An easy way of becoming an Entrepreneur
You want to become an entrepreneur, but you don’t really know how to start.
Don’t worry. It is a very common situation.
One of the most important things when you decide to start your own business is to “earn the first euro/dollar”.
Once you earn a certain amount of money per month – we’d say more than $300 – you start realizing that it is indeed possible to make a living on your own.
Then, providing you are an ambitious person with something inside his head, everything will be much easier from that point on.
- Check or “How to be an entrepreneur” Page.
- There we explain all the skills you should boost in order to become a successful entrepreneur, according to our professional experience.
But… Why are we talking about all of this? How is this related to e-learning?
Starting an e-learning Business is one of the easiest ways of “earning that first dollar”.
What should you be teaching?
Almost everybody knows something worth paying for.
What you decide to teach depends absolutely on your skills and background.
- What do you know?
- What do you love?
- What are you unusually good at?
Since we’re going to propose an on-line teaching dynamic (internet = overcrowded) we would recommend you to focus first on certain Niches, moving then towards other profitable ones you eventually find out.
- Maybe you can start teaching a language, but focused on technical vocabulary.
- You could teach software-related English to software engineers from all over the world (for example).
- Maybe, you can teach programming for old people (HTML or any other simple programming language).
- Maybe you can share you local cooking recipes.
- Maybe you can give advices about SEO positioning or WordPress.
Try to start with something unique and then, depending on your result, you can move in other directions.
Share experience rather than data
We’ll give you one little but important advice:
- Nowadays, there is an unlimited amount of information and data on Internet.
People are interested in experiences rather than in raw data.
That is why Top MBA’s are so expensive: because there, people share their professional experience at Top positions.
And that is what you should do: share your experience with whoever is interested about it.
Being said that, let’s analyze the e-learning sector in order to establish whether or not it can be a profitable Business Idea and what would you need in order to success, scale it properly and make a living out of it:
Business Idea: Start an e-Learning Business
Without a doubt, on-line learning is the future of learning.
- If you live in Malaysia, why don’t you look for a Native English teacher that lives in the UK?
- Why should you stick to a strict time schedule when you both could agree on the best time for developing your lessons each week?
And… on the other hand: Why can’t you earn some money by sharing your experience in your professional field?
Create your own e-learning Site, where you share your experience with your customers in a fluid way.
There are numerous ways of developing a decent Site easily at very low prices.
- We’ll propose an easy way of doing it, later.
* There are lots of Platforms where you could share your knowledge and experience, but here, we’ll propose you to create your own Site since:
- We don’t know whether those e-learning platforms work or not.
- They generally don’t seem very “transparent”.
Although it takes time to define your site and learn how WordPress works… Once you have your Website built up, you can control both your customers and products.
Despite creating a new Website may seem very difficult, it is not.
- Within our “Website building and SEO Diary” section, we share all we have learnt when building our site from scratch.
- Check our “How long it takes to create a Website from scratch and no experience at all” Post.
Goal: To start a profitable Business
You Goal is to create a profitable Business by sharing your experience on-line.
Moreover our goal is to earn a decent salary and have the possibility to scale the Business “as much as possible”.
The very first Step you should make is this: Know yourself.
If you hate giving lessons, if you don’t like people, if you are not a very communicative person… You should think twice before starting an e-Learning Business.
As we mentioned in our “Entrepreneurship golden rules” Page, the first rule for success is: Love what you do.
If you think about e-Learning only as a way of getting money… Be sure you’ll fail miserably.
On the other hand, if you like talking to people, if you like sharing what you know with everybody and if you are open to even learn from your students, here you have what we think should be your first steps:
1. Create a Website
As we mentioned before, having a website that you totally control is basic for start promoting yourself as an e-Teacher.
You have 2 options:
- Create a Website about You.
- Create a Site about What you Teach.
Unless you are an “authority” in what you’re going to Teach (your name appears on Wikipedia) we would recommend you the second option – A generic Site that focuses on what you’re offering.
Because that way, you have more flexibility in case you want to introduce new subjects.
