Businesses have to start somewhere but growing a business from your home can be challenging in today’s competitive market. The number of home-based businesses has steadily increased over the years as we gain access to tools and platforms that have simplified entrepreneurship for small businesses.
In fact, as much as half of registered small businesses operate from homes, many of which operate full-time. Pandemic lockdowns have motivated entrepreneurs to learn how to run a business through free online courses designed to help small business owners start a company from scratch.
Our free course library offers several online business courses where you can learn the basics of starting a business. Whether you’re thinking of opening a small shop from the comfort of your home, or you’re looking to expand your flourishing enterprise, here are 12 free online courses for you to improve your business:
1. Innovation Mastery Course
Innovation is what propels businesses forward, growing small businesses into full-time enterprises. As a home-based business, you don’t easily have access to the same branding and visibility that corporations have spent time and budget growing. You’ll have to be more innovative in your products and ideas to set yourself apart in the market. Innovative thinking may not come naturally to everyone but it is a skill you can learn through a combination of research and online business courses. Our free course on innovation mastery will equip you with the skills you need to develop business startup ideas, craft digital marketing strategies and come up with unique selling points that bring value to your business.
What is Innovation?
How to Create Innovation within the Organisation
Best for: CEO/Founder, Operations Manager, Financial Manager, Marketing Manager, Social Media Director Cost: Free
2. Identify Suitable Social Media And Online Platforms
Social media can be a powerful tool for business growth. It is through social media platforms that your customers can engage with the company and where you can easily reach out to your target audience to launch campaigns, boost promotions or relay important information about your products and services. Launching your brand on social media is also cost-effective and accessible. However, not every online platform will be right for your business. Learn to identify suitable social media and online platforms through our free business course. In this course, you’ll gain skills and knowledge to properly analyse the different platform options available to you according to cost, target market, marketing packages and reach.
Factors Influencing Platform Selection
Identifying Platforms for Specific Business Needs
Ranking Suitable Platforms
Staying Updated on Platform Trends
Best for: Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, Social Media Manager, Content Creator Cost: Free
Consumers are heading to online platforms for their shopping and service needs, which means there may be an opportunity for your business to leverage e-commerce to boost your sales. E-commerce platforms can also connect you with a wider audience, enabling you to gain a wider reach with your products or services. There are a number of factors to consider when analysing e-commerce opportunities during business planning. Our free online course on e-commerce can help you conduct a competitive analysis, understand emerging trends and identify the resources you need to shift your business online. Learn the basics of e-commerce and find opportunities for your business to reach a new market.
Competitive Analysis and Emerging Trends
Value Chain Analysis and E-Commerce Integration
Identifying Threats and Opportunities
Resource Analysis and Cost-Revenue Implications
Addressing Legal and Ethical Considerations
Best for: Business Owner, Business Development Team, Sales Manager, Growth Manager, Entrepreneur Cost: Free
Every business starts with a goal. The responsibility of a business is to generate income, but setting a goal is different. Setting an ambitious yet realistic goal is part of business ownership as you identify the solution that your products or services bring to consumers. What do you want your business to achieve? Where do you want to see your business years from now? Our business management course can help you narrow down your goals to develop achievable objectives your business can aim for. Learn to establish a business goal through effective techniques and create an action plan for you to achieve your objectives.
Setting Effective Goals
Developing an Action Plan
Maintaining Motivation and Overcoming Obstacles
Best for: Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Business Owners, Business Management Teams, Online Business Owners, and Digital Marketing Team. Cost: Free
Digital marketing is a necessary addition to your business plans as we increasingly shift online. Your potential customers encounter various ads and content through online channels daily, so standing out can be a challenge for small businesses. You want to get users to stop scrolling to see what your business has to offer and to easily find you through search engines. There’s a lot of thought that goes into developing an effective digital strategy. There are demographic factors as well as legal and financial considerations when it comes to boosting ads and pushing campaigns to a general audience. Our series of free online business courses can help you to create marketing strategies that leave lasting impressions on your customers. Learn to analyse helpful information and prepare a marketing plan for implementation.
Identifying Relevant Policies, Procedures, and Objectives
Developing a Review Methodology
Preparing the Review Plan
Seeking Approval from Relevant Stakeholders
Best for: Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, Social Media Manager, Content Creator, Business Development, Outreach Coordinator Cost: Free
Despite training for business ownership and enterprise growth, you can’t expand your home-based business unless you fully understand the products and services you offer. It’s not enough to know what these products and services do but you need to be able to communicate with clients on how these offers can solve their daily problems. This online business course focuses on the sales and retail sector of your enterprise but you can also use the information presented in the course to improve your marketing plans. In this course, you’ll train to identify product information that is relevant to your customers, compare offers with competing brands and update product knowledge to better sell your brand to the market.
