By Ashley Laabs
After opening your business, time gives perspective to an owner’s strengths, weaknesses and greatest points of potential. Successful entrepreneurs garner knowledge everywhere they can, and the age of the Internet is making this easier than ever.
Typically, veteran business owners, consultants, industry training and seminars are the best ways to get tanning-specific advice that has already been proven to work. But for those who want to know more about entrepreneurship, free and inexpensive business education is becoming widely available.
If you want to fit in an education on your time without major commitments, check out the sites below and find something that works for you.
The Small Business Association website features their own Learning Center, full of useful courses on everything from using market research to crime prevention. Online courses include corresponding workbooks and slides with audio, but you can also enjoy videos and chat sessions.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is recognized as one of the top schools in the nation. Their open courseware program allows anyone to freely access material on a broad range of topics. Salon owners will find a wide array of business topics, but may also find some of the humanities and communications courses worthwhile. Through this site you will use actual syllabi, reading and assignments like a real class. It may also be useful just to check out the reading lists to grow your business library.
This 10-lesson training focuses on various types of business management. In a simple text format, users can navigate quickly through segments on leadership, building a team and dealing with conflict. Although it’s a no brainer for business owners, it could also be great in combination with the Smart Tan Master’s Certification for your managers.
Cost: Free (Although you can pay for a certificate at the end of the course)
Want to get a formal education without the hefty tuition? University of the People concentrates on utilizing collaborative technology and dedicated educators to help create a unique learning environment. They are approved to operate and bestow degrees, but are still in the process of being accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Regardless, the broad range of courses is an affordable way to achieve structured higher learning.
Cost: $10-$50 application processing fee, plus $100 per end-of-course exam
If you hate the feeling of wasting time looking at videos of cute dogs and Justin Bieber, there’s another side of YouTube that might be more worth your time. YouTube EDU is full of educational videos from sources like Stanford business department, MIT, Khan Academy and Harvard Center for Public Leadership. Most videos break the 60 minute threshold, meaning you can expect more comprehensive information than the average how-to video.
Looking for a one-stop shop for business insight? BizLaunch offers a wide array of helpful resources. Weekly live webinars rotate between topics for more of an interactive environment, and videos are available to view at any time. Get advice by filling out a form, access business tools like a break-even analysis worksheet, or subscribe to their blog for a steady stream of inspiration. For a little bit of everything, this can be a great place to start your self education and boost your confidence.