Moreover, in case you decide to collaborate with more people, professionals… while escalating your Site, a generic “brand-name” would be more suitable for you.
You have no idea How to build a Website?
Although creating a new Website from scratch may seem a bit tedious, trust us: it is not.
You can look for pre-programmed Themes that are developed for e-learning purposes.
Check the pre-designed e-learning Template KLEO included (among many others).
2. Create an Identity
With your new Site in hand, now it is time for you to create an Identity.
How can you Boost your Site’s Identity?
- With “Authority, Content and Appearance“.
- Explain who you are.
- Share your experience with your customers.
- Explain what motivated you to start that project.
- Which are your Mission and Vision?
- Visit our “Strategy” Page in case you’re not sure about the difference.
- Which is your background?
You don’t need to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet in order to have “authority”, but your users must be sure that you exist and there is no trap hidden.
- Nowadays, there are Scams and Fake-experts everywhere, so give your clients an extra dose of Trust.
- Give them nice material.
- Share good real examples.
- Post about News or Trends regarding what you offer in your courses.
- Customize your lessons depending on what your students are more interested about.
- For example: if you teach Spanish and one of your students is interested in gastronomy, use some lessons for sharing a good Paella recipe with him.
As you may have already guessed, Content is number one priority.
But, as we mentioned before, don’t focus just on data.
- Focus on your clients’ preferences.
- Highlight your experience.
- Design a sober and professional Site.
- Don’t over-complicate your designs.
- The content you offer your students should have a professional appearance.
It is better to use a sober simple design than 100 colors everywhere.
The students attending your course should have a professional first impression.
3. Decide where to promote your Site
Once you have your Site, it is time for you to promote it properly.
A Site focused on e-learning doesn’t need a million users per month since you only can give service to a limited amount of people.
It is better having a 100 good, loyal and recurrent users per month rather than a 1.000 not really interested ones.
How and Where you promote your content will define the profile of your potential customers.
The optimal promotion depends completely on what you offer.
However, we’ll share with you some promotion ideas for your e-learning Site:
Promotion ideas for your e-learning site
- Try reaching different associations through their Facebook and Twitter group-accounts.
- Usually, lots of associations create “closed” groups within social Networks that are rarely open to the “rest of the World”.
- Don’t Spam, please.
- Try contacting the group administrator and offer them your courses with special offers.
- Offer certain discounts and special offers.
- Be open even to give some free lessons.
- It can be a good opportunity for you to assess what you offer.
- Play with your prices and schedule.
- Last thing you want is having a strict price list.
- You are offering on-line courses, so be open to “uncomfortable” schedules and night lessons.
- Develop a Benchmark study.
- Check how much your competitors charge their clients.
- Compare your offers.
Structure Needed for e-Learning Business
One of the best things of starting an e-learning Business is the few things you need for starting it up.
At the beginning, you can start it up on your own.
- You just need a computer, Internet and a Webcam.
If you create a successful Platform/ Website and you have more demand than you can supply successfully, you can start thinking about scaling your Business.
How could you scale an e-learning Business?
Just adding a “Work with us” Button, for example:
How to scale an e-Learning Business
If you have lots of Clients, you can offer some people you know (or not) to work with you.
You give them clients, and they can keep 90% of the money they make (or some percentage you both agree).
You only would have to guarantee one thing:
- The material they use is the same you created (or at least the aesthetics, brand name…).
In this sector, it is extremely easy to “steal” clients.
That is why you should offer your employees/ colleagues a good deal so they don’t abandon you in the future.
You must make it simple for them.
- A good pool of clients.
- A “juicy” percentage of the benefits.
- And lot of material ready to use.
They will be excited about working with / for you.
A Hosting for having your Website:
- $100 per year at a decent Hosting site.
KLEO Theme for WordPress (or other simmilar):
We are not sure about the Plugins that could better fit you, depending on what you finally decide to teach.
- We’ll assume an additional $50 for some premium Plugins.
Papers, Folders and Office material for you to organize your day a day:
* We are assuming that you would start it at home as a part-time job.
- If you decided to be full-time dedicated to your e-learning Business, you’d have to take into account, not just your Internet Bill but also some of your monthly rental expenses (if you work home) as well as many other things.
Total Investment required for starting an e-Learning Business from scratch:
What would you need for earning $1.000 a month
Since on-line lessons allow different class configurations (just one student, 2, 3… at the same time) we’ll assume different scenarios in order to establish the most reasonable and profitable dynamic.
Individual Lessons scenario
First of all, let’s assume that you start offering individual lessons (just one student per lesson).
Let’s assume now that you charge $20 an hour.
How many clients or hours would you need per month for earning $1.000?
- 50 hours per month.
- That is 12.5 hours per week.
You could combine a “loaded” weekend with some classes during the week.
Shared Lessons scenario
Now, let’s assume that you decide to give lessons to 2 people at the same time and you charge them $15 per student.
- It would be cheaper since you are not focused just on one client but in 2 of them.
You now would be making $30 an hour.
How many clients or hours would you need per month for earning $1.000?
- 33hours per month.
- 25 hours per week.
It seems a more relaxed way of earning $1.000 per month.
Plausible Mixed scenario
Let’s now assume that you have:
- 2 groups of 3 people per month at $12.5 each: That would be $37.5 per hour.
- 4 groups of 2 people at $15 each: That would be $30 per hour.
Shared lessons earnings: $75 + $120 = $195.
You would need to earn $805 per month out of individual lessons.
That would be approximately: 40 hours per month. A bit less than 10 hours per week.
In this scenario, with just 46 hours per month, you would be earning $1.000.
But, what if you wanted to hire some people?
Scalated e-Learning Business scenario
This economic activity can be escalated easily if you have some “collaborators”.
Expecting to teach 30 hours a week would be a bit optimistic.
If you were a very good organized teacher you could definitely do it, but even so, it would be difficult to find students whose “required” time schedule would not interfere between each other.
However, if you were able to teach 30 hours a week at $20 per hour (the lowest rate, assuming you would only have one student per class) you would be making:
- 30 x $20 x 4 = $2.400 per month.
Now, let’s imagine that you were able to escalate your business, with some collaborators.
Let’s assume that your personal schedule is the same as in the previous scenario.
- 40 hours per month.
On average, your collaborators make $600 per month.
- You have 5 collaborators.
- You agreed to keep 15% of what they charge their students.
Hence, you would be earning:
- $1.000 per month from the lessons you teach (previous scenario)
- $450 from commissions. 5 x $600 * 15% = $450.
TOTAL earnings: $1.450 per month.
As you may have already guessed, real money is in having lots of “teachers” while you manage clients and the platform.
- Imagine having 50 associated teachers that earned $1.000 per month….
- If you agreed to keep 10% of their earnings, you would be making $5.000 per month.
Of course, that is not easy to achieve, we just want you to realize how profitable this Business can be if you are successful.
What about the time you need for preparing your lessons?
We have been assuming that you already had everything prepared for your lessons.
However, in your first year, you would have to define:
- Whatever you wanted to teach.
- How you would like to teach it.
- The platform you wanted to use.
That takes time, we know.
We’ve just taken into account the “lessons” time you would need.
That is because, this “initial” time to get everything prepared, can be regarded as a “one-off” investment:
- Once you have all your material, formats… ready, you won’t need to spend more time with it.
- You may update the content, include new things… But that could be perfectly done within the time we considered.
Verdict: Is e-Learning a viable Business Idea?
e-Learning Business is not just a profitable and easy to start way of becoming an entrepreneur. It can be easily escalated (compared to other economic sectors) with almost no effort or investment required.
Even if you just taught individual lessons, you would only require 12.5 hours per week for earning $1.000 per month.
Obviously, it is not as simple as it seems. You need:
- A Website.
- Clients, clients and clients; what is not always easy to get (depending on your experience and skills).
- Time to prepare your lessons.
But one of the best things, this economic sector has is: The reduced risk you bear.
In other economic activities you risk a certain amount of money, while in this one, the product is you.
- If you are lucky enough to find students that think you are a good teacher, you already have a business.
Due to the little initial investment needed for starting an e-Learning Business, it would be worth trying.