Identifying and Accessing Information
Interpreting Product and Service Information
Comparing Products and Services
Updating Product and Service Knowledge
Best for: Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Sales Team, Marketing Team, Business Planning Team, Growth Coordinator, Brand Ambassador Cost: Free
Engaging with customers leaves a lasting impression on them and whether this impression is beneficial or detrimental to your business is up to how you communicate with clients. As a starting business, it is important to establish trust and rapport with potential customers to gain their loyalty, especially as they have minimal to no knowledge about your brand. Access our business courses online to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to maintain positive customer interactions. Learn both verbal and non-verbal techniques, find opportunities to make a sale and create positive first impressions that translate to brand loyalty.
Creating Positive First Impressions
Why is Effective Communication Important in Retail?
Verbal Communication Techniques
Non-verbal Communication Techniques
Inclusive and Adaptive Communication in Retail
Best for: Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Sales Team, Marketing Team, Social Media Team, Customer Service Representative Cost: Free
Collecting feedback from customers is important for any business, more so when you’re still developing your product. It is from feedback and reviews that you can find out unbiased opinions about your products and services. These comments can help you tweak and finetune your business for improvement. Our course on collecting review information focuses on distance learning. In this course, you’ll learn to organise and interpret feedback, enabling you to identify helpful reviews. Learn to use this information to your advantage as you rectify any business issues, improve your products and provide better services to your customers.
Sourcing Relevant Information
Organising and Interpreting Collected Information
Discussing Issues with Information Interpretation
Organising Interpreted Review Information for Analysis
Best for: X, Y, Z… [list real professions] Cost: Free
Running a full-time business from home requires a good grasp of project management skills as you take the lead on virtually all departments in the company. Honing your management skills will help you to keep yourself organised and on track with the things that you need to do for your business. Our free project management course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to keep growing your business. Learn the roles and responsibilities of a project lead, the phases of a business project and the elements that you need to consider when working on a strategy.
What is Project Management?
Key Elements of a Project
Phases of a Project
Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Manager
Communication and Stakeholder Management
Project Management Methodologies and Frameworks
Best for: Business Owner, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Freelance Project Manager, Freelancer, Growth Officer, Team Lead, Business Partner Cost: Free
Starting a business from home can be incredibly stressful. You don’t often have coworkers and team members to depend on like you would in a corporate setting. Most of the decision-making, problem-solving and operations issues fall under your responsibilities. Managing your stress will help you keep a level head and prevent health issues. Most people acknowledge that they need to manage their stress, yet few know how to effectively do so. Our stress management course will help you take a step back from the demands of everyday business operations. Take a breather, learn to manage your stress and improve your productivity through this online course!
What is Stress Management?
How to Effectively Manage Stress
Best for: Business Owners, Managers, Business Partners, Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Freelancers Cost: Free
Likewise, the stress of everyday business operations can cause you to lose track of time. The lack of time management can cause interruptions in your business plans as you miss deadlines, delay launches and encounter similar predicaments. Managing your time effectively can help you stay on top of things and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. Our free online course will help you understand techniques in time management. Learn to monitor your progress at work, prioritise your tasks according to urgency and create a schedule for yourself to make sure you stay on track.
What is time management?
What’s involved in time management?
How to track your time
How to analyse your time
How to prioritise tasks
How to create a schedule
Best for: CEO, Business Owner, Business Partner, Manager, Freelance Worker, Consultant, Temporary Worker, Project Manager Cost: Free
12. Communicate Retail Promotional And Marketing Activities Course
One of the best ways to gain visibility for your home-based brand is to promote and market the products or services you offer. You can do this through digital and physical channels, depending on your target market. Learn to communicate retail promotional and marketing activities through our free online business course. Gain knowledge on the basics of marketing and communication, enhance customer engagement with your brand and respond effectively to customer inquiries.
Internal Communication with Team Members
External Communication with Customers
Responding to Customer Inquiries
Enhancing Customer Relationships Through Communication
Best for: Business Owners, Upper Management, Marketing Team, Digital Marketing Team, Customer Engagement Representative, Social Media Managers Cost: Free