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E-learning Business Plan Sample

SEPT.30, 2013

E-learning Business Plan Sample

E-learning Business Plan for starting your own business

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, that is, we can do a lot more from home than we previously thought. We are presenting this business plan for educational services from home. This is the right time to get started with an e-learning business as people are still reluctant to go out.

If you want to know how to set up and elearning course, you are in the right place. Just like a business plan for a driving school or a business plan for language school , this one is based on an actual start up. Let’s see the components of strategy that will help Smart E-learning School succeed.

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

Smart E-learning School will be owned and headed by Hazel White. The school will be focused on providing technical education via the internet and distant learning. The courses offered by the school will be about computer, languages, and programming. starting a e learning business is easier than you think. It is just like a preschool business plan but everything is online.

2.2 Management of E-Learning Business

If you are looking for an answer to how to start e learning business, here it is. The online school business plan will be headed by White and she will hire specialists of each field to help her plan how to set up online training courses in such a way as to make the maximum profit. A mobile application business plan will also be needed to make the business available for all.

2.3 Customers of E-Learning Business

The customers of Smart E-learning School will be from all geometrographic geographic subdivisions from all over the US. The main customers of the business will be:

  • People looking to acquire new skills.
  • People wanting to learn new languages.
  • People interested in learning photography and videography.
  • College graduates wanting to get safety and other certifications.

2.4 Business Target

The subjective target of this online school business plan is to create a reputable name in the elearning industry. However, we’ve set the following objective targets:

  • Enroll 5,000 students within the first 6 months.
  • Generate a revenue of $0.3 million per annum by the end of year 3.
  • Expand to the global market by the end of year 2.

E-Learning Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Hazel White will be the owner and CEO of Smart E-learning School. White has worked as an educationist for 30 years. She previously implemented a tutoring business plan with success. That makes her the perfect person to implement this e learning business plan sample.

3.2 Why the E-learning business is being started

After the coronavirus pandemic, people have realized that it is cost and time effective to learn from home than going to a school. The greatest evidence of this is the increase in the use of services like Google Classroom and Zoom. This is be best time to start e learning business.

3.3 How the E-learning business will be started

Step1: Planning

The first step towards successfully launching this online school business plan is business model for e learning is planning. The managemental hierarchy of the business will be developed and online education e learning sample business plan implementation strategy will be finalized. This is not as simple as a martial arts business .

Step2: Developing a Brand

The next step towards starting the business will be establishing a brand. Top-ranking educationists will be hired to create an impression of the brand. Just like a martial arts business plan it is important to have a brand.

Step3: Establish a Web and Physical Presence

Once the brand has been established, the next step will be to hire office space to start the work. An extensive website will be launched to make the business accessible for customers.

Step4: Promote and Market

The next step will be to create a strong marketing strategy to help the business get noticed by the customers.

E-Learning Business Plan - Startup Cost

The next thing that needs to be addressed in this e learning business plan template are the services. If you want to start your own e learning business, you need to determine the services.

Smart E-learning School will be focusing on 20 services divided into 4 categories:

1. Basic Freelance Skills Training

This category will teach people the basic level and easy freelancing skills that they can use to make money. This will include:

  • Freelance writing.
  • Content creation.
  • Data entry.
  • Use of popular word processors

2. Advanced Freelancing Skills Training

This head will cover specialized skills that can be used for freelancing as well as office jobs. These will include:

  • Video editing.
  • Basic programming.
  • Photo editing.
  • Virtual assistant training.
  • Business plan writing .

3. Languages

We will also be teaching people languages that can increase the chances of them getting better employment opportunities. Smart E-learning School will teach:

  • Entry level Chinese.
  • Intermediate Spanish.
  • Advanced English.
  • Intermediate French.
  • Advanced Spanish.

4. Advanced Skills

These will include:

  • Photography.
  • Videography.
  • Automotive repair.

Marketing Analysis of E-learning Business

If you want to know how to start e learning business online, you need to conduct marketing analysis. This is the part where we determine the economic viability of the project.

UK Start-Up Visa Business Plan

As of 2019, there are more than 31,000 elearning companies in the US. The market capitalization of the elearning industry was 144 billion USD in 2019. It has been growing ever since at a rate of 14.4% annually and is expected to be worth more than 370 billion USD by 2025.

If you want to start your own e-learning business pdf, you’ll need to come up with an innovative approach. However, the COVID situation has made things easier. People now prefer to learn via elearning rather than attending an actual school.

Great service

Great service. Good turnaround time and quality work. Thanks!

One of the most profitable customer bases for any e learning business model are small to medium enterprises. These companies want to get their employees trained at the lowest possible cost. That is only possible through elearning. This enables the employees to receive training while they are in the office and they do not have to take a leave for it.

Another thing that you need to take care of while planning to start an online school business plan is the availability of teachers. If you want to succeed as a new entrant in the industry, you’ll need to hire the best teachers. The best teachers and trainers in the territory are the people who can make the business a success for you.

You also need to look into the way others in the same industry are operating. The way they teach, examine, and certify their students are some of the very important things to get inspiration from.

5.1 Market Trends

As stated earlier there are more than 31,000 e-learning businesses in the US. The market, however, has not always been like this. There were only a handful of distant learning companies operating in the US before the widespread use of the internet. These companies taught through distant lectures on dedicated TV channels and conducted examinations in large cities.

Since the 2000s, the industry started to bloom. It had a growth rate of 7% in 2002. The number and magnitude of e-learning businesses kept going up and the growth rate accelerated over the years. The industry still has a 14.4% growth rate meaning that new entrants still have a chance.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

In this business writing e learning we’re listing the expected customers of Smart E-learning School:

E-Learning Business Plan - Marketing Segmentationt

5.2.1 People Looking for Skills to Earn

One of the main customers/students of any elearning setup are the people who are looking for a cost-effective way to acquire skills. This segment will makeup the bulk of independent customers at Smart E-learning School.

5.2.2 People Looking to Learn Languages

A substantial portion of the students at Smart E-learning School will be the ones looking to learn new languages. These people will be the high paying ones as language education is expensive.

5.2.3 People Learning Skills as Passion

People also go to elearning schools to learn things they are passionate about. We’ll teach photography and videography to such people. However, people can also learn the same for earning money. We don’t judge anyone at Smart E-learning School.

5.2.4 Small to Medium Enterprises

We will also be providing online training solutions for the companies that cannot have their own training wings. This will make up the largest single market segment by revenue as such clients often need training for a lot of people.

5.3 Business Target

  • To establish Smart E-learning School as a leading distant learning services provider.
  • To make some permanent corporate clients and sign long-term training contracts with them.
  • To start making $26,000 a month by the end of year 3.
  • To maintain a CSAT score of more than 90%

5.4 Product Pricing

All courses and training programs will be priced as per the competitors. The prices will be kept a little bit lower than competing businesses to earn clients at the start.

