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Free Courses for Small Business from the ATO

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The ATO has set up a website to help small business owners learn about running their businesses. It’s called Essentials to Strengthen your Small Business. The site covers the 5 stages of business life (from idea to exit) and offers 21 short courses across each stage. In this blog, I’ll walk you through this website so you can see if it’s right for you!

On the website, you’ll find courses linked to one of the 5 stages of your business: Idea, Start-up, Day to Day, Change, and Exit.

Idea: when you’re thinking about starting a business.

Start-up: when you’ve just begun and need guidance on what to do next.

Day to Day: when your business is running, and you want help with everyday management.

Change: when you plan to reshape or update your business.

Exit: when you’re retiring, selling, or closing down your business.

21 Courses

The 21 courses match the stage your business is in. They cover topics from starting a business to keeping records, closing down—and everything in between. For instance, clicking “Start-up” shows you 11 courses on GST, cash flow, record keeping, home-based business deductions, and more. You can filter by business structure and industry to find the most relevant courses.

Course Breakdown

Each course has an overview, a video, and modules you can do in any order. If some modules don’t apply to you, skip them. Every course has “fast facts” – key points from the lessons. There are also “quick links” for more info. After each course, take a knowledge check to see what you need to review. Plus, there’s an “action plan” –  a checklist to guide your next steps based on your learning. You can download the fast facts and action plan as PDFs or Word Docs to share or keep.

Course Account

Create an account on the website to track your courses. With an account, you can create a learning path that fits you and your business. Add or remove courses anytime from the course list. You can also save notes and favourite pages to visit later from your dashboard.

Here’s the video from the website that shows you how everything works, for those who like watching instead of reading!

This learning hub is perfect for small business owners looking for guidance without spending much time or money. It’s one of the best ATO initiatives I’ve seen recently.

For those who use the Cash Flow Coaching Kit, please note that it will be moved to this new Essentials website on June 30 2024.

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