All business owners are finance experts, right? For some, yes. But for many, this is a lifelong learning experience. There is always more to learn, and everyone can agree that it’s a necessity to constantly improve your financial skills. After all, your competition is going to be doing just that.
However, you might also be laser-focused on other priorities, and financial education has been pushed lower on your list. How can you spend less time (and money) to improve your financial skills?
Improve your financial skills by taking advantage of these five online resources and accreditations. Once you top up your skills, you should also show them off and update your LinkedIn profile and resume. And the best part…these courses are all inexpensive or free.
1. LinkedIn Learning – Finance & Accounting
LinkedIn recently purchased famous training site Lynda.com to beef up their LinkedIn Learning platform. Their “Finance and Accounting” section includes courses in corporate finance, small business finance and accounting, all designed for you to start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced topics. Learn about financial analysis, bootstrapping businesses, income tax planning, personal finance tips, managerial accounting and creating KPIs.
- One month free trial, then $20 – 30 per month to access 1000+ business courses.
- Annual subscriptions available.
- Bonus: If you’ve subscribed to LinkedIn’s Premium membership, you already get LinkedIn Learning access for free.
- Stay on top of current trends in finance and a variety of other fields
- Learn outside the box: Brush up on marketing, sales and operations.
- Be more efficient in your job, whether that’s interviewing employees, building spreadsheets or persuasive selling.
Video content makes up the majority of this site.
- Courses range from 5 minutes to 20 hours.
- Take it at your own pace: Start a course and LinkedIn Learning will hold your place until your next login.
2. MOOCs – University Level Finance
Yes, it’s a weird name, but it’s also incredibly valuable.
MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses, and include university courses from reputable institutions that have been posted online, complete with lecture notes and quizzes. Outside of attending university in person, this is an incredible resource for learning.
Check out this list of finance courses from institutions like the Yale, Stanford, MIT and Caltech.
Many courses are completely free, with a paid option for verified certification.
- Get a university level education for free.
- Stay ahead of the curve, and the new competition that will be hitting the job market.
- Access educational resources in other cities and countries.
Downloadable course materials, streaming video, audio clips and resource pages.
- Aim for around 6 hours per week and 8 weeks on average per course.
- Each course displays the number of weeks and hours per week needed to complete.
3. Hootsuite Academy – Social Selling & Networking
As a business pro, you’re likely already a great networker, but it never hurts to brush up on your social networking skills.
The Hootsuite Academy offers a variety of beginner and intermediate social media courses to get you up to speed and in the groove when it comes to online networking. Learn how to optimize your social media profile, grow your followers, publish the right content and use advertising to connect with new customers.
As an added level of education, you can enrol in the Hootsuite Social Selling and Certification to obtain your status as a “Certified Professional” in social selling. “Hootsuite’s course on Social Selling teaches Sales Professionals to leverage social media to save time, drive a larger number of better-qualified leads, and increase deal sizes.”
- Hootsuite platform and social marketing training are free.
- The social selling course costs $299.
- Improve your social networking skills.
- Proactively find new clients with the right conversations.
- Be discovered more easily by prospects.
Short videos, articles and interactive quizzes.
4 – 8 hours per course.
4. Google Analytics Academy – Digital Analytics
If you have a website or blog and want to learn more about who visits your site, why they visited and what they did on your site, then you need to know Google Analytics.
The simplest way to learn is through the Google Analytics Academy that offers training in every aspect of the platform. With four official courses to choose from, you can learn about the digital analytics fundamentals, the Google Analytics platform itself, e-commerce data decision-making and how to use Google Tags properly.
Google is about to launch revisions to their programs, offering even more incentive to get cutting-edge training. In the past, you could also obtain certifications for completion of your training, so keep an eye out for that to return.
- Get advice and lessons directly from Google’s experts.
- Improve your online discoverability.
- Understand who your customers are and why they are (or aren’t) finding you online.
Videos, transcripts, quizzes and blog posts.
Set aside 6-10 hours to properly complete each course.
5. Alison – Financial & Economic Literacy
Alison offers a similar formula training to LinkedIn Learning, but all of their courses are offered free of charge. On the downside, you’ll have to watch brief ads before each course module, but they aren’t that obtrusive.
In return, you get access to a wide selection of course – in particular, check out the “Finance” section. The strength of these courses lies in their plain English approach so you can understand and retain the knowledge. They also offer study groups for those who like to learn alongside others.
To cap it off, they also offer certifications and Alison diploma courses.
- Real-world terminology.
- Join or create a group of like-minded learners to study together.
- Community hub provides extra motivation & success stories from Alison students.
Videos, slides, animations, interactive quizzes and assessments.
Courses can range from 1 – 10 hours.
Daily learning can be a challenge, faced with time constraints, high costs of continued education and difficulty finding great courses or expert trainers. By starting one of the above online courses, you will hopefully find the motivation and material to improve your financial skills without cutting too far into your schedule or budget.