Marketing Strategy of E-learning Business

In order to start a successful business any business e learning marketing plan sample must contain a solid marketing strategy. As the elearning market is a saturated one, a lot depends on how well we present the online school business plan.

If you have come this far looking for how to start a e-learning business proposal, you need to know the importance of an effective marketing strategy. We need to highlight the areas where we are stronger than our competitors. Only then we can succeed.

6.1 Competitive Analysis

  • We will implement modern learning techniques to make our trainings better than what the competition has to offer.
  • We will be hiring the top-notch professionals of every field to make sure we deliver the best.
  • We will design innovative training solutions for small to medium enterprises to get permanent clients.

6.2 Sales Strategy

  • We will use TV commercials, Google Ads, and banners to promote our nascent brand.
  • We’ll offer discounts in the first 6 months to attract people and advertise the business in turn.
  • We’ll make specialized plans for corporate clients

6.3 Sales Monthly

E-Learning Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

E-Learning Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

E-Learning Business Plan - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

The next step for this business plan for e learning company is making a list of people needed to effectively run the company. One thing that must be noted here is that this online school business plan is unique. It will be needing both administrators and teachers to run.

7.1 Company Staff

  • Hazel White will be the owner of the company.
  • 1 Manager Liaison will be needed to connect with the outside world.
  • 4 Language Teachers will be needed, one for each language being offered.
  • 7 Skills Teachers will be needed for all the subjects being offered.
  • 1 IT Expert will be hired to make sure the website runs smooth.
  • 1 Social Media Manager to manage the much-needed social presence of the school.
  • 1 Accountant
  • 1 Technician to upkeep technical equipment.
  • 1 Receptionist

Financial Plan

The final part of this e learning business case will tell how much capital will be needed to start the business. This will cover the amount of money that is needed from the way the execution of the business is started to the day it starts breaking even. Here are some of the costs that must be taken into consideration:

  • The rent of the place to set up the business in.
  • The amount needed to purchase office equipment.
  • The money needed to set up and online portal for the school
  • Marketing and publicity expenses.
  • Money required to pay the employees before the company starts generating revenue.

8.1 Important Assumptions

8.2 break-even analysis.

E-Learning Business Plan - Break-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

E-Learning Business Plan - Profit Monthly

8.3.2 Profit Yearly

E-Learning Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

E-Learning Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

E-Learning Business Plan - Profit Yearly

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

E-Learning Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

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How To Write a Business Plan for E-Learning in 9 Steps: Checklist

By henry sheykin, resources on e-learning.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Model
  • Marketing Plan

Are you considering starting an e-learning business? With the rapidly growing popularity of online education, now is the perfect time to enter the market. According to recent data, the global e-learning market is projected to reach a staggering $325 billion by 2025 . This industry has been experiencing significant growth over the past few years, and with the ongoing advancements in technology and the increasing demand for flexible and accessible learning options, the potential for success is undeniable.

But before you jump into the e-learning market, it's important to have a solid business plan in place. This will not only help you organize your thoughts and ideas but also ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. In this blog post, we will take you through a 9-step checklist on how to write a business plan for your e-learning venture.

  • Conduct market research
  • Define the target audience
  • Identify industry trends and competition
  • Determine the unique selling proposition
  • Create a comprehensive business model
  • Establish clear objectives and goals
  • Develop a pricing strategy
  • Build a prototype or proof of concept
  • Prepare preliminary financial projections

By following these steps, you will be able to develop a solid foundation for your e-learning business, positioning yourself for success in this rapidly growing industry. So, let's dive in and get started on crafting your business plan!

Conduct Market Research

Market research is a crucial step in developing a successful business plan for e-learning. It involves gathering and analyzing relevant data to understand the current market landscape, identify potential opportunities, and assess the needs and preferences of your target audience. Here are some important considerations to make during the market research phase:

  • Determine the size and growth of the e-learning market: Research the current and projected size of the e-learning industry to gauge its potential for growth and sustainability. Identify any trends or patterns that may impact your business.
  • Identify your target audience: Clearly define the demographics, psychographics, and educational background of your target audience. Understand their preferences, pain points, and motivations when it comes to online learning.
  • Analyze industry trends and competition:
  • Research current industry trends and innovations in e-learning, including emerging technologies and teaching methodologies.
  • Identify your direct and indirect competitors and analyze their offerings, pricing strategies, and marketing tactics. Differentiate yourself from the competition by providing a unique value proposition.
  • Gather feedback and insights:
  • Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups with potential customers to gather valuable feedback on their needs and expectations.
  • Utilize social media platforms, online forums, and industry-specific communities to engage with your target audience and gain insights into their preferences.

Tips for Conducting Market Research:

  • Use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to gather comprehensive data.
  • Investigate both primary and secondary sources of information, including industry reports, academic research, and market data.
  • Stay up to date with industry publications, conferences, and webinars to gain a deeper understanding of the e-learning landscape.
  • Consider partnering with market research firms or consultants for specialized insights and expertise.
  • Regularly review and update your market research findings as the industry evolves over time.

By thoroughly conducting market research, you will be equipped with the necessary information to make informed decisions, identify potential gaps in the market, and develop a successful business plan for your e-learning venture.

Define The Target Audience

In order to develop an effective business plan for e-learning, it is crucial to clearly define the target audience for your courses or modules. Understanding who your target audience is will help you tailor your offerings to their specific needs and preferences, ensuring a higher likelihood of success.

Here are some key steps to help you define your target audience:

1. Conduct market research:

2. segment your audience:, 3. analyze competitors:, 4. consider psychographics:, 5. seek feedback:.

By defining your target audience in a detailed and thorough manner, you will be able to design and deliver e-learning courses that meet their specific needs and provide them with value. This will increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining customers, contributing to the long-term success of your e-learning business.

Identify Industry Trends And Competition

Identifying industry trends and understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for the success of your e-learning business. By staying informed about the latest developments and knowing who your competitors are, you can position your business strategically and make informed decisions.

Here are some key steps to follow when identifying industry trends and competition:

  • Conduct a thorough market analysis: Research the e-learning industry to gain insights into emerging trends, customer preferences, and challenges. Look for reports, industry publications, and online resources that provide valuable information on market size, growth rate, and future projections.
  • Track industry innovations: Stay up-to-date with the latest innovations and technologies in e-learning. This includes advancements in learning management systems, interactive content creation tools, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. Understanding these trends can help you adapt your business to meet the evolving needs of your target audience.
  • Study your competition: Identify and analyze your direct and indirect competitors. Look at their offerings, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, and customer reviews. This will help you understand what sets your business apart and how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Identify gaps and opportunities: By analyzing the competitive landscape, you can identify gaps in the market that your e-learning business can fill. Look for areas where there is high demand and low competition, as this presents an opportunity for your business to gain a competitive advantage.
  • Subscribe to industry newsletters and blogs to stay informed about the latest trends and updates.
  • Attend conferences, webinars, and workshops related to e-learning to network with industry experts and gain valuable insights.
  • Listen to feedback from your target audience and adjust your business strategy accordingly.

