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Start Digital want to empower our clients to understand as much as possible about all elements of their business. Knowledge is power and staying up to date and learning new skills can keep you ahead of the game. Regularly updating and increasing your knowledge and skillset is essential to all business owners, especially in the fast moving online space! The good news is you don’t need to go to university, you can learn pretty much anything from your laptop or even your mobile phone via online learning.

Why online learning?

Unlike traditional education, online courses can be studied at your own pace, in your own time, and from wherever you like. They are usually much cheaper than traditional institutional education, without scrimping on content.

An online course can offer great value. They often contain up to date and relevant information that has outpaced traditional university curriculums. This makes it perfect for the busy business owner who needs the flexibility of learning at their own pace in a fast moving, changing environment and subject matter.

Of course, there is a place for traditional education, but as far as meeting many business knowledge needs, we at Start digital understand that online learning can add a few strings to your bow. We’re not the only ones, research shows that online course uptake is growing year on year and is surpassing the pace of traditional university enrolment.

Having a good understanding of some of the processes, concepts and developments in your business can also help you to employ the right person for a job you might need filling. Alongside this you make sure the job is being done correctly because you have an understanding of how a process works. Online learning is both powerful and empowering.

How to tell a good online course from a bad one

There are a LOT of online courses out there. Anyone can create an online course and begin selling it. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what to look for. We’ve created five quick fire lessons on how to find a quality course to suit your needs.

Lesson one

If you are new to online learning we recommend using a reputable and established online course market place. Some popular marketplaces are, and All of these market places offer a wide range of courses related to business. You simply browse for the subject you wish to learn about. There is a lot of choice including design, logo’s, WordPress, bookkeeping, copywriting, marketing, consultancy and many more. You name it and they’ll be a course on it.

Lesson Two

You should be able to see the credentials of the course creator. They don’t have to be a lecturer or have a teaching qualification, but they should be able to demonstrate their expertise in the subject area.

Lesson Three

Before you pay for anything. Watch the free intro and the overview. Does it resonate with you? Does the teacher sound interesting and knowledgeable? Be prepared for a slight element of sales pitch in here, these market places are competitive places for selling courses. Some might feel too spammy and if that’s the case keep looking until you find one that suits your learning aims and style.

Lesson four

Check out the course content. Firstly, look at the length of the course. Don’t be tricked into thinking longer courses are better- this is a false fallacy. Some long course are thorough and will cover everything you need to know, but they may also cover a lot of stuff that you don’t need to know. Naturally, some things will take longer than others to learn and this should be reflected in the course length. For example, if you are learning to navigate your WordPress site the course might be less than building a whole WordPress site. Look at the module and lessons so you can get a good overview of the course content and if it meets your aims. There are many good courses that only have one hour of content.

Lesson Five

Have a pen and paper ready. Although you often receive lifetime, easy access to the course, it will primarily be in video format. Like with watching a lecturer in front of a class, you may need to take notes. Some courses have an element of ‘homework’. We recommend a course that has actionable content. Homework tends to get you doing what you are learning about, meaning it will sink in better and you will achieve your goal quicker.

Why do a course when I can just ‘Google it’?

To be truthful, you could ‘Google it’ and find there are a lot of free valuable resources available. For instance, YouTube is a great place for finding ‘How to’ videos about pretty much anything. However, this won’t measure up to an online course. It comes down to convenience and time – which is something every business owner strives to have more of. You don’t need to spend hours trawling the internet for what you need, or worse – only get shown part of the full story. When you do an online course, it is all packaged nicely in a structured format, ready for you to open.

Online learning is an affordable, time-saving and fun way to update or extend your knowledge, gaining a firm understanding of all elements of your business is empowering. Learning what you want, when you want, where you want (except on holiday) makes education convenient for busy business owners. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of online learning and the courses we recommend please drop us a line today.