Before I get started, I would like to share a disclaimer. First, this post has not been sponsored by Skillshare; I am taking advantage of a free trial. Second, I am deeply appreciative of the Skillshare’s free trial periods. I do not hope to abuse it by sharing detailed notes from the courses I discuss and annotate here. The posts I will share about Skillshare courses are for my own record primarily and will hopefully be a guide to anyone who would like to test out the website themselves.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had redeemed a free two-month trial of Skillshare, a website that provides an array online classes in everything from technology to business to writing to social media. Teachers are relative experts in their field and create really user-friendly video classes in segments that you can complete at your own pace.
I started 2019 with the goal of becoming more business savvy. I have a few ideas I’ve toyed around with for a few years, but I’ve never known how viable my ideas are or what I needed to do financially or legally speaking.
So the first few classes I wanted to take revolve around the topic of “Starting a Business.” I’ve long mused over the idea of creating my own business so that I could be my own boss. I could see myself offering online services of some kind (i.e. writing, editing, or otherwise creative). I could see myself creating and maintaining Etsy store if I put serious time into designing products with meaning.
I also know how easy it is fail at starting a business so I want to go into whatever endeavor I pursue fully aware of everything I ought to do to be success. That’s where these classes have come in! Continue reading below to see what classes I’ve taken, what I value I found, and where they fell short for me.
“What You Must Know Before Your Start a Business” by KC Tan | 16 minutes
I started with this video because it was short and seemed like it might be a good introduction to ideas I need to consider at the beginning stage of starting a business. If you know next to nothing about what you would like to sell online, Tan provides a concise, straight-forward introduction to options.
I identified that the types of business I’m most interested in are: 1) selling physical and virtual products, 2) selling services, and 3) selling advertising space as a way of monetizing my blog.
This course does not go into how to actually start any of these specific types of business, but it does warn you of start-up costs that you should keep in mind. I was already aware of most of these things, so this course did not teach me anything new that I would’ve liked to know. But it did help me start thinking about what where I wanted to focus my research.
“Starting a Home Business: Why Most Businesses Fail, and How You Can Start a Profitable One!” KC Tan | 57 minutes
This course was much more comprehensive than the course I talk about above. Tan provides a lot of really good information about things that are not so obvious to think about, such as:
- What mistakes to avoid
- Whom you should network with and how to do it properly
- Whom you want as contacts
- How to convert your target market into customers
He also suggests skills that a good small business owner should have and consistently develop.
The main disappointment for me regarding this course is that the teacher is based in Singapore, so the legal side of things is not directly applicable to me. On the bright side, it did help me formulate the questions I need to ask myself, such as how much risk I’m willing to take on.
“Limited Liability Company (LLC): Easily Form Your Own LLC” by Sam Mollaei | 1 hour 22 minutes
The last video I review was about the specific kind of business I’ve thought might be the most applicable to anything I started, a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Mollaei covers the steps of forming an LLC from the legal stand-point, plus some tips on how to save money when it comes to taxes. A lot of that information went over my head to be honest, although I took notes to refer to when/if the time ever came to it.
I really appreciated that he pointed out when you might want to consult a professional lawyer or accountant throughout the course, as well as where you could afford to manage things on your own. I also really appreciated that this course was created for a U.S. audience, as the previous two courses I took were not directly applicable to me!
The main thing that would’ve made this class more helpful is if I left the course knowing at what point it is worth forming an LLC. The kind of businesses I would like to start would most definitely be online and considered side hustles, especially at the beginning. So the question I still haven’t had answered is whether I need bother forming an LLC at all at the moment? Do I need to do anything formal at the moment? Will it benefit me in the long-run if my side hustle were to become successful?
I would like to do a few more blog posts on Skillshare while I have this free trial. Specifically, I see myself talking about how to make the most of the site and even bundles of mini-reviews of the classes I take. Some more of the classes I hope to cover will center on the topics freelancing, graphic/game design, app development. So if any of that sounds interests you, you can look forward to a weekly post tracking my journal on Skillshare over the next few weeks!
Where I plan to go from here (regarding learning about business) is finding resources that go more in-depth on the specific types of business I can best see myself pursuing in the immediate future. Freelancing seems like it might be most relevant, but I’m also curious about app development and creating successful online stores for digital products.
If you know anything about starting an online business, please advise on resources or tips you might have for beginners in the comment section below!