Free Business Classes
There is more to starting a business than having a great idea. Just to get started you need to learn about marketing, taxes, and accounting. Then you will find you want to know more about developing a website, writing a business plan, and how to get federal grants. Hiring employees or contractors opens another can of worms! You could go to college and get your MBA which is expensive and time consuming. You could purchase countless books, and spend hours reading about moving cheese without finding what you need, or you can take advantage of a couple of resources available to anyone with an internet connection. The IRS and the SBA! Yes! Your tax dollars actually provide some useful services. Now is a good time to take advantage of these free business classes and feel like you are getting some benefit from the taxes you are paying.
The Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is familiar to most people because of their small business loans. But they also have an excellent online education system. The Small Business Training Center is designed to “enrich, empower, and educate small businesses”. At first I thought this would be full of dry, government issued type courses, but it is not! While many of the courses are SBA courses, several are provided by private enterprises. My favorites are the mini courses provided by Trump University. Yes, you can learn from The Donald for FREE! Topics include “How to Write a Business Plan”, “How to Find Start-Up Funding” and even “How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget”.
Business Tax Classes at the Internal Revenue Service
Now that The Donald has filled your head with how to make money, now you need to go over to the IRS site and learn how to hold onto it! The IRS will teach you how to pay less tax. They have a number of different classes on taxation available at all levels. I recommend most business owners start with the Online Small Business Workshop. There you will learn everything you need to know about what taxes your business needs to pay and how to pay them. Then go to the Link and Learn section. This is where the IRS trains its volunteers and you have free access to the same information. There are all levels of tax instruction, plus special sections for military and overseas taxpayers.
Business Classes on TV at Small Business TV
Once the IRS has turned your brain to mush, you can watch news and information about business on SBTV. (Please note this is online TV and the audio starts right away. Be prepared to turn down your speakers!) SBTV has hundreds of videos on business how-tos, news, and business success stories. Today, April 7, 2008 they are featuring Jack Canfield on
7 Ways to Boost Your Business Just by Asking. SBTV also has a whole section on Tech Tactics, Making Technology Work For You After spending the weekend struggling with technology that is sounding like a very interesting topic to me!