Determine The Unique Selling Proposition

In order to stand out in the competitive e-learning market, it is crucial to determine your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets your business apart from others and gives you a competitive edge. It is the reason why potential customers should choose your e-learning courses over those offered by your competitors.

When determining your USP, consider the following:

  • Identify your niche: Find a specific area or subject that you can specialize in. By targeting a specific niche, you can establish yourself as an expert and attract a dedicated audience.
  • Offer exceptional content: Ensure that your courses are of high quality, providing valuable and engaging content to students. This can include interactive elements, multimedia resources, and real-world examples.
  • Provide personalized learning: Tailor your courses to meet the individual needs of your students. Offer flexibility in terms of learning pace, customization options, and support.
  • Emphasize convenience: Highlight the convenience and accessibility of your e-learning platform. Showcase features such as mobile compatibility, downloadable materials, and 24/7 availability.
  • Deliver exceptional customer service: Stand out from the competition by offering outstanding customer support. Be responsive to inquiries, provide prompt assistance, and address any concerns or issues effectively.

Tips for Determining Your Unique Selling Proposition:

  • Research your competitors to identify any gaps or areas where you can differentiate yourself.
  • Conduct surveys or interviews with potential customers to understand their needs and preferences.
  • Create a compelling tagline or slogan that encapsulates your USP and communicates it effectively to your target audience.
  • Continuously monitor and adapt your USP based on market trends, feedback, and evolving customer needs.

By determining your unique selling proposition, you can effectively position your e-learning business and attract a loyal customer base. Use this step to differentiate yourself in the market and offer a compelling reason for students to choose your courses over others.

Create A Comprehensive Business Model

Creating a comprehensive business model is a crucial step in developing an effective e-learning venture. This model will serve as the foundation for your entire business plan, guiding your decision-making and outlining how your e-learning platform will operate.

When creating your business model, consider the following key components:

  • Course Offerings: Define the subjects and topics that will be available to students on your platform. This could range from academic subjects to professional development courses, ensuring a diverse range of offerings to attract a wide audience.
  • Instructor Network: Determine how you will recruit and select instructors to develop and teach courses on your platform. Consider the qualifications and expertise required, as well as any vetting or review processes to maintain a high standard of instruction.
  • Course Structure: Decide whether your courses will be self-paced or instructor-led, or a combination of both. Consider the use of multimedia elements, interactive exercises, and assessments to enhance the learning experience.
  • Technology Infrastructure: Identify the necessary technology and infrastructure needed to support your e-learning platform. This could include learning management systems, video hosting platforms, and secure payment gateways.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Develop a plan for marketing and promoting your e-learning platform to attract students. Consider strategies such as social media advertising, content marketing, and partnerships with other institutions or organizations.
  • Research successful e-learning platforms to get inspiration for your business model.
  • Consider conducting a pilot program to test your business model and gather feedback before launching at full scale.
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate your business model to adapt and refine it based on market trends and customer feedback.

By creating a comprehensive business model, you can clearly define how your e-learning platform will operate and differentiate itself from competitors. This will provide a solid foundation for the rest of your business plan and guide your decision-making as you move forward with your e-learning venture.

Establish Clear Objectives And Goals

Once you have conducted thorough market research and identified your target audience, it is crucial to establish clear objectives and goals for your e-learning business. These objectives will serve as the foundation for your business plan and guide your decision-making process.

1. Define your mission: Clearly articulate the purpose and mission of your e-learning business. What value or benefit do you aim to provide to your target audience? This will help you align all your efforts towards a common goal.

2. Set measurable goals: Establish specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your e-learning business. These goals should be aligned with your mission and provide a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Examples of goals include increasing student enrollment, generating a certain amount of revenue, or expanding your course offerings.

3. Identify key performance indicators: Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track your progress towards your goals. These could include metrics such as student satisfaction, course completion rates, revenue per course, or customer acquisition cost.

  • Ensure your objectives and goals are specific and measurable to track progress effectively.
  • Consider both short-term and long-term goals to maintain a balance between immediate success and sustainable growth.
  • Regularly review and reassess your objectives and goals to adapt to changing market conditions and business needs.

4. Define a timeline: Determine a timeline for achieving your objectives and goals. This will provide a sense of urgency and help prioritize your efforts. Break down your goals into smaller milestones and set deadlines for each milestone.

5. Align with your business model: Ensure that your objectives and goals are aligned with your overall business model. For example, if your business model focuses on providing specialized courses, one of your goals could be to become a recognized expert in those specific subjects.

By establishing clear objectives and goals, you provide a roadmap for your e-learning business and increase the likelihood of success. Regularly monitor and evaluate your progress to stay on track and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Develop A Pricing Strategy

Developing a pricing strategy is a crucial step in the business planning process for e-learning. Your pricing strategy will determine how much you charge for your courses or modules and how it aligns with your target audience and market competition.

Here are some important considerations when developing your pricing strategy:

  • Understand the value: Evaluate the value your courses or modules provide to your target audience. Consider the knowledge, skills, and benefits they will gain from your e-learning program. This understanding will help you determine the appropriate price point.
  • Research the market: Research the existing pricing models used by competitors and similar e-learning businesses. This will give you insights into the industry norms and the range of pricing options available. Additionally, identify any gaps or opportunities in the market that you can leverage.
  • Consider your costs: Calculate the costs involved in developing and delivering your courses or modules. Account for expenses such as content creation, platform maintenance, marketing, and customer support. Ensure that your pricing covers these costs and allows for a reasonable profit margin.
  • Segment your audience: Consider segmenting your target audience based on their willingness to pay, preferences, or demographics. This will enable you to offer different pricing tiers or packages that cater to the specific needs and budgets of different customer segments.
  • Test and iterate: Once you have established an initial pricing structure, it is essential to test its effectiveness. Offer limited-time promotions, discounts, or free trials to gather feedback from potential customers and gauge their willingness to pay.

Tips for Developing a Successful Pricing Strategy:

  • Consider offering flexible payment options, such as one-time payments, subscriptions, or installment plans, to cater to different customer preferences.
  • Regularly monitor and analyze your pricing strategy to remain competitive in the market and adapt to changing customer demands.
  • Continuously assess the perceived value of your courses or modules and make pricing adjustments accordingly to ensure customer satisfaction.

By carefully considering these factors and testing your pricing strategy, you can find the right balance between affordability for your customers and profitability for your e-learning business.

