Start Your eLearning Budget On A Tight Budget
Do you want to launch an eLearning business, but your limited budget is holding you back? It might seem like a far-fetched idea, but it is in fact possible to get started with limited resources. Stick around if you want to find out how to get your eLearning business started with as little money as possible. Also, learn practical tips that will help you decide on the perfect eLearning price point.
How To Launch An eLearning Business With Limited Resources
Launching an eLearning business on a tight budget is different than launching without any resources. You can save money by utilizing your intelligence, your expertise, your social cycle, your time, and your general knowledge. But what will ultimately help you save more is an original business idea. In a field as competitive as eLearning, only a creative business angle can set you apart and make your startup successful. More tips on how to launch an eLearning business while keeping the budget to a minimum are listed below.
1. Research Market
If you have an idea of the type of eLearning business you want to launch, then the first step you need to take is researching the market. So many startups have failed because they ventured into a highly competitive field with nothing new and original to offer. Therefore, before you blow your already limited budget, take a moment to think: What are my competitors offering their clients? Is there a visible gap in their services? Do I have the necessary skills and tools to fill that gap? If you don’t know where to start, reach out to other businesses in person or on social media. Their insight is bound to help you start off on the right foot.
2. Design Your Business Plan
A solid business plan can get your eLearning business off the ground even with a limited budget. It will help you define your vision and guide you through each step. So, this is the time to design suitable content for your target audience, define long-term and short-term goals for the growth of your startup, and set out a realistic financial plan. That is, how much money do you have available for the launch of your eLearning business. Take into account your other resources as well, such as your contacts, expertise, potential clients, etc. Don’t forget to keep it simple! A complicated business plan could make you lose track of your vision and would probably take your project over budget.
3. Choose Creative Marketing Avenues
Marketing can make or break a business, especially a startup. So, what are the marketing choices for an eLearning business with limited resources? It is crucial for new businesses to invest in improving their website’s SEO and overall traffic. A foolproof way to achieve that is by enlisting your business’s website in a specialized directory. Your online presence will be enhanced while your unique selling points will be promoted to a targeted audience. If your budget allows for it, a PPC directory listing is an upgrade that could offer many additional benefits. For an affordable fee, you can give your clients direct access to your website and promote your eLearning business to niche markets and locations. Usually, you are also provided with data reports that are valuable for your marketing strategy. All in all, it’s an investment you are unlikely to regret.
4. Trust Into An Outsourcing Partner
When setting out to launch an eLearning business with limited resources, outsourcing is not an option that immediately comes to mind. Many associate solution providers with unnecessary costs, but that is rarely the case. On the contrary, outsourcing partners bring to your business a wide variety of tools and expertise. Hiring an employee (or more) with the same set of skills would definitely cost more. Another important benefit of delegating tasks to an outsourcer is that you are left with more time to focus on strategy and forward your company’s goals.
5. Use Multi-Purpose Tools
Usually, startups are a one-person show or a small team of eLearning professionals. Throw into the mix their limited resources and versatile, multi-purpose tools become a necessity for them. You can opt to design or buy them off the market. Given the sheer variety of available eLearning tools, it is safe to say that there are options for any budget and any need. An example of desired versatility is a learning material management tool that doubles as a video conferencing platform.
Starting out in the eLearning industry might be challenging, but an original idea and a whole lot of determination can take you far. Hopefully, these steps have helped you overcome the hurdle called a “tight budget” and given you a boost to launch your own eLearning business.
5 Steps To Set The Right eLearning Price Point
Setting the right price point is a question all eLearning professionals stumble upon when launching their eLearning business. It is quite a challenging issue as well. Price too high and you’ll drive customers away; price too low and you’ll fall short of your financial responsibilities. Continue on to find out 5 tips to help you set a price for your eLearning services so that you can be competitive in the eLearning industry.
1. Size Up The Competition
There’s a great deal of information you can gather just by researching your competition, especially when your competitors are successful and experienced. Specifically, if another business is already selling a similar product (or even the same as yours), you can check their prices and gauge how sales are going for them. In addition to the total number of buyers, you must also pay close attention to client reviews on your competitor’s website. For example, if there are many negative reviews on account of the product being overpriced, you might want to consider setting a lower price for your business. But, be mindful of the price point you set. You can’t go so low that you won’t make any profit, and you can’t match their price or go higher if you are unable to offer extra or superior services.
2. Consider All Costs
There is a lot that goes into launching and running an eLearning business. Therefore, before you determine a price for your eLearning services, you need to figure out how much it really costs to provide them. We are talking about work hours, tools, resources, salaries, and any other cost that you will have to pay to complete an eLearning project. If an outsourcing partner was involved, their fee must be accounted for in the asking price. You should also consider operating costs, such as rent, utilities, marketing expenses, taxes, etc., as well as future costs, such as eLearning content maintenance. It’s crucial for an eLearning business that is just starting out to be able to cover its expenses before focusing on actual profit.
3. Set Income Goals
Your eLearning business should not only fulfill your vision but also provide you with a substantial income. You probably already have an idea of the salary you would like to have, but now is the time to get practical about it. How much would you have to charge to reach your income goal? Let’s say you want your eLearning course to bring in a monthly profit of at least $3,000. That would mean that with a price of $100 you would need 30 new buyers to buy your course every month. Does that seem feasible to you? If not, what is something you can change in the pricing or the promotion of the product? Setting out these goals will give you a clearer image of what needs to be done so that you can accomplish them.
4. Content Determines The Cost
The way you have designed your eLearning content is what will ultimately determine its cost. If your product is an online course, incorporating multimedia, interactive exercises, and/or simulations into it is bound to take a lot of time, skills and expertise. Therefore, it’s no surprise that such a highly interactive eLearning course will cost substantially more than an all text-based online course. Besides, clients expect to pay more for content that is more fun and engaging. When it comes to courses, length is also an important factor. A one-hour course will cost less than a course that consists of 5 hour-long lessons. Gather feedback from your target audience to figure out which content format and length they will find more appealing.
5. Give Options
Always remember that there isn’t a single approach that will attract all clients. Some clients have a very tight budget, while others don’t mind paying extra for a well-made service that covers their needs. Therefore, consider creating different pricing tiers for your products. Start out with the “basic” version that offers just a glimpse of your services. This can be free or very affordable, and it will attract an initial batch of potential leads. Then, you can launch a “premium” version that offers the full-service package, with extra customer support, for instance, at your desired price point. It’s an approach that works for thousands of businesses, so why not for yours?
Last, but not least, establish a testing period. As with every other aspect of launching an eLearning business, setting a price is also subject to some trial and error. It’s not uncommon, or even alarming, to realize that you need to readjust your pricing structure during the first year of business. In reality, it should even be expected once the initial feedback from your clients starts rolling in. In addition, a growing business has growing expenses which require an increase in prices. On the other hand, you might notice that your products aren’t selling as well as you expected. This might call for a slight lowering in price or the introduction of discounts or promotional codes. In any case, you need to remember to remain flexible, keep track of trends in the eLearning industry, and keep an open communication channel for your clients.
Download the eBook Breaking Into The Industry: How To Launch A Successful eLearning Startup And Land New Contracts to find your niche and expand your client base in record time!