Online training is an affordable alternative


December 09, 2012|By BOB POOR

Q: Because of the time demands of my small business and family, I really need to find some low-cost online training related to growing my young business. Do you have any tips?

A: First of all, here are a few tips for how to get the most out of online training, regardless of the source:

• Online training can be an affordable alternative to classroom training. Companies and individuals can save up to two-thirds of what classroom-based courses cost.

• Many technical training vendors are offering courses. More choices mean competitive rates.

• Online courses are as easy as self-tutorials; they provide click-through instructions.

• Students can ask tutors questions and get a personalized response in minutes. In addition, many online training classes provide instant responses to quizzes, providing quick results.

• Training content is flexible up until the moment the student sits in front of the monitor. This makes altering the content to address a new technology situation a snap.

A visit to will show you a broad array of online courses available from SCORE.

These are free of charge and include subjects such as accounting and budgeting; business planning; cash flow management; customer relations; financing; legal issues; human resources; management; sales/marketing/public relations; social media and networking; buying and selling a business; disaster preparation and relief; technology and computers; franchising; Internet and e-commerce; home-based business; green business; and tax planning.

An added feature in the online workshop section is a listing of upcoming live Webinars. A recent listing included “The Secret of Getting Better Customers”; “Secure Commerce: Data Security Essentials Every Small Business Should Know”; “Year-End Preparations for Small Businesses”; and “Crowdfunding: An Alternative Source of Financing.”

If local classroom training and seminars are of interest, the Hagerstown SCORE chapter offers classes at Hagerstown Community College for starting and growing a business, tax preparation and other small-business topics. Small-business mentors also are available, confidential and free of charge.

Call SCORE at 301-766-2043 for more information or go to

Robert A. “Bob” Poor is a local small-business owner/operator. He is a small-business mentor and a regular contributor to the Ask SCORE column. Questions may be emailed to him at or sent by mail in care of The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741, ATTN: Ask SCORE column.

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