Build A Prototype Or Proof Of Concept

Building a prototype or proof of concept is a crucial step in the process of developing an e-learning business plan. It allows you to test and validate your ideas, identify potential issues, and gather feedback from users before investing significant time and resources into the full development of your e-learning platform. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Focus on core features: When building a prototype, it's important to prioritize and focus on the core features of your e-learning platform. Start with the essential functionalities that will provide value to your users and demonstrate the unique selling proposition of your business.
  • Keep it simple: A prototype doesn't need to be overly complex or fully polished. The goal is to create a simplified version of your e-learning platform that showcases the key aspects and functionality. This will enable you to iterate and make necessary changes based on user feedback.
  • Solicit feedback: Once your prototype is ready, reach out to potential users, industry experts, or mentors to gather feedback. Their insights can help you identify usability issues, strengths, and weaknesses of your concept. Consider conducting user testing sessions or surveys to collect valuable feedback.
  • Iterate and refine: Based on the feedback received, make necessary iterations and refinements to your prototype. This iterative process allows you to improve the user experience, address any concerns, and optimize your e-learning platform before proceeding to the full development stage.

Additional Tips:

  • Use wireframing tools or prototyping software to visually represent your e-learning platform's interface and functionality.
  • Consider creating interactive demos using clickable mockups or video walkthroughs to give a better understanding of the user flow.
  • Involve potential users and stakeholders throughout the prototyping process to ensure their needs and expectations are considered.
  • Document feedback and track changes to monitor progress and demonstrate the evolution of your prototype.

By building a prototype or proof of concept, you can effectively demonstrate the viability of your e-learning business idea and refine your concept before committing to full-scale development. This iterative process will not only help you identify and address potential challenges but also increase the overall success and viability of your e-learning venture.

Prepare Preliminary Financial Projections

Once you have conducted thorough market research, defined your target audience, identified industry trends and competition, determined your unique selling proposition, created a comprehensive business model, established clear objectives and goals, developed a pricing strategy, and built a prototype or proof of concept, it is time to prepare preliminary financial projections for your e-learning business. These projections will help you understand the financial viability and potential profitability of your venture.

When preparing financial projections, it is important to consider both the revenue side and the expense side of your business. Start by estimating your potential revenue streams, which in the case of a pay-per-course or pay-per-module model will primarily come from student fees. Determine how many courses or modules you anticipate selling and at what price point. This will give you a rough idea of your potential revenue.

Next, analyze your expenses. Consider the costs associated with developing and maintaining the e-learning platform, hiring instructors or partnering with education providers, marketing and promotional activities, administrative and operational expenses, and any other relevant costs. This will give you an estimate of your potential expenses.

Tips for preparing preliminary financial projections:

  • Be realistic: Ensure that your revenue and expense estimates are based on thorough research and analysis, rather than overly optimistic assumptions.
  • Consider different scenarios: Prepare projections for best-case, worst-case, and most likely scenarios to understand the potential range of outcomes for your business.
  • Factor in growth: If you plan to scale your e-learning business in the future, consider how this growth will impact your revenue and expenses.
  • Seek professional advice: If financial projections are not your area of expertise, consider consulting with an accountant or financial advisor to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Once you have prepared your preliminary financial projections, review them carefully to assess the financial feasibility of your e-learning business. Identify any areas where adjustments or improvements may be needed, and refine your projections accordingly. Remember, financial projections are not set in stone, and they will likely evolve as your business progresses. However, having a strong grasp of your potential financial situation from the start will empower you to make informed decisions and secure the necessary resources to launch and sustain your e-learning venture.

In conclusion, writing a business plan for e-learning requires careful research and planning. By following these 9 steps, you can ensure that your business is well-prepared and positioned for success in the competitive e-learning market:

  • Conduct market research to understand the demand and potential for e-learning in your target market.
  • Define your target audience and tailor your courses to meet their specific needs and preferences.
  • Identify industry trends and competition to stay ahead in the market.
  • Determine your unique selling proposition to differentiate your e-learning business from others.
  • Create a comprehensive business model that includes pricing, revenue streams, and cost structure.
  • Establish clear objectives and goals to guide your e-learning business's growth and success.
  • Develop a pricing strategy that balances affordability for students and profitability for your business.
  • Build a prototype or proof of concept to validate your e-learning platform and gather feedback.
  • Prepare preliminary financial projections to assess the feasibility and potential profitability of your e-learning business.

By following this checklist, you will be well-prepared to launch and grow a successful e-learning business in the ever-evolving digital educational landscape.

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How to Create an E-Learning Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide

e learning platform business plan pdf

Looking to turn your passion for education into a rewarding entrepreneurial venture? The answer may lie in creating your very own e-learning platform.

The global shift towards digital learning, and subsequent potential to reach a worldwide audience, makes developing an e-learning platform an exciting opportunity. 

You’ll be able to make a massive impact on education while boosting your business’s growth potential.

In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth blueprint for creating a successful e-learning platform from scratch with the help of AccessAlly .

So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, educator, or professional in the e-learning industry, you’ll have all the tools you need to navigate the e-learning platform development process.

The benefits of e-learning platforms

Building an e-learning platform comes with a myriad of advantages that enhance the learning experience and provide significant operational and financial benefits, including:

  • Accessibility : E-learning platforms remove geographical and time constraints, allowing learners to access courses and materials from anywhere and at any time. This is particularly useful for learners with busy schedules or those based in remote areas.
  • Scalability : An e-learning platform can cater to a large number of learners simultaneously, making it easier to scale educational offerings compared to traditional, in-person methods.
  • Cost-effective : Online learning platforms offer economic benefits, too! They can reduce, or even eliminate, costs associated with physical classrooms, travel expenses, and printed materials, leading to massive savings.
  • Personalized learning paths : By offering self-paced learning, your platform will be able to accommodate individual learning styles and speeds, enhancing the overall learning experience for your remote students.
  • Rich content variety : A wide variety of content can be incorporated into e-learning platforms. From video and audio to interactive quizzes, you’ll be able to host a rich array of content types that’ll keep your learners engaged.
  • Data tracking : E-learning platforms offer powerful tracking capabilities, allowing you to analyze learner data and progress to inform improvements to course creation and delivery. Ultimately, this can lead to more effective learning with better outcomes.
  • Global reach : A digital learning hub is much more inclusive than traditional in-person classrooms, allowing you to expand your potential customer base, which is particularly important in an increasingly globalized world.
  • Community building : Thanks to features like discussion forums and group projects, e-learning platforms can foster a sense of community among learners. This sense of camaraderie can also play a crucial part in retaining learners.

The importance of e-learning platforms is further underscored by the growth of the e-learning market – which is projected to hit $848.12 billion at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.54% by 2030.

These figures indicate a promising future for online education and lucrative opportunities for anyone looking to build their own e-learning platform.

The different types of e-learning platforms

A wide variety of e-learning platforms are on the market, each serving a specific purpose and catering to different learning needs. 

Understanding the differences between these platforms can help you identify which best suits your particular objectives.

Learning management systems

Learning management systems (LMS) are designed to manage and deliver online courses and training programs, and are ideal for educational institutions or businesses that need to provide structured, formal education.

