5 Important Things To Consider While Starting Your eLearning Business
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Starting Your eLearning Business? 5 Important Tips To Consider

So, you are considering starting your own eLearning business. Well, that is pretty awesome but have you worked out all the important stuff yet? You know, dealing with financial institutions for such things as a bank loan? Luckily for you, there are several ways in which a small business start-up loan can be written up to benefit you as both the business entrepreneur and the borrower. Then, there’s the marketing of your new venture. Once you have established the money end of it, you will need to spend some on advertising and promotion. This will take many different forms, ranging from posters and signs to postcards and business cards. Then, there’s the actual eLearning part of the business.

Here are a few items to keep in mind for your business startup:

1. The Learning Management System (LMS)

With dozens of systems out there, you need to make a choice as to which of them you intend to build your eLearning business around. You have 2 basic choices. One is a proprietary system and the other is an open-source system. You’ve heard of Windows, right? You’ve heard of Shareware, right? The LMS choices are kind of like comparing Windows to Shareware. With Windows you will receive updates and programming backed by a huge corporate entity that isn’t going to drop off the electronics radar any time soon. With Shareware you have a product that can be updated by volunteers but has no solid backing beyond that. Your LMS stands a better chance of keeping your eLearning business alive if it is a proprietary system.

2. Where To Host Your LMS

Okay, you’ve made the first major decision related to your eLearning business… you’ve selected the LMS. Now, you need to determine where to host it. Your choices are in-house or with an eLearning service partner. Remember the Windows and Shareware comparison? Well, in this case it does not apply. With in-house hosting you have more control. You can move your LMS around if you have to and basically have all the say in what happens to it and where it goes. With an eLearning service partner you lose control. Well, basic control. However, a service partner will have established IT departments, 24/7 monitoring and are actually cheaper and less hassle in the long run.

3. Build Your Online Course Material

You had to know that we were going to get to this part eventually. Once you get the LMS selected and finalize the hosting of that LMS, it is time to start loading up your course material. You already have some courses produced, right? Okay, if you don’t, at this point, now is the time to get moving on content. In fact, the word to keep in mind when constructing you eLearning programming is to ensure it contains useful content that will provide information and teaching to someone. Once again, you have 2 choices on how to approach this. You can create your course content in-house or through a program partner. In-house is not nearly as scary as it sounds because your LMS will contain several tools to help you with this. Using a program partner will limit the choices of course content for you but will provide you ready-made content. This means you can basically copy and paste your way through to adding course content to your LMS. That’s cool if you are into doing it that way.

4. Jazzing Up Your Course Content

You know how Photoshop can improve upon the look of a photo by enhancing it in many different ways? Well, you have to make your course content more or less pop. It has to grab the interest of those scrolling through your catalogue or all you will end up with is a lot of people just scrolling through your course catalogue. So, you have to give your courses some window dressing. This is achieved by making them more engaging and interactive. In a way, you have to bait people into clicking for more information. If they do not see something interesting enough to make them want to find out more, then you’ve lost a potential client. How do you do this? Some of it will involve linking to social media platforms so that you can reach a wider audience and 'tease' them with your products.

5. Costing Out Your Services

Okay. Now, you’ve made it this far. You’ve got the basic building blocks in place that will become your eLearning business. But one question. Have you figured out what you are going to charge people to use your services? Yeah, that’s a toughie for many. There are many factors to work into the equation. They include but are not limited to what it costs for your LMS and hosting programs, what it costs for you to develop your course programs, what it will cost for marketing and promotion and other incidentals. One way to simplify the entire process is to establish a self-enrollment feature with a payment gateway to access material. It will require review in the first few months to determine actual Return On Investment.

In Conclusion

In order to launch a successful eLearning business, you require at least 5 key components. Well, that part comes after you have managed to secure working capital to cover your startup costs. Once those are taken care of you need to choose the LMS, have it hosted, create your course content, ensuring that it is attractive enough to bring in some business and have a fair pricing schedule in place. If this sounds a lot like starting up any kind of business venture, it should. With a business attitude, you will succeed in your new eLearning business. You need to treat it as if it were a storefront entity that requires your full attention in order to grow and prosper. Without that in place, you will encounter many difficulties. Hopefully, this list is helpful in preventing that from happening.