No matter how great you are at running your small business, there is probably room for improvement. There are more skills you could learn or improve upon. The Internet makes it easier to take advantage of educational opportunities in convenient ways, and often at little to no cost. Consider taking some online courses to strengthen your own skill set.

HR Management Courses

Human resources are an important part of any employee-based business, and being familiar with what HR management entails will better equip you to handle matters, whether or not you have an official HR department. 

"At its most basic level, HR for small businesses encompasses compliance with applicable labor laws, hiring, and creating a channel for dealing with employee issues," explains Stephanie Hammerwold at Workology.1 If your business is growing, it can be good to include strategic planning as well. Benefits also fall under the HR umbrella."

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has a free Introduction to Human Resources online course that would make for a great starting point.2

Budgeting Courses

Getting better at creating and sticking to a budget can help you keep your business's finances in good health and avoid some struggles that many businesses face, especially during times like these.

SCORE has a webinar/workshop available on its website entitled A Practical Approach to Small Business Budgeting.3 It covers budgeting options, how to choose the best format for your business and goals, setting realistic goals, understanding the budgeting process, evaluating budgets, and how to work with partners and advisors to create a budget to use in the planning process.

Tax Courses

Taxes can get pretty complicated, so it's vital that you have an understanding of how they apply to your business. A good starting point to educate yourself about this is the IRS itself, which provides online video lessons via IRSvideos.gov. The site has a section for businesses in general, as well as a Small Business Taxes virtual workshop.4

The workshop consists of video lessons on various subjects, such as what you need to know about federal taxes and your new business, federal taxes when hiring employees versus contractors, managing payroll so that you withhold the correct amount from employees, etc.

For state taxes in Nevada, the Department of Taxation has numerous videos on its YouTube channel that will help educate you.5

Time Management Courses

There are plenty of online courses to help you better manage your time.  It might be a good idea for you to take one and also refer your employees to it so they can learn ways to be more productive with their time, which ultimately benefits the business.

One free-to-enroll 10-hour course from the University of California, Irvine is completely online and allows you to learn at your own pace and schedule.6 It covers effective planning to achieve goals, recognizing and overcoming barriers to successful time management, keeping a sense of perspective to prevent and manage crises, and managing resources effectively and efficiently.

Accounting Courses

The numbers are obviously a major component of any business, so the better you understand them, the better you can make decisions that impact your bottom line. If the financial part of running a business has never been your strong suit, there are numerous options for online courses in accounting. SmallBizTrends.com has a list of 20 of them specifically for small business owners.7

Language Courses

If you employ a workforce where a number of your workers speak languages other than English,  consider taking language courses. This will help you better communicate with them and it may encourage your employees to express their views more frequently. They may also appreciate that you put in the effort to communicate with them, and may view you as a better leader. Learning another language may also prove useful in other business dealings and customer interactions. Duolingo is an example of a free resource that will help you learn any of 18 available languages.8

The courses mentioned throughout this article are only a few examples of what is available to you. Browse offerings from these sources as well as others from universities, community colleges, and online course providers to find those that cater to areas of expertise that you could use to help your business.

 

1. https://workology.com/hr-important-small-businesses/

2. https://www.sba.gov/media/training/sba_intro_to_hr_09012016/index.html

3. https://www.score.org/event/practical-approach-small-business-budgeting

4. https://www.irsvideos.gov/Business/virtualworkshop

5. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwZMw0CLJAjXH1XFjYde18Q/videos

6. https://www.coursera.org/learn/work-smarter-not-harder

7. https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/05/online-accounting-courses.html

8. https://www.duolingo.com/

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC