Business

How to Start an Online School Business: 5 Steps!

Start an Online School Business – It is never too late or too early to start a business. Considering all the factors given the current situation, starting a business in the virtual world would be your safe bet. This industry is becoming the future of our economy. According to berlo, 4.6 billion people use internet worldwide. And with the added effects of the world wide pandemic halting hundreds of traditional academic curriculums, this is the perfect time for you to dive deep into the world of online schooling.

Distance education has been here for quite a while. And given that people are looking for more convenience, time and cost effective ways to enhance their productivity, the education sector is getting a lot of buzz in this regards. So, if you are thinking on which industry to start with, without any second guesses you can start your own online school.

Some of the new business ideas are like starting a drone business for wedding photography, starting your own village theme luxurious hotels, commercial cleaning services, etc. If you have low investment then you can go for app and software development company, Event management services, home SAT prep classes, math tutoring, etc.

So without much ado, let’s get started right away and see how to start an online school in just five steps.

1. Analyze your customer base:

The initial questions that should pop into your head before starting your business planning are-

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. What do they want?
  3. What are their goals?

Once you answer these for yourself you will automatically get an answer to what you need to do next and how you want to build your online school. You will need to have a full understanding of their needs and you will be able to make more informed decisions with respects to all the major aspects of online schooling business.

Apart from the above mentioned questions, you should also know

  1. Their qualification
  2. Geographical location
  3. If they require special aid etc.

While choosing your customer base, our advice to you would be that you choose according to one category at a time. Given you are just starting your online school; it will be hard for you to start with customers across multiple categories.

2. Draft a business plan and decide on the revenue model:

Once you have chosen your customer’s criteria, you then have to draft your business plan. Your business plan is what has all your processes and steps documented in an orderly manner. Your plan needs to have all the below pointers in it.

  1. Business summary
  2. Market overview
  3. Operational strategies
  4. Sales & Marketing strategies
  5. Proposed value of your products or services
  6. Organization & Management team frameworks
  7. Financial and Legal frameworks

There are different types of business models and you can incorporate the above pointers in them-

  1. Night school model: A model where a student can access only one course and pay only for that
  2. Academy model: A model where students get access to a whole range of their chosen courses by paying a recurring fee(subscription fee)
  3. Combined model: A model where a student where students have access to multiple additional coursework

Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to decide how you will monetize your business. There are many revenue models that are bound to earn your high returns on your investments. Here are the top revenue models-

  1. Membership or Subscription fee model
  2. A freemium model
  3. Different fees for a one-on-one classes
  4. Extra charges on certification and additional materials

3. Draft the course curriculum:

Before you start drafting your course curriculum, there are multiple steps in order for you to start forming your curriculum. They are as follows-

  1. Find your niche: You need to first decide on what niche of this educational industry you want to choose. Schooling is not only about teaching interesting subjects like biology, history etc. There are a lot of others such as-
  • Music and Art
  • Photography
  • Life Coach
  • Yoga or Fitness coach
  • Software training
  • Professional courses, Etc.

Take some time out and do a thorough research on what niche of the market is in demand the most, which is the one that provides more opportunities post the course etc and then make a decision on which niche of business you want to get into. This choice is the first step in building your curriculum.

  1. Draft course curriculum: Once you have chosen your niche you need to compile a suitable curriculum. Making your curriculum too long and scheduling it for long periods of time might make the students feel burdened and they might choose to not take up your course further. Hence you need to draft it in a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) way. Break your courses in smaller, relatable chapters and space them conveniently so as to not feel pressured.

Maintaining the schedule of the course, the study materials, attendance of the students, assessments and assignments, tracking their progress etc. might be really overwhelming. Hence integrating your online tutoring software with LMS (Learning Management System) software will take a huge load off you since it is designed to take care of all the above mentioned processes.

4. Develop your virtual school website:

There are multiple ways in which you can develop an online business platform without the tiniest idea about its technology. You need to first start off by choosing your domain name and hosting platform. So do not keep it lengthy, try and make it resonate with the business, and try naming it unique. You can register yourself with .com .in .net .org .co which is well known. There are other domain name extensions like .yoga .blog .online, but they reflect a sense of non-authenticity hence, it is better to stick with the initial few. Next comes hosting your platform. Given you are just starting your business; you might not need to have a lot of space. Hence choose a basic package which you can always upgrade in the future.

Once this is done the next major and most important step is to secure your website. A SSL (secure sockets layer) certified website is what your customers will be looking for since your website will not only store their personal information but also their financial information and these need to stay out of reach of the hackers.

The last step being the actual development of your online tutoring platform. Based on your financial investment and time you have there are two ways in which you can develop your website are

1.  From scratch (on your own using small business website builder or by hiring a tech team)
2.  Purchasing a turnkey solution

Whichever the method might be, you need to make sure that you have all the below features imbibed in them-

  1. Video streaming and calling facility
  2. In-built virtual writing board software
  3. Document sharing facility
  4. Notification Alerts
  5. Progress Analyzer and Tracker
  6. Class scheduler
  7. Payment gateways
  8. Dashboards exclusively for admin, tutors and students
  9. Review and Rating options

5. Promote your online tutoring business:

Only by promoting and marketing your website is how you develop a foot print for yourself. Gaining the right SERP (Search Engine Result Page) ranking is what will help you achieve the visibility for your business to take off. Here are a few tried and tested methods of marketing that you can play around with and see what suits your business ideals the best.

  1. Social media marketing: E.g.- Facebook, twitter
  2. SEO technique
  3. Content marketing: E.g.- email marketing, newsletters
  4. Multimedia marketing: E.g.- google ads, pay per click
  5. Influencer marketing etc.

5 steps are all you need to get yourself an online school. However, though it might seem simple on the outside, it gets harder once you start digging in. As we all know, the harder the work, sweeter the prize. However, if you have any doubts, queries or need help with developing your online tutoring software, we are right here. Do message us or give us a phone call anytime!

Good luck!

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