Posted October 18, 2013 by

Classes for Entrepreneur Hopefuls

Stacia Pierce

Stacia Pierce

Now more than ever, college grads are catching the entrepreneur bug and planning to branch out on their own. It’s no surprise, considering the job market is flooded with grads looking for work. If you think you have what it takes to generate your own income, the best time to start preparing is while you’re still in school.

You can enhance your skill set and make connections with the right people by choosing classes that prepare you for life as a business owner. Whether you’re a business major or not, you can take electives to strengthen your knowledge in valuable areas that all entrepreneurs need. Here are some of the top areas where you should focus on expanding your knowledge:

  • Technology – although using social media and new devices comes naturally for someone college-aged, it is important to know how to maximize your use of technology in a way that will help you accelerate a business. Utilizing technology on a business level is not the same as using it personally. It’s key to know how the best entrepreneurs use technology for business growth, so seek out classes in this area. You may also want to look into a course on web design or using social media in business.
  • Finance – you have to know how to properly manage money as a business owner. Learning this early on will save you from potential rookie mistakes. It is crucial to know how to account for your finances, where to invest your resources and good bookkeeping practices. Make sure to include an economics class in your course of studies.
  • Creative writing – good writing skills are surprisingly hard to come by, yet they are so important as an entrepreneur. If you can write well, you will already be ahead of your peers. Look for a course to help you build your skills. You will find as an entrepreneur, you will be writing a lot, from your business plan to social media posts to client newsletters. The better you are, the better your business will be. Being an excellent writer can even open new doors, such as opportunities to become a contributing writer or blogger.

There are a couple other key skills that young entrepreneurs should work on, even if there is not a specific course for it. The first is sales. In business you have to sell yourself, your products and your services every day. This might be as simple as talking to others about what you do. Regardless, having good sales skills will be a huge asset. One of the best books you can read is “Ziglar on Selling” by Zig Ziglar. You also may benefit from a marketing course.

The second key skill is your interpersonal skills. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to communicate well and lead people. You will be interacting with different personalities and it is important to know how to get along with everyone. To improve in this area I recommend the classic, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Even a course such as Psychology 101 could be helpful in this area.

Life experiences are also necessary to broaden your business perspective. Look for meet-up groups in your local area specifically for young business owners. Once you begin networking with like-minded individuals, you will tap into a great wealth of resources and opportunities to help you learn and grow.

Successful business owners are in a constant state of learning and improving their mental capacity and business acumen. Once you are finished with school, commit to a life of learning so that you stay fresh and full of great ideas to grow your business.

By Stacia Pierce

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