An LMS offers a centralized platform for course management and delivery, learner assessment, and progress tracking. 

However, they may lack the flexibility and informal learning opportunities other types of platforms provide.

Massive open online courses

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free or low-cost access to educational content from renowned institutions, and they’re best suited for independent learners seeking to expand their knowledge at their own pace.

A MOOC gives learners access to a wide range of courses across various disciplines, often taught by experts in the field, but some learners might need additional support and personalization. 

What’s more, the completion rate for MOOCs tends to be low.

Corporate training platforms

By focusing on employee development and skill enhancement, corporate training platforms are popular within businesses looking to train employees – whether that means improving the skills necessary in their current roles or preparing them for new ones.

These platforms often include features like progress tracking, performance management, and content creation. 

Despite this flexibility, corporate training platforms can lack the engaging, interactive elements other platforms provide.

Online tutoring and coaching platforms

Because online tutoring and coaching platforms provide personalized support and guidance, they’re ideal for learners who need one-on-one assistance or tailored learning experiences.

A tutoring platform often includes features like live video tutoring, interactive lessons, and personalized feedback – which can, sometimes, make them more expensive than other less personalized services.

Social learning platforms

Social learning platforms focus on collaborative learning and community-building by providing a hub for learners to interact, share knowledge, and learn in a collaborative environment.

A social learning platform often includes discussion forums, collaborative projects, and social networking. 

But, they can also lack the structure and formal learning opportunities provided by platforms like LMS or MOOCs.

When choosing a platform type, you’ll need to consider your needs and those of your learners. It’s essential to weigh up factors like the platform’s purpose, the kind of content you plan to deliver, your target audience’s learning needs and preferences, and your budget.

By conducting a needs assessment, you’ll be able to identify your requirements and evaluate different learning platforms based on your specific criteria – and confidently choose the e-learning platform that suits you and your learners!

Developing strategies for efficient e-learning platform creation

You’ll need to take a strategic approach to creating an e-learning platform if you want to ensure its success and sustainability.

Step 1: Identify your goals

Defining clear objectives and goals for your platform could include identifying your target audience, determining desired learning outcomes, and setting goals for revenue generation.

You may also want to consider different business models. 

Remember to consider your goals, target audience, and content when choosing between models.

  • Subscription/membership model : Users pay a recurring fee to access your content.
  • Pay-per-course model : Users pay a one-time fee for each course they take.
  • Combined model : Make some content available for free and lock some content behind a paywall.

Step 2: Choose platform functionalities

Identify which features your platform needs. This will depend on your chosen niche, the needs of your target audience, and the desired learning experience. 

For example, if you’re targeting self-directed learners, you’ll want to include features like progress tracking and flexible learning paths.

Choosing the right technology stack and development approach is another critical step – and you may need to decide between a custom development, using an e-learning platform like AccessAlly, or a combination of both. 

Factors to consider include:

  • Your budget.
  • The need for scalability as your user base grows.
  • The ability to integrate with other systems.

Step 3: Establish a content strategy

Developing a content strategy includes creating, curating, and organizing high-quality learning materials. 

Your content should always be relevant, aligned with your learners’ objectives, and as engaging as possible!

Step 4: Ensure consistent design

Implement a user-centric design across your platform, focusing on usability, accessibility, and engagement. 

This means ensuring that your platform is easy to navigate and accessible to users with different abilities, and engaging enough to keep learners coming back.

Step 5: Conduct regular platform analysis

Planning for platform maintenance, updates, and continuous improvement is a pivotal part of platform creation. 

Technology and user expectations evolve rapidly, so your platform should be designed with adaptability in mind. 

Regularly review user feedback and analytics to identify areas for improvement and ensure your platform continues to meet the needs of your learners.

Build Your Own Teaching Ecosystem, Customized to Reflect Your Teaching Style.

With AccessAlly, you’re creating your own platform to run courses, memberships, and communities on. 

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Steps to develop an e-learning platform with AccessAlly

AccessAlly is a powerful plugin that allows businesses to host a wide range of offerings, including courses, memberships, downloads, communities, and coaching programs – all in one place.

Thanks to its suite of robust features, AccessAlly is an important tool in the kit of anyone looking to build an effective e-learning platform, and we’ll guide you through the process of creating your platform with AccessAlly in the steps below.

1. Utilize AccessAlly’s flexible course builder

Want to create customized courses with minimum hassle? AccessAlly makes it easy! You’ll be able to generate courses with any number of modules, lessons, quizzes, and more.

Courses can also be designed with a flexible structure, integrating progress tracking and features like video bookmarks .

The platform’s drag-and-drop interface simplifies the creation and organization of course content. 

It can be used for various content formats, including text, images, audio files, video lessons, quizzes, and interactive elements.

AccessAlly – create graded quizzes for training modules.

Furthermore, AccessAlly allows you to create quizzes, assessments, and assignments for interactive learning experiences. 

This includes personality tests, scoring tests, and pass-fail quizzes.

Giving your students a dedicated space to upload assignments and receive timely feedback has its own benefits, too. 

You’ll promote continuous improvement through constructive criticism, encourage student participation, and foster an engaging learning environment.

2. Set up bulk course enrollment

Bulk course enrolment (or cohort-based learning ) involves enrolling a group of students into a course simultaneously, allowing them to progress together.

With AccessAlly’s bulk course enrollment feature, content creators and corporate training providers can sell and manage course access for groups, teams, or corporations.

The feature also simplifies the process of enrolling large groups of users and supports business growth by eliminating the need for individual registrations.

3. Provide personalized support

Personalized support in e-learning is crucial. 

It caters to individual learning styles and paces, provides a student-centered experience, and ensures that real-time assistance is always available.

AccessAlly offers robust progress-tracking capabilities, including real-time student or employee progress monitoring. 

This is visually represented through progress bars, pie charts, and ‘Checklists’ mapping the user’s journey, enhancing clarity and motivation.

AccessAlly’s integration with email marketing systems , like ActiveCampaign , also enables targeted communication based on a student’s progress or engagement level. 

You’ll be able to provide relevant resources and assistance, and ensure that your students get the support they need whenever they need it.

4. Track progress

Progress monitoring is crucial in e-learning as it facilitates targeted support, personalizes learning, and optimizes course content.

Course creators can release content conditionally based on student activity and implement structured, sequential learning. 

AccessAlly also provides comprehensive reports on individual user progress and overall trends, offering insights into content engagement and completion rates.

These capabilities allow course creators to identify learning challenges, provide targeted support, and enhance user satisfaction. 

Moreover, these insights enable course creators to refine course content, aligning it more effectively with learners’ needs and improving overall course quality. 

The end result is an improved learning experience that is dynamic, personalized, and more efficient.

5. Maximize engagement through gamification

Gamification involves applying game-design elements to non-game contexts, like e-learning services, to engage users and enhance learning. It boosts motivation, retention, and satisfaction, making it an invaluable feature for your platform.

