Back to school: Four new skills contractors can learn for free

Back to school: Four new skills contractors can learn for free

09/04/2017 - 11:32

It’s September again. The days are getting colder and the nights are drawing in.

For parents, it’s also the time of year for new school uniforms because the long summer break is coming to an end and the kids are heading back to school.

Now, with an explosion in the availability of free online courses on everything from cookery to investing in stocks and shares, learning new skills isn’t just for children anymore.

If you want to increase your earning power and run your contracting business more effectively, pick a course below and get learning.


Solid negotiation skills are essential for effective contracting. If you have been contracting for some time then you will probably have a good grounding in how to negotiate, but it can’t hurt to brush up on your skills.

Learning new strategies or techniques that can add 5% onto all your future contract negotiations are well worth it.

This highly rated course on negotiation strategies, delivered by the prestigious Yale University, has just started.  If you want a shorter course, then this one from the University of California might be for you.

Effective bookkeeping

If you want to manage your business and personal finances better, improving your bookkeeping skills might be just the thing you need to keep the cash taps flowing.

You don’t need an accounting qualification - but an understanding of the common terms, basic maths and the ability to put knowledge into practice will help keep you profitable and out of debt.

The Open University runs a fantastic introductory course on business accounting. If you would like more advice on how to overhaul your business finances, speak to a member of our accountancy team today. Call: 0800 121 6513.

Management and leadership

If you are trying to take the leap from sole trader or single operator to taking people on and becoming a more respected business owner, then learning some leadership skills is essential.

Learning how to lead people effectively and problem solve as a team will cure a lot of headaches for you and keep employees happier and healthier.

For a practical management course, check out this course from the University of London. If you are involved in the construction industry, try this management course from Columbia University

Social media

Social media is a perfect way for contractors and other small business owners to charge up their business and find new, more profitable clients in ways that would be impossible otherwise.

But using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find new business isn’t easy. And the strategies and tactics that work in one industry are not guaranteed to work in another.

The University of Salford run a popular online social media course. Google’s Digital Garage offers a broader introduction to digital marketing skills for business owners. It may be worthwhile seeking specialist training in your industry, but be aware of cost. 

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