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Free online resources to learn new skills

best marketing strategiesWritten by Joshua Danton Boyd

You might have been considering learning some new skills or picking up some business tips to help you become a successful entrepreneur. This is a great way to get the most out of your company and your customers. The problem is that a full-on course can be expensive and very time-consuming. You might also want to just learn a specific skill rather than an entire subject and so an extensive course would be a waste of time. There is a wealth of free information out there and also some fantastic courses available to anyone. Here are a few very useful sites to have a browse through.

BBC Languages

The world is getting increasingly smaller as technology brings everyone closer. This increases your chances of coming into contact with people from all around the world. Even though English is very widely spoken, it isn’t bad idea to try and learn a foreign language yourself. The BBC Languages page offers loads of information and courses on a wide variety of languages. Chinese is becoming a more important language for business so it might be worth picking up some words and phrases. Also consider if your business happens to deal with people from a certain country. They’ll be glad to see you making an effort to try and talk to them in their own tongue.

Code Academy

Coding is a skill that is becoming relevant to more and more industries every day. There have been increasing calls for it to be taught in schools so that in the future, everyone will have some workable knowledge on the subject. For everyone out of school, it may be something you’ve never thought about as it comes across as quite daunting. Code Academy offers courses in Javascript and Python (and even some code for website building) in a way that makes it very easy to learn. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever need to code, it is still worth trying to learn. At some point you may need to hire someone to code something for you, and it will be great for both parties if you have a deeper understanding of the task you’re setting them.

Free Student Courses (Maths)

There are plenty of people who struggle with maths. This doesn’t always cause problems with business, but it can be a nightmare if you don’t have your own accountant. Beyond a few mistakes balancing the books, you could also get yourself in trouble with the government if you fill out your tax forms incorrectly. Free Student Courses has a collection of links to various online maths courses (of which all are free) for you to go through and brush up on your maths skills. It might be boring and tedious, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

W3Schools

This site has a load of IT related courses (all of which might be useful to you), but probably the most important ones are those relating to building websites. Pretty much every business needs a website, and although you may not want to actually build yours yourself, understanding how it actually works will be very helpful. You may want to slightly tweak some information on your site or even just change a font, but if you have no idea what you’re doing you’ll have to get someone else to do it for you. This can be frustrating for such a little change. Go through some courses here and you’ll be able to do these things yourself (and maybe you might even want to eventually make your own site).

Joshua Danton Boyd is a Brighton based copywriter who works for Crunch Accounting and also writes for Freelance Advisor.
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Photo credit: LarsZi via Flickr cc

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About Greg Dillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at http://gdinspires.com. He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched Strat-Talking.com - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic as well as acquiring CreativeAgencyFreelancing.com for designers. Feel free to email him at: greg@gdinspires.com or follow on Twitter @CAFreelancing.

2 comments

  1. I’d also recommend Coursera (coursera.org) and khanacademy (khanacademy.org) as well

  2. Another two great sites. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a wealth of well structured and presented knowledge out there.

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