AccessAlly’s gamification features , including badges, points, and leaderboards, celebrate learners’ progress. 

In turn, this sparks competition and provides recognition, which enhances the overall learning experience.

The AccessAlly ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ narratives and surprise prizes are particularly effective, and add extra excitement to courses, keeping learners motivated.

The platform’s performance-tracking tools also provide a clear view of learners’ progress and achievements, promoting continuous engagement. 

Badges and points serve as tangible evidence of accomplishment, while leaderboards foster a healthy competitive environment.

Gamification elements keep your learners eager to complete their courses. 

They can also significantly increase user retention and foster a real sense of achievement.

6. Optimize your e-learning platform for success

Your learners will have diverse needs and abilities, which is why it’s crucial to implement a user-friendly interface across your e-learning platform. 

It’s also important to regularly update and expand course offerings to keep your service relevant and attract new learners.

Of course, high-quality content is another must. You can achieve this by collaborating with subject matter experts and using multimedia resources. 

AccessAlly’s ability to send data back to your CRM and integrate with email marketing platforms aids this process.

Feedback mechanisms are useful when it comes to gathering user insights and enabling data-driven platform improvements. 

You’ll also need to develop an effective marketing strategy to reach your target audience and drum up interest in your platform.

To maximize revenue, it’s also worth exploring your monetization options, like subscriptions, one-time purchases, and tiered pricing. 

AccessAlly can help you out here, offering recurring subscriptions , one-click upsells , coupons , and other monetization methods.

AccessAlly – add coupons and recurring subscriptions.

7. Stay up to date with new technologies and trends in e-learning

Staying current with emerging technologies and trends in the e-learning industry is pivotal for growth and scaling. Technological advancements can significantly enhance the learning experience, engagement, and outcomes.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning breakthroughs : AI and machine learning have revolutionized the world of e-learning, offering personalized experiences and adaptive content tailored to individual learning styles and paces.
  • Growing traction in mobile e-learning : A responsive, mobile-friendly design (and mobile app) is essential to meet the increasing demand for learning on the go, providing access to learning materials anytime, anywhere.
  • Utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) : Both technologies offer immersive, interactive learning experiences. They can transform abstract concepts into tangible experiences, making learning more memorable.
  • Rising awareness of social learning : Social learning emphasizes the importance of collaborative tools and features. Peer interaction and collaboration can foster a strong sense of community, too.
  • Harnessing data analytics and learning analytics : These analytic methods are crucial for tracking user progress, identifying areas for improvement, and making data-driven decisions. Collecting these insights can also optimize learning paths, enhance content, and improve the user experience.

AccessAlly stays ahead of the curve with its integrated tech stack, consistent rollouts of developments and updates, and data-driven insights. 

Embracing these technologies and trends ensures your platform remains competitive and effective in delivering high-quality e-learning experiences.

Get started with AccessAlly today

The e-learning market is experiencing a boom – and it’s not hard to see why. 

They’re accessible, scalable, cost-effective, and provide handy functionalities like personalized learning paths, rich content variety, and data tracking.

Building your very own e-learning platform can be a lucrative venture and a great way to make a real impact on the world of education. 

You’ll be able to provide a collaborative hub for learners worldwide and expand your business’s reach.

However, many types of e-learning platforms are available, each serving a specific purpose.

Whether it’s Learning Management Systems (LMS), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), corporate training platforms, online tutoring and coaching platforms, or social learning platforms, the choice depends on your needs and the needs of your intended learners.

Creating an e-learning platform requires a strategic approach, from defining clear objectives and goals, to identifying essential features and functionalities, and choosing the right technology stack. 

You’ll also need to develop a content strategy, implement a user-centric design, and plan for platform maintenance, updates, and continuous improvement.

Fortunately, AccessAlly can help streamline the process! 

With a flexible course builder, bulk course enrollment, personalized support, progress tracking, and gamification features, AccessAlly has everything you need to create an effective e-learning platform – and stay up-to-date with new technologies and trends in e-learning.

If you’re ready to take your first step into the world of e-learning, and build your e-learning platform from the ground up, you can count on AccessAlly. Don’t wait – start shaping the future of digital learning today !

I’m a writer, technologist, and regenerative farmer. I founded AccessAlly with my husband in one frantic weekend to solve my immediate course platform issues. Over a decade later the company has grown, and our product has evolved to serve millions of learners across the globe.

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Educational Software Business Plan

Start your own educational software business plan

Third Degree I.D.

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Third Degree I.D. is a limited-liability company (LLC) with three founding partners, located in Savannah, Georgia. The company designs, develops, and markets instructional products and services for the corporate, education, government, and healthcare e-learning industries. It is committed to high quality instructional design and educational new media development, and provides a core deliverable of programs, courses, and learning objects for the distance education, distributed learning, and e-learning markets.

The company employs an object-oriented design methodology that yields flexible, scalable, and reusable content, supporting clients with rich, targeted solutions that are easily replicated and maintained. It seeks a balanced portfolio of clients from a variety of industry sectors, and plans to mitigate business  fluctuations with an appropriate number of local, national, and international clients.

Third Degree I.D. develops strategic relationships and builds its business on a returning customer base and an accumulation of educational content that can be re-purposed and re-sold.

The three founding partners of Third Degree I.D. will each invest $35,000 into the company, and are seeking an additional two-year loan of $30,000 to complete the start-up funding. Roughly $19,000 of this initial funding is required for start-up expenses and assets; the remainder will provide a cash basis for the initial year of operations, during which Third Degree I.D. will provide some at-cost work to influential clients to create a solid reputation for our work and capabilities; this reputation forms the necessary basis for marketing and sales strategies after the first year.

Our market research shows our sales goal of $360,000 in the first year is conservative, for a start-up educational software company with our combined expertise. Growth estimates in years 2 and 3 are based on data from comparable businesses in the same industry.

Sbp, educational software business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

Key objectives for Third Degree I.D. in the first year are as follows:

  • Establish a legal business through appropriate licensing.
  • Complete business planning and pursue funding–via venture capital, bank loans, grants, and contracts.
  • Establish a web presence and list products and services in industry-relevant websites and publications.
  • Contract with six  to eight clients requiring consulting, training, design or development work of an appropriate scope ($50,000 or more).

1.2 Mission

Third Degree I.D. designs, develops, and markets instructional products and services for the corporate, education, government, and healthcare e-learning industries. It affords companies and institutions cost-effective, progressive, flexible and well supported solutions to their instructional design and e-learning operational needs. Its principal goal is client satisfaction, serving client interests as an ally and loyal business partner. The company operates on a for-profit basis and provides an engaging and equitable work environment for its owners, employees, and contractors.

