Is It Time to Take Yourself Back to School to Improve Your Business Skills?

By the small business content developers at

Do you ever have those dreams where you’re back in school and faced with an exam you forgot to study for? Even if you’ve never had this nightmare, the prospect of returning to school might send fear running through you. However, as human knowledge continues to grow exponentially, the need for entrepreneurs to stay up-to-date with advances and changes in technology, best practices, political changes, trends, as well as developments in their own industries expands just as quickly.

So how can small business owners stay on top of developments within their field, continue growing as executives, and maybe even have time to pursue their own interests or passions?

Continuous learning is the only way to deal with these demands. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to head back to school to gain professional development, learn a new skill, or explore a hobby. These days you have many more options if your goal is to become a better business owner.

Here are a few of the myriad options available to you.


Many software companies provide free training on the programs they offer. Your proficiency probably lags on at least one program vital to your missions. It might be image, video, or sound editing software you promised yourself you’d learn or something as important as your content management system or even your bookkeeping software. Whatever it is, there is probably someone somewhere offering to teach it via a tutorial. If you’re a visual or auditory learner, you might prefer video tutorials, whereas someone who absorbs information through reading might want a written tutorial.


There are many opportunities to learn from professionals who may not be in your geographic area, but who have skills that you yearn to learn. Webinars are primarily video-based with the ability to play back the lecture or lesson after the fact. The best part is that there are webinars on just about every topic and at every price point, so you don’t have to leave your desk for professional development.

Think about one aspect of your business that you really need to expand your skill set in and you will find a webinar about it. Topics run the gamut from marketing and content creation, to basically anything you need to do to keep your business moving forward.


They don’t have anything to do with cows, but Massive Open Online Classes or MOOCs, offer a great opportunity for small business owners to develop their expertise on a wide variety of topics. In a nutshell, universities offer courses taught in their institutions to the general public through a virtual framework accessed by computer, tablet, or smartphone. While many of the classes are offered for free, some provide certification for a reasonable fee. The popularity of MOOCs is surging. In 2015 over 35 million people signed up for courses, doubling the 2014 numbers.

Small Business Workshops

Small businesses are fundamental to the Canadian economy and as such the federal government is instrumental in supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurship. The Canada Business Network is a great place to start with a comprehensive calendar of events, detailing learning opportunities all over the country. Many provinces offer more thoroughly detailed information.

As you can see, there’s no need to invest in a 2-year MBA program to sharpen your business and technological skills. Find the right learning platform for your needs, and you’ll end up being more competitive as a business owner.

By Andrew Patricio

August 10, 2016