The last post explained how to discover what you need to learn for your business, plus how to prioritize those needs. In this post, you will learn how to create a resource inventory and how to choose the right training.
Take Stock and Create a Resource Inventory
The term 'resource inventory' sounds complicated, but it is really very basic. A resource inventory is a list of all the tools you need to work toward your goals. Your inventory shows you what learning and implementation resources you currently own. As you work through the following steps, you will also identify the resources need to acquire in order to move forward. It is an important part of any personal development plan.
Start with your goal. It can be either your main overall goal or one of the building blocks to achieving that goal.
Make a list of all the resources you need to reach that goal: new skills, information, software programs, tutorials, tools, office supplies, etc. To keep from adding things that aren't so necessary, beside each item write down why you need
Determine the Resources You Have and List the Resources You Need
Now, divide this list into two categories: what you have already and what you need to somehow acquire. Make sure you do a good search of your hard drive and bookshelf for any online programs or books. You may have forgotten what you already own.
TIP: Take a look at the Table of Contents of your books, online courses, etc. What you need to know may be a chapter or module of a course you already own.
When it comes to skills, it can be a little more difficult to assess if you have sufficient expertise, but try your best. Ask yourself whether the skill level is enough to achieve what you need to do.
Take the list of items you already have and set it aside. You are going to focus on getting the things you need.
Make a Plan
Take each of the resources/programs/tutorials etc. that you need to get and ask yourself several questions:
- When do I need it?
- Where can I find this?
- How much is it going to cost?
Your priority list should be organized by date order with the topics you need now or soon at the top.
TIP: Don't forget to check out YouTube for tutorial videos. For software questions, YouTube is a gold mine of information.
For software programs, tutorials, and information resources, start with online advice on what to purchase. For example, read reviews of software packages to figure out which is the most suitable for you. Ask your business related Facebook groups for recommendations.
TIP: When looking at a new product or software, take a few minutes to visit the online user forums. You will inevitably have some challenges. Are forum questions answered by company moderators? Is response time reasonable? Or are users frustrated and complaining about the lack of support?
Never buy anything sight unseen. Do your research.
How to Choose the Right Online Course
The Internet is full of great online course to help you achieve success in any area of your life. Your email inbox is probably flooded with them. The real challenge isn't finding one, but deciding which one is right for you. Before you hit the 'Order Now' button, here are some things to consider.
Putting It to Work for You
The most important thing to ask yourself before buying any online course:
Does my business need this right now?
If not, it's going to be another digital product taking up space on your hard drive. Many entrepreneurs have whole collections of online courses and eBooks that were never finished - or even started. Don't buy a program that isn't currently applicable to your stage of business. It is a waste of your valuable time and money.
Think about what you need right now. Focus on your goal. Choose the program whose objectives most closely align with your goal. Most importantly, it has to be something you'll start using today.
Assess Your Schedule
Any online course is going to take time to work through, so you should ask yourself whether you have the time to do it. For best results, you should be working on it a little bit each day, or as close to daily as possible. If you're too busy, it'll sit on your hard drive taking up space. Before buying anything, look at your schedule and block off time to complete the program.
Do You Really Need It?
Sometimes an online course sounds so good or you hear such great things about it, you want to buy it ASAP. But do you really need it? This is critical to think about. Is the program for a task that you can outsource, delegate, or automate?
What Are People Saying?
Research each product you're considering and see what reviews are saying. Keep in mind that some websites have paid reviews. You can avoid these by looking at legitimate review sites and not websites just for this one product. Look especially for honest negatives they mention about the product. And.. take everything with a grain of salt.
Does It Cover Everything?
By this point, you should have figured out what you need to know and you have a goal for implementing it. Now, your challenge is to find one product that covers everything you need to know. Look at the contents on the sales page and see if it teaches everything. Try to purchase one product that's a complete package.
Have a Plan for Following Through
Lots of people start online course s enthusiastically and full of steam, only to wander off the path halfway through. You get busy. You lose interest. You have new ideas. Distractions happen and before you know it a month has passed and you haven't completed one module of your new course.
The next post has tips on how to set yourself up for success, how to hold yourself accountable, and how to stay motivated.