COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Manta, the company exclusively dedicated to helping small businesses, recently introduced Manta Academy, which features in-depth educational courses to help small business owners grow, market and manage their businesses.

Each Academy course is presented in three escalating levels of difficulty – Beginner, Pro, and Expert – so small business owners can learn at their own speeds. Academy content is distinguished by its depth and level of detail, rewarding users with specific, actionable knowledge they can use to grow their small businesses.

“We noticed a lack of accessible educational resources aimed specifically at small business owners, making growing and sustaining small business success difficult,” said Manta CEO John Swanciger. “Manta is excited to launch the Academy – free educational content that is easy to understand and put into action – to assist small business owners in managing the day-to-day business functions that can sometimes seem overwhelming.”

Lack of resources and business acumen can be significant challenges for small business owners. A recent Manta survey of small business owners found that one in four (26 percent) do not have a business plan, 27 percent do not have a marketing plan and 23 percent do not have a sales plan. Of those owners, nearly half (49 percent) said they do not have a business plan because they don’t know how to create one. The same survey found less than half of small businesses have the following:

  • Market research
  • Succession plans
  • Audience personas
  • Competitive benchmarks
  • Special events plan

Manta is committed to delivering courses that help businesses owners or their employees navigate today’s complex business environment – from borrowing the necessary funds to hiring and recruiting the best employees.

“Manta's Academy is a godsend to any small business owner who wants to get smart quickly,” said Ivana S. Taylor of “This is an ideal resource for the business owner who is an expert in one area but feels weak in another. Take five minutes to review the content, take another few minutes to test your comprehension and you'll be ready to take the first strategic steps to outline where you want to make improvements in your business.”

Targeted and Relevant Course Content that Solves Specific Needs

Each Academy course is labeled with an estimated time of completion so small business owners can explore and learn at their own pace as their busy schedules allow. All Academy articles fall under one of six categories:

  • Digital Marketing: Now more than ever it is essential for small businesses to have a robust presence in the digital world. These Academy courses help owners maximize email, social, web, mobile and search marketing tools to attract customers and grow sales.
  • Finance: Effectively budgeting for revenue and expenses is essential for small business success. Academy courses cover cash flow, business insurance, lending alternatives and business credit basics, so owners can make sure their business is on solid financial foundation.
  • Management: Effectively managing a team of employees requires leadership skills and passion. These Academy courses explain how to hire and retain top talent, offer competitive benefits, engage and inspire employees and, when needed, discipline or dismiss poor performers.
  • Marketing: A marketing strategy encompasses all the ways a company spreads the word about their business. Learn how to get the attention of new customers and retain existing customers with courses that cover event planning, marketing basics and public relations.
  • Operations: Business success starts by keeping day-to-day operations running smoothly. With the Academy, owners learn how to navigate contractual and legal issues, and plan for the successful future of their business.
  • Sales: Attracting and retaining customers is essential to small business success. Academy courses explain how to develop a customer base, manage growth with CRM software, sustain sales with ongoing customer loyalty programs, and turn leads into long-term revenue.

Manta will continue to expand its Academy course offerings over time.

“We’re happy to support Manta in this new endeavor. It’s a great opportunity for small business owners to strengthen their skills and learn new practices that will help their businesses succeed,” said Jon Kossow, General Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “Even more exciting is Manta’s new integration with online education marketplace, Udemy, which will enable Academy members to take advantage of its extensive e-learning platform at a discounted rate.” 

“There is so much information on the Internet regarding starting and building a business. However, most of the content is very high level, often leaving small business owners perplexed on how to truly execute a strategy. Manta's Academy is sure to fill that gap, giving small business owners the real step-by-step actions they need to grow their businesses,” said Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert. “I applaud Manta on this new initiative and I look forward to working with them to help give small businesses the boost they need.”

About Manta
Manta empowers small business owners to succeed on their own terms by helping them stand out, connect with customers and grow their companies. Our solutions include a small business directory with millions of unique monthly visitors, valuable content and a suite of products to manage critical business needs. We strive to inform and inspire through learning opportunities, proprietary research, and a robust online community for dialogue and collaboration. Thousands of business owners join Manta each month. Visit to learn why.

Kaitlin Mansour 
Manta (at) walkersands (dot) com