.
Principles of Microeconomics by MIT: Not my favorite course, but very much needed. This course will help you get an overall understanding of microeconomics including the basic concepts, supply and demand, theories, competition, and more. This curriculum is an actual undergraduate course.
Remote Team Management by HubStuff: They call it a guide but don’t be fooled, this is an in-depth course. If you plan on managing a remote team, this is a must-read. HubStuff’s 5 part guide goes through everything you need to manage a remote team including accountability, job posting, hiring, outsourcing, project management, communication, and more.
Modern Human Resource Management by Alison: A lot of entrepreneurs like to skip this when learning how to start and run a business, but I think it’s one of the most important things you can learn. Here’s why. To be able to survive you have to delegate. Delegation means freedom. You can’t do any of that without learning how to create systems, hire the right people, train them, and manage them. This course by Alison teaches you just that plus more.
Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business Online by Google: A free 4 module course about digital marketing for free by Google via Alison. This course will help you get an introductory understanding of digital marketing, shape your strategy for competition, and get the most out of AdWords.
Branding, Content, and Social Media by Ohio State University: This audio course will teach you how to strategically focus on PR online via social media, branding, and content. The best part is that it also shows you mistakes that you can avoid and examples of best practices.
SEO Training Course by Moz: This course via Udemy covers in detail the steps needed to optimize your website for the web including how to build a monthly SEO plan, keyword targeting, link building, and more.
Social Media Marketing by Advance Learning Academy: Here’s a highly recommended social media marketing course taken by over 100K students. The amazing thing about this course is that it leaves no stone unturned. It covers everything from email and affiliate marketing to podcasting and blogging, and of course social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.
Shopify Compass Courses: Get a crash course in digital marketing, Instagram, do-it-yourself website design, and more. The Shopify Compass library of online courses gives you access to expert knowledge from some of Shopify’s top-selling business owners.
Technology & Info Systems
HTML & CSS by Codecademy: Everything you see online is the result of HTML and CSS. In a few short years, most employers will require these two syntaxes. If you want to learn the basics, Codecademy has one of the best courses out there. This course covers the fundamentals of HTML and CSS as well so that you can utilize both to bring a website design to life.
Introduction to Project Management by University of Adelaide I’m obsessed with productivity, and on a high-level, this is one of the best free higher ed PM courses online. When you enroll, you’ll learn how to understand your goals from the outset of your project, and to consider all the factors that may affect its execution. Step by step you will learn how to plan, scope, schedule, cost and manage your project from beginning to end.
Leadership & Organizational Development
What Great Leaders Do by Alison: This course features the big dogs: a professor of management science at the Stanford University School of Engineering and a researcher in the field of evidence-based management. You will learn about the great need for leaders to hear the truth and the most appropriate ways to deal with team disagreements. You will also study the hallmarks of great leaders, the habits of those who fail to lead, and more.
Success – Achieve Success with Emotional Intelligence by Taylor University and MIT: Starting and running a successful business can be stressful and draining. So much so that many entrepreneurs suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts, irrational fears. This is the last course on my list, but it’s required to live a balanced and healthy life by helping you cultivate skills so that you can achieve success and happiness.
Bonus: Business Productivity Course ($79.99)
Seamlessly Scheduled Masterclass: Rewire, Reorganize, and Revamp Your Biz: I’m excited to share my own masterclass on business productivity! Seamlessly Scheduled is a course to help you rewire, revamp, and reorganize your business for repeatable success! Featuring a plug-and-play productivity system to help you build a balanced personal and business productivity system based on your long-term goals.
This masterclass was strategically created for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who are highly-motivated with a busy life or schedule. Those who are full-time in their business and have big goals but can’t find time to get everything done in a healthy way.
This masterclass isn’t free, but it’s a way to understand how to schedule in time to implement everything you’ve learned above in a healthy and holistic way.
That’s it for my curated DIY Small Business MBA Program. Enjoy and let’s keep this party going. Comment below and add any courses, tools, and resources that have helped you figure out how to navigate entrepreneurialism.