It’s ok, starting a new online business or branching into unfamiliar territory can be scary for anyone. Finding success in something new is all about developing the right skills.
Luckily for budding online entrepreneurs, there are loads of resources (many of them free) available online to hone your retail, marketing, or business skills.
Below, you’ll find 10 of the most valuable resources that the team here at Zyro turns to when we need to learn or develop new skills.
Here’s a pretty sensible place to start if you’ve not yet launched your business, or are still in the early stages and feeling growing pains.
How to Start a Startup is a course run by YCombinator, which invites experts in various areas of business to offer advice to first-time or inexperienced entrepreneurs.
In total, there are 20 lectures for you to watch, and you can either watch them all in order, or simply jump to the ones covering the topics you’re interested in.
The best thing about How to Start a Startup? The whole course is entirely free to access and watch at your own pace.
This is valuable business advice you can get for nothing.
While not only tailored to business or marketing topics, Udemy probably offers the widest choice of professional online courses on the internet.
The platform boasts an impressive 130,000 online courses taught by 57,000 instructors, meaning there is a whole wealth of knowledge just waiting to be accessed.
If you’re looking for choice and a broad range of courses, Udemy is a great choice. You can find courses on everything from coding and design to marketing and analytics.
The one downside with Udemy is that you need to pay for each course, and the pricing model differs depending on the course you want to take.
While the majority of courses are under $50, and some cost as little as $9, there are courses that will set you back up to $300. You’d better be sure you’re getting value out of those.
LinkedIn offers courses in a similar structure as Udemy, but with a focus far more on business skills and career development.
Though the database of courses is significantly smaller than with other, dedicated skill sharing platforms, it still has over 16,000 courses run by experts in all kinds of fields.
One of the perks of taking courses via LinkedIn is that you can display which courses you’ve taken on your profile, demonstrating to potential employers that you have a passion for learning, and show which skills you’ve learned.
Unfortunately, you do also need to pay to access the learning resources LinkedIn has on offer, but this is only a flat-rate subscription fee, that gives you access to all courses.
Did you know that we at Zyro have our very own learning resource center to help give you a headstart in eCommerce?
Zyro’s Knowledge Base is packed full of articles to help you use Zyro more effectively as a platform, as well as general information and tips for improving your eCommerce skills.
The Zyro website builder and eCommerce platform was designed to be as easy to use as possible, removing the need for any design or coding skills. However, if you ever run into difficulties, or want to better understand how our tools work, the answers you need will be found in the Knowledge Base.
As well as being a careers and job portal, TheMuse has a section on its website where you can connect with professional coaches to help out with the various issues you may face in business.
There is a huge database of coaches for you to browse through, and you can narrow down your search based on the kind of coaching you’re interested in receiving.
You can book coaches for as little as 30 minutes to review your resume and offer edits, or for long-term relationships where they can mentor you through your career.
TheMuse’s coaching starts from around $100, but since it’s personalized, one-on-one tuition, you certainly feel the value.
Keen to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest trends in thinking and advice of entrepreneurs? You should signup for the Pulsing newsletter.
Each week, Pulsing delivers the key concepts from the most recently published must-read non-fiction right into your inbox in easily digestible chunks.
If you understand the value of following thought-leading authors, but simply don’t have the time to read all the books you want to, Pulsing is the perfect solution.
Similar in concept to Blinkist, the newsletter makes sure that you’re on top of the trends and knowledge you need to succeed in business.
When you’re thinking about business and marketing, Reddit might not be the first name that jumps into your mind, but given that the global forum has sub-Reddits on pretty much every topic, you’ll be unsurprised to hear there’s a lot of good business info on there.
We recommend you check out the /r/startups sub-Reddit, where experienced business people and budding entrepreneurs alike share tips and advice for business success.
The great thing about seeking out knowledge on Reddit is that you are able to ask any question you like, big or small, and people from around the world can engage in discussion for free.
Granted, this approach is a little less direct than, say, finding a business coach, but often the best ideas are crowd-sourced.
Here is another platform for online courses, but this time one that focuses on the more creative side of your abilities.
While SkillShare is typically used by those looking to improve their illustration, photography, or writing skills, there is a large business section on the platform that offers tons of creative ways to boost your brand’s profile.
The unique selling point of SkillShare is that it vets its experts to make sure they are the genuine thought leaders they claim to be.
While there are fewer courses available on SkillShare than other platforms mentioned on this list (around 30,000), the higher quality and generally lower cost of SkillShare makes it a great choice for those looking to really hone their skills.
OpenSesame is another platform that hosts online courses run by business experts. The focus of the courses on OpenSesame is fostering productivity in business, helping you get the necessary work done to build success.
The big selling point of OpenSesame as compared to other, similar online course platforms is that there are dedicated advisors available on the platform to help guide your learning.
This means that if you’re unsure exactly where to start with the courses available on the OpenSesame, an advisor can help you create a tailor-made lesson plan.
Our final suggestion is another open-source forum style website, but will a little more focus and credibility than Reddit.
Quora is a platform that allows users to ask questions related to specific topics, which other users can then answer.
Quora responders are well-known for their careful and detailed answers, which often come with sources that you can follow up on.
If you’ve got a business question burning in the back of your mind, Quora can be a great place to start getting an answer, that’ll likely take you to unexpected corners of the internet.