Learning something new doesn't have to just be for kids. As a business owner, you can always get inspired to learn a new skill—or brush up on existing ones—to give you a competitive edge.
The good news is there are online classes available to fit every schedule, budget and need. Here are a few ideas that can help refresh your skills and grow your business.
1. Boost Creativity
Brushing up on a "soft skill" like communication, creativity or adaptability is an investment that works; these skills never go out of style.
To boost your creativity:
- Flex your creative muscles with this interactive class offering guided, hands-on exercises: Creativity Bootcamp (Lynda)
- Boost your problem solving and idea generating skills with Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success (edX)
2. Design Thinking
Closely related to creativity, design thinking has become de rigeur for innovators. The practice helps you reimagine your business and mission by focusing on the customer and challenging long-held assumptions.
To better design for your customers:
- Design thinking originated at IDEO. Learn from the experts with Insights for Innovation (IDEO)
- Get the the tools you need to become an innovative thinker: Design Thinking for Innovation (University of Virginia)
3. Effective Communication
Persuasion is another soft skill that can help lead to success. Make sure you are communicating your message effectively and crafting the right story.
To polish your presentation skills:
- Motivate audiences with solid arguments and moving language with Speaking to persuade: Motivating audiences with solid arguments and moving language (Coursera)
- Try this 30-minute class by marketing guru Simon Sinek: Presentation Essentials: How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action (Skillshare)
4. Tackle Tech
Soft skills are great, but with technology changing so rapidly, business owners ignore new tech trends at their peril. Artificial intelligence, blockchain and other technologies are transforming every industry.
To tackle tech:
- Learn key concepts and coding skills with Complete Data Science Training: Mathematics, Statistics, Python, Advanced Statistics in Python, Machine & Deep Learning (Udemy)
- Learn about this hot trend with Blockchain Technologies, Business Innovation and Application (MIT Sloan School of Management)
As a business owner, you can always get inspired to learn a new skill—or brush up on existing ones—to give you a competitive edge.
5. Digital Marketing
There's no way around it: digital marketing is key to your company's success. It pays to become fluent in SEO, social media marketing and analytics.
To conquer digital marketing:
- Cover the bases, from market research and email marketing, with The Complete Digital Marketing Course (Udemy)
- Inbound marketing is the art of drawing customers to your brand. Get the scoop with Inbound Certification Course (HubSpot Academy)
6. People Skills
The workforce is changing. That demands new skills.
To polish your people skills:
- Bring out the best in your staff with Managing People: Understanding Individual Differences (Future Learn)
- What you don't know can hurt you. Tackle unconscious bias in the workplace with Unconscious Bias (Google)
So what are you waiting for? Start cracking the virtual books!
Photo: Getty Images