Man juggling apples.

Written by: Sarah Landrum, Founder, Punched Clocks

The business world is always changing. As a growing entrepreneur, you need to understand those changes and how they apply to the company you’re creating. Without the proper education, you may struggle to navigate your venture around the newly forming twists and turns of the business world.

When you’re trying to develop your company, it can seem like you don’t have any time to truly invest in your education. However, you don’t necessarily need to head back to the classroom to learn a new skill or understand the latest techniques and strategies.

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can continue your education as an entrepreneur without sacrificing time for your business.

1. Know Your Budget

It’s not uncommon for a budding entrepreneur to be a bit strapped for cash. If you’re still in the development or growth stage of your business, you’ll want to find some education options that fit within your budget. Before you start purchasing courses or enrolling in classes, though, you need to know what the budget is.

There are a number of budget education options available to you. If you can’t afford to enroll in traditional college courses or get a full MBA, don’t worry. You can learn new skills by taking advantage of free or discounted courses online. Many colleges and universities make their coursework available to the public, while other professionals may decide to teach a skill through Skillshare or Udemy. Some simple online research will give you more than a few options.

2. Understand Your Time Commitment

From managing your team to running your company, you have a lot on your plate. The thought of going back to school in a traditional sense may be too overwhelming. However, with the right time-management skills, you can do it all.

Consider how much time you can realistically dedicate to your education. If it’s only a few hours a week, start off by taking just one course. While it may take a bit longer to get through the material or master the skill, you won’t overwhelm yourself — allowing both your work and your education to grow.

When creating your schedule, remember to factor in study time. For every one hour of class time, you should schedule two hours of study time. By keeping your expectations realistic, prioritizing and staying organized, you can fit classes into your schedule without overwhelming yourself.

3. Create a Realistic Schedule

Balancing a full-time job and school is a lot to handle, especially if you have an unpredictable schedule. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably not sure what time you’ll be done with work each day, making it difficult to get to night classes. Thankfully, online learning gives you another option.

Online learning allows you to do your work at your own pace and in your own time. If you have a busy day in the office, you don’t need to worry about missing a lecture because you’re able to access that information whenever you can, wherever you can. Using online learning over traditional college classes can help you create a better schedule for both you and your business.

4. Develop a Plan

Knowing what you’d like to learn is a great start, but if you don’t create a plan, you may continuously put off learning. When you develop a strategy for how you’re going to learn, what you’re going to learn and when you’re going to learn it, you can ensure you’re covering all the information you’d like to know.

This is especially important if you’re not pursuing a traditional education. If you’re going to do a self-paced program or take online courses from other professionals, you need to set goals and due dates for yourself. Hold yourself accountable for these dates just as you would a project for your business.

Being an entrepreneur shouldn’t hold you back from continuing your education. In fact, entrepreneurship and education go hand-in-hand. If you’re looking to develop a new skill or just stay competitive in the business work, consider these tips and develop an education plan that works for you.