The internet has allowed more people than ever to eschew traditional offices and desks in order to work remotely at their jobs. As a business owner, you may not have that option – your business probably requires you to show up in person and put in long hours every day. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the internet to help your business grow – by using it to get the education and skills you need to take your business to the next level.
For many entrepreneurs, an online MBA program is a viable option to get a top-notch business education without neglecting their companies. But, even if you’d rather just pick up a few new skills by taking a class here and there, online education can help. These days, more schools and companies than ever are offering high-quality degree and certification programs as well as less formal training programs that can benefit you, your business and your employees.
Consider an MBA
You certainly might be able to learn everything you need to know about running a business by attending the School of Hard Knocks. But the thing about hard knocks is that they hurt – and you run the risk of sustaining a blow so hard that you won’t be able to get back up again. You could end up losing your business because of a mistake made out of ignorance.
On the other hand, what if there was a way you could gain all of that same knowledge more quickly, and a lot less painfully, so that you could put it to good use to help your business grow? Of course, there is! Many online MBA programs are designed to cater to the needs of working professionals and entrepreneurs who already head up businesses. You’ll learn everything you need to know about running a business, including important foundational skills like sales and marketing, leadership and management, bookkeeping, accounting and operations management. You’ll gain expert-level skills with today’s relevant business and communications technologies, too.
MBA programs these days increasingly focus on entrepreneurial skills, and you’ll benefit from the networking opportunities you’ll have in the program. You’ll also benefit from having access to a pool of peers and mentors with business experience and knowledge, with whom you can share ideas, brainstorm, and work out flaws in your business plan. Whether you’ve just started your business or you’re considering an expansion, an MBA can teach you how to effectively, and sustainably, grow your business.
If you think you might want to get an MBA, but you’re not sure if you can handle the coursework, consider taking one or two massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Many reputable schools now make course materials available online; for example, MIT’s Sloan School of Management offers free, online business courses to whoever wants them. Reviewing some of this material can let you know if MBA coursework is for you.
Don’t Forget Your Other Online Options
Of course, an online MBA program isn’t your only option when it comes to online learning. You, and your employees, can benefit from online resources like Codecademy, which teaches computer programming, or Coursera, which offers online courses from 114 educational partners, including top-ranked universities. Don’t have time to enroll in a two-year online MBA program? Need help with specific skills right now? There are plenty of free and cheap online courses, tutorials, podcasts and other resources out there that can help you develop new skills or strengthen skills you already have.
In fact, making regular training courses for yourself and your staff a part of your business model can only benefit your business in the long run. Providing your staff with training opportunities makes them feel more valued and leaves you with more qualified employees. It can also help you head off potential problems, such as cyber attacks, by providing the training you and your employees need in advance.
If you’re looking for a way to build your own skills as an entrepreneur so you can help your business grow, online education could be the answer. Whether you just take a few classes here and there or complete and entire degree or certification, there’s never been a better time to learn new skills on your own schedule, without stepping foot in a classroom.