California is home to about 4.1 million small businesses, comprising 99.8% of all businesses in the state. Small businesses are reportedly responsible for employing nearly half of the entire state鈥檚 workforce, too. The sector continues to see an upward trend with the number of proprietors in California seeing an increase of at least 2% in 2017, with 45,000 new businesses opening in the same year.

However, California still has some of the highest tax rates in the country. LLCs and corporations in California end up paying up to 13.3% of their income in taxes. High taxes, complex regulations, a high cost of living, and a competitive labor market may pose a challenge for business owners, but reports suggest a successful business in California is more profitable than those in other states.

Get ahead of the competition by continuously learning and picking up new skills. And luckily, there are several courses online that can help you prepare for the journey ahead.

Fundamentals of Accounting

Found on Alison

Accounting records can give you valuable insights into how your business is doing. You need to make sure that you鈥檙e making a profit and are able to comply with the ever-changing California tax regulations. Start with this course to get a step-by-step guide through accounting essentials, and get better acquainted with important accounting principles and terminology.


路  You learn how to create a profit and loss, cashflow, and other financial statements.

路  It includes a discussion on the risks that a small business may face which can help you in risk management and analysis.

路  It鈥檚 to be followed and designed to be finished within a few hours, perfect for busy business people.


路  It only covers the basics of accounting and excludes more advanced aspects.

Duration: 1.5 to 3 hours
Price: Free

Become a Digital Marketer

Found on edX

Now that most businesses have gone online, there鈥檚 even more competition. There are many strategies to learn and moving parts to consider before you can become a digital marketer. This course teaches the concept of omnichannel marketing, digital marketing strategies and analysis, and more.


路  You鈥檒l earn a Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing from the Wharton School by the end of the program.

路  Self-paced learning allows you to progress at your own speed.

路  The program is split into four courses taught by renowned professors from Wharton.


路  You can鈥檛 ask the instructors questions.

路  The program cost is a little steep.

路  The course takes several months to complete.

Duration: 6 months
Price: $2,340

Excel Essentials: The Complete Excel Series – Level 1, 2 & 3

Found on Udemy

Excel provides companies with the ability to organize, record, calculate, and then interpret numerical data. This course starts you off with the basics of Excel, and then helps you work through two more levels that cover automating and more intermediate functions.


路  It comes with 72 downloadable reference materials.

路  It鈥檚 suited for all skill levels, from complete beginners to those who have been using Excel for years.

路  You can access a Student Questions Answered section fielded by Excel experts.


路  While you can ask questions, it may take a few weeks to get a response.

路  ActiveX components aren鈥檛 covered in the modules.

Duration: 27.5 hours
Price: $129.99

Project Management Principles & Practices

Found on Coursera

A good idea is key to building a business, but a good manager keeps operations running smoothly. As a business owner, you鈥檒l ultimately have to rely on your team to help you deliver your product or service within budget and on time. This course from UC Irvine equips you with the knowledge to plan, budget, schedule, and handle projects across all the areas of your business. Mailtrap


路  You don鈥檛 need experience to be able to follow and understand the modules.

路  The course helps you develop management tools using effective budgeting and scheduling techniques.

路  Business owners as well as team members can take the free course and understand the workflow on a more holistic level.

路  The course includes a capstone project that simulates a real situation.


路  The capstone project may be time consuming, going beyond the projected course duration.

Duration: Approx. 5 months
Price: Free

When you continue to learn and grow as a business owner, you open up opportunities for your brand to follow suit, so keep expanding your knowledge!