1.3 Keys to Success

Success will be dependent upon:

  • persistent and creative client development efforts
  • exceptional product and service quality
  • time-efficient and cost-effective development processes
  • expert management and knowledgeable staff
  • cash-savvy growth strategies

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

Third Degree I.D. is located in Savannah, Georgia. It sells instructional design products and services to the corporate, education, government and healthcare e-learning markets. The company is committed to high quality instructional design and educational new media development.  It sells program/curriculum design and development, course design and development, program/curriculum and course evaluation, content analyses and revision, rich-media production, e-learning training, e-learning consulting, and additional services, such as market research, editing, document workflow, and translation. Third Degree I.D. employs an object-oriented design methodology that yields flexible, scalable, and reusable content. This approach provides clients with rich, targeted solutions that are easily replicated and maintained.

2.1 Start-up Summary

To begin the business, we require $5,924 in start-up expenses, and another $13,000 in non-cash assets. Details of these requirements can be found below.

Legal Expenses

  • Attorney Consultation — $300
  • Initial Filing Fee for LLC — $400
  • Name and Logo Trademark — $300

Website Expenses

  • Website Domain (2 Years) — $14
  • Website Hosting (1 Year) — $96

Communications

  • Stationery/Letterhead + Envelopes (500 set) — $500
  • Business Cards (500 x 3) — $300

Memberships and Subscriptions

  • Coastal Beta — $75
  • eLearning Guild — $95
  • Faculty Finder.com — $745
  • Authoring and Multimedia Software for Sony Vaio — $1,000
  • Authoring and Multimedia Software for Mac Powerbook — $1,000
  • Authoring and Multimedia Software for SH Desktop — $300

Long-term Assets

Computer Hardware

  • DS Laptop (Sony Vaio) — $2,500
  • MH Laptop (Mac 15″ Powerbook — $2,500
  • SH Desktop + Laser Printer + Scanner — $2,000
  • Networked Content Server — $6,000

Start-up Investment

Each of the the founding partners will make an equal investment of $35,000 in starting the business. In addition, the partners intend to secure a 2-year commercial loan in the amount of $30,000 to cover the working capital requirements for the initial period of operations.

All startup expenses and funding requirements are summarized in the tables below.

Sbp, educational software business plan, company summary chart image

2.2 Company Ownership

Third Degree I.D. is structured as a limited-liability company (LLC), consisting of three executive partners: Susan Hines, Mona Meyer, and Daniel Stanford, who will function in the roles of chief executive officer (CEO), chief learning officer (CLO), and chief creative officer (CCO).

Third Degree I.D. focuses on the following deliverables: program/curriculum design and development, course design and development, program/curriculum and course evaluation, content analyses and revision, rich-media production, e-learning training, e-learning consulting, and additional services, such as market research, editing, document workflow, and translation. For purposes of billing, project management, and client relations, these services are broken down as follows:

  • Program/Curriculum Design & Development
  • New Program Services
  • Existing Program Services
  • Course Design and Development
  • Learning Object Development
  • Other Services

3.1 Program Design & Development

Third Degree I.D. provides development services for clients in accordance with educational best practices and client specifications. It employs a systematic design and development process that produces instructionally sound, engaging programs/curricula that are aligned with institutional goals and exceed applicable accreditation and/or compliance standards.

3.1.1 New Program Services

New program services are available to clients who do not yet possess an e-learning infrastructure or who do not yet possess robust programming that would adequately leverage the infrastructure.

Needs Analysis Report The needs analysis report is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The report articulates technology, workforce, and policy/procedure needs for e-learning programs in the general context of any institutional and/or accreditation and/or compliance constraints. Clients are charged according to the scope of the project, which is generally tied to the length and/or number of programs/curricula to be developed. For example, a needs analysis report for an e-learning certificate or academic “minor” (or group of related courses of no more than six) would conclude with a base charge of $3600.

Clients developing multiple curricula receive a 50% discount on the base charge of the lesser fee. For example, an institution or company developing an MA and an undergraduate minor would be charged the full fee for the MA plus half of the fee charged for the undergraduate minor ($4500 + $1800 = $6300).

Funding Assistance Funding assistance is a deliverable provided to institutions or companies that wish to raise funds externally in order to underwrite or mitigate their e-learning start-up and operation expenses. Assistance would include research, reporting, grant and business proposal efforts. The charge for initial consulting is $75 per hour, with subsequent research, reporting, grant and business proposal efforts charged at $50 per hour. Clients may indicate a “not to exceed” clause in all funding-assistance efforts.

Program/Curriculum Prospectus The program/curriculum prospectus is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The prospectus outlines the objectives and viability of a given program/curriculum and critiques any development dependencies or any potential implementation constraints; it also includes a market study and a program/curriculum evaluation plan.

Clients who purchase a needs analysis report are given a 20% discount on each program/curriculum prospectus.

Program/Curriculum Development Plan The program/curriculum development plan is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. The development plan is a report that articulates the program/curriculum specifications according to institutional needs. The document includes a full articulation of curriculum design, including course-series or individual course “look and feel” and functionality requirements. It characterizes the significant development/delivery features of the courses and identifies any course developers, subject matter experts (SMEs), or consultants associated with the individual course projects. The development plan includes a time horizon for the overall program/curriculum with timelines for individual courses and delineated fees associated with project development and management.*

Clients who purchase a curriculum prospectus report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum plan.

*Clients are charged a monthly project management fee of 5% on the overall curriculum design and development charge for the duration of the project development period. A project development period runs from the date of the program/curriculum development plan implementation to the date of program/curriculum development plan completion.

Program/Curriculum Implementation Strategy The program/curriculum implementation strategy is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that recommends ways to optimize program/curriculum support and to leverage the program/curriculum in order to maximize learning and revenues. The report recommends enrollment goals, scheduling, instructor recruitment, content-reuse, and technical support strategies.

Clients who purchase a program/curriculum development plan are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum implementation strategy report.

Program/Curriculum Evaluation Plan The curriculum evaluation plan is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that articulates qualitative and quantitative strategies which satisfy accreditation and/or compliance standards and assist institutions and companies in procuring feedback that informs and improves upon their curricula. The evaluation plan includes survey collection instruments for curriculum-level and course-level analysis.

Clients who purchase a curriculum prospectus report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum evaluation plan.

3.1.2 Existing Program Services

Existing program services are available to clients who possess an e-learning infrastructure and deliver programs/curricula, but who wish to enhance or improve upon their offerings. Clients with existing programs may select from the New Program Services, if they wish to add new programs to their offerings.

Program/Curriculum Evaluation Report The program/curriculum evaluation report includes a top-level analysis of a given program/curriculum relevant to institutional or company goals and relative to comparable institutional and company programs/curricula. It includes a systematic analysis of each course within the program/curriculum and provides recommendations for revision of content, structure, and delivery. Recommendations are informed by educational best practices and any institutional, accreditation and/or compliance standards.

