Starting a business can be tough on the pocket, especially if like us you are bootstrapping, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality tools. There are a combination of free and freemium tools out there that will get you off to a bang, and with the joys of cloud computing, you don’t have to break the bank on hardware either.
This part looks at free learning resources that you can use to gain the knowledge to give you an edge as an entrepreneur.
Hub-Spot, a CRM provider is investing a lot to assist businesses with their inbound marketing. They have an impressive marketing statistics blog. It’s aimed at assisting businesses think differently about their inbound marketing by providing relevant statistics. Here at Mut-Con it’s central to our data approach to our content strategy.
Their academy is dedicated to teaching everything related to inbound marketing and sales. These free learning resources will not only teach users how to generate more sales using Hub-Spot, but how to be better marketers and sales reps.
The academy also includes a community to get support from fellow entrepreneurs, marketers and sales reps. The best part is the academy provides recognised certification. These are invaluable particularly for businesses providing sales and marketing related services.
Coursera brings together content from a variety of universities around the world to provide paid and free learning resources. Users only pay to get certified at the end of courses or if they want to pursue learning paths. Learning paths are a collection of courses to fully attain a skill.
This doesn’t make the free courses any less potent. They are provided both in text and video format. Delivered in the same manner as they are in the universities they are taken from, they are true value. They regularly feature guest presentations from industry leaders.
The learning format includes assignments for students to review their progress and figure their peers’ perspectives. Coursera is the equivalent of going to an Ivey league school, just without the certification. More importantly, you can always get your certification when the funds to pay are available.
Digital Skills with Google
Digital Skills with Google is a collection of free learning resources aimed at helping entrepreneurs market their businesses successfully. Also dubbed The Online Marketing fundamentals, they help entrepreneurs create viable digital assets. It includes 23 modules covering marketing, search, email, social media, video, e-commerce, geo-targeting and analytics.
It’s a comprehensive starting point for marketing a business online. It also relates lessons to tools in the Google arsenal that can be used to implement these lessons. Learners not only learn how to theoretically market businesses online successfully, but practical application as well. Considering the sheer size of the Google tools arsenal, learners who finish the certification leave fully armed for the online world.
In a world where digital is the advantage, no entrepreneur can afford not to take advantage of this freebie. Best of all, this free certification is endorsed by the IAB (International Advertising Body) Europe.
Academy for Ads (Google Partners Certifications)
Google offers a google partners badge. This is issued to agencies that show proficiency in assisting clients grow their bottom lines advertising on Google. One of the requirements of earning this badge is getting members of the team certified in Google advertising products. Google provides free learning resources and certifications for this purpose.
While the badge is prestigious and comes with benefits like leads, the free learning resources are important in their own right. They provide the requisite skills to be skilled Google advertisers, provide value for clients. The course content covers the entire AdWords advertising platform including search, display and video.
Everyone should start with the fundamentals course, which would help anyone understand paid advertising in general. Google also recently introduced a sales certification to help clients close the leads they get. To top this up, learners can get certified in Google analytics so they can understand how their advertising can be optimized.
Weather to provide advertising, sales and analytics as a service or to use these skills internally, these certifications are valuable for entrepreneurs. Previously, the certifications where provided on the Google partners site and lessons on the Academy for Ads. As of 2018, both tutorials and certifications will be on the Academy for Ads site.
Primarily an investment site, it has a number of free learning resources. They are primarily designed for understanding investment but are valuable for any entrepreneur. Most of their tutorials, like their term of the day, can be subscribed to and received via email. The site includes;
- a dictionary of finance and accounting terms
- investment tutorial videos
- advisor insights
- small business insights
- guides, including tax guides
As a matter of fact, the site contains a lot more. All these can be useful for entrepreneurs who want to understand tax, accounting and good financial management.
The site recently launched an academy. This is a paid learning resource, but provides real value for money with tutorials led by industry experts. Above free learning resources, the site can be used by entrepreneurs to track market activities that can affect their businesses, negatively or positively.
Splunk Tutorial (e-learning)
Splunk is a provider of machine data analytics services. They pride themselves with a platform that can:
- collect data from any source, and
- be operated easily with limited skills.
This is revolutionary in a field that is traditionally impossible to understand. To make this even more of a reality, they provide free learning resources about their platform. Considering their platform is built for simplicity and usability, it makes a good starting point for anyone wanting to learn analytics.
Not just Splunk analytics, but data analytics in general. Users can learn all about data analytics, connecting data sources, cleaning and storing data as well as using data for reports. The free training resources are not only aimed at teaching the technical side of analytics. They are also geared towards teaching analytical thinking.
All this training can also be certified. These can be used by business and individuals to show clients they can bring value. The best part, Splunk gives learners the chance to win up to $4 000.00.
Envato Tuts is the go-to in free learning resource for everything business, software, code and design. The site is divided into How-to-Tutorials, courses and eBooks. The learning topics range from design and illustration, code, web-design, photo and video, business, music and video, computer skills and graphics.
The topics themselves are subdivided, offered in both text and video format. You can select your level of understanding from beginner to advanced. If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can suggest a course. This is a true candy store for new entrepreneurs. There are free online learning resources to learn planning, starting and running a successful business.
All micro skills like proposals and pitching are included as well. Not only will you learn skills to run your business, but you can learn skills you can start a business on. All of the topics covered on the site are in high demand at the moment. There are even courses on freelancing, so you can provide your newly acquired skills.
We would love to hear what freebies you use to bring the magic on the daily or how any of these incredible resources contribute to your vision, and watch out for version four of the post as we share more lovely freebies. Part four is looks at free online learning resources.