Program/Curriculum Strategy Report The program/curriculum strategy report is the end result of a client-partnered consulting and research effort. It is a report that analyzes the institution or company’s current implementation and operations strategy and recommends ways to optimize program/curriculum support and to leverage the program/curriculum in order to maximize learning and revenues. The report recommends enrollment goals, scheduling, instructor recruitment, content-reuse, and technical support strategies.

Clients who purchase a curriculum evaluation report are given a 20% discount on each corresponding program/curriculum strategy report.

Program/Curriculum Maintenance (on Retainer) Program/Curriculum Maintenance provides institutions or companies with “basic maintenance” of courses and learning objects in a given e-learning program or curriculum. “Basic maintenance” is a support package that serves clients who require minor course or course-shell changes on a regular basis. Clients who develop courses that feature time-sensitive information and are instructor-led may be better served by regular maintenance to course features that change, such as schedules, calendars, tests, and evaluations. Maintenance is charged on a monthly basis at 5 percent of the overall program/curricula charge.

3.2 Course Design and Development

Third Degree I.D. provides course- or project-development services for clients in accordance with established curriculum plans. The company employs a systematic instructional design process that produces instructionally sound, engaging course work, systematically aligned with program goals and learning outcomes and designed to exceed institutional accreditation standards.

Course-design cost estimates are based upon the following assumptions:

  • A course or training project contains one or more units of instruction.
  • A “unit” consists of approximately 8 pages of content and represents 3-5 hours of instruction.
  • A “page” of content covers a single topic and represents information that would be presented to a learner “at once” (e.g. between clicks of a “Next” button).
  • A “page” of content contains from 150-1500 words (as dictated by lesson flow and audience requirements).
  • A typical unit contains approximately:
  • 16 content-related photos or illustrations (an average of 2 per page)
  • 1 collaborative discussion assignment
  • 2 hands-on or research-focused “homework” assignments, and
  • 1 standard assessment (e.g. 20-question multiple choice, true/false, or matching quiz).

Note: A unit may also contain one or more interactive learning objects, which are priced separately under topic 3.3, below.

Development Options

Type A: Courses are developed “from scratch.” Third Degree I.D. is responsible for providing subject-matter expertise, researching relevant content, and developing courses with limited support from the client partner. This is the most expensive development option. Type B: Courses are developed with the aid of a dedicated subject-matter expert employed by the client for the scope of the project (e.g. a faculty member for higher-ed institutions, or a seasoned field professional for corporate clients). Type C: The client partner provides raw content in an existing medium (e.g. textbooks, articles, PowerPoint slides, training manuals, etc.) Third Degree I.D. develops courses that re-purpose and/or supplement the existing content. Type D: The client partner provides both existing content in an alternate medium and a dedicated subject-matter expert. Third Degree I.D. works with the dedicated subject-matter expert over the course of the project to produce courses that re-purpose or supplement the raw content.

Delivery Options

Type 1: Content is designed for delivery by nonprofit institutions under the rules of the TEACH Act. This is the least restrictive option in terms of copyright and, therefore, requires limited investment in new media development and permissions acquisition. Type 2: Content is designed for delivery by nonprofit institutions and education clients under the “Fair Use” guidelines for copyrighted works. Fair Use strictly limits the amount of copyrighted content that can be used within the context of an online course. Therefore, courses developed for this standard require additional investment in new media development and permissions acquisition. Type 3: Content is developed for commercial delivery. This is the most restrictive option and requires that all course content (including media) be developed from scratch or obtained via purchase or agreement with the copyright holder.

Cost Estimates

*Note: A typical course for a higher-ed client is 10 to 12 units in length (representing 30-50 hours of instruction). Multiply the unit price by 10 or 12 to calculate average course cost.

Additional Development Services and Pricing

Third Degree I.D. also offers the following additional services related to course/program development:

*1 audio “clip” = 60 seconds of digital audio

**1 video “clip” = 30 seconds of digital video

3.3 Learning Object Development

Third Degree I.D. designs and develops rich-media learning objects, designed to motivate learners, to increase course interactivity, to provide novel and interesting views of course content, to simulate real-world scenarios, and to provide stimulating alternatives to drill-and-practice instruction. Learning objects are typically authored in Macromedia Flash and range in complexity from single-screen interactions with no evaluation to rich, simulated environments that respond to a variety of user inputs.

Object Types

Level 1: Level 1 objects are typically single-screen environments that respond to user actions but do not evaluate responses. Examples include:

  • X-Ray Machine: A custom cursor reveals a hidden layer as the user rolls his mouse over an image. Imagine, in an anatomy course, being able to peer “inside” a simple, illustrated diagram of the human body, revealing the skeletal system, the circulatory system, etc.
  • Overlay Engine: Users can toggle various image “layers” on and off, similar to the way transparency overlays can be used with an over head projector. Imagine a map with highways, lakes, and gas station markers that could be hidden and revealed as needed.
  • Simple Image Gallery : Users cycle through images with corresponding text. Imagine a menu with five buttons, each displaying a single work of art, the title of the piece, the artist’s name, and the date it was created.

Level 2: These objects are typically 1-2 screen engines, with evaluation and feedback, and are typically used as assessment vehicles. Examples include:

  • Media-Rich Quiz: For instance, a multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank quiz with optional areas for displaying diagrams, photographs, or hints.
  • Hint/Password Game: The user tries to guess the topic or item that is described by a growing list of clues.

Level 3: Level 3 objects are media-rich resources that are designed to display a variety of media in a unique format. They may combine text, illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs, audio/video clips, and web links to create rich, educational experiences. Examples include:

  • Timelines: Imagine an interactive timeline designed to illustrate key points in the development of personal computing. For instance, one event on the timeline could provide photos of the early Apple II computers and later Macintosh models, text describing the growth of Apple as a major hardware manufacturer, sound-bytes from industry professionals, and a link to the Apple website.
  • Image Magnifier: Imagine a display engine that allows users to interactively select and view magnified portions of a small image (e.g. a painting or other work of art). The engine could handle multiple images (with a page-turning metaphor), and a text area could provide a description of each work with links to museums featuring work by the same artist.
  • Interactive Dictionary/Glossary: Imagine key words or terms hyperlinked from within a course. When a term is clicked, the glossary would open, displaying a basic text definition, supplemented by audio clips, animated diagrams, or illustrations.

Level 4: These are typically complex adaptive learning tools that modify content presentation, based upon user response. Examples include:

  • Adaptive Assessments/Tutorials: Content presentation is adjusted based upon user responses. Imagine a quiz that supplies a more difficult question each time a user responds correctly or easier questions when the user responds incorrectly.
  • Adaptive Simulations: These are typically games or simulations that replicate real-world problems. Imagine a game designed to test a learner’s understanding of the urban planning process. For example, users might control the rate and quality of road construction, public parks, and commercial/residential zoning. By choosing to spend a significant portion of her budget on parks and residential development, a user may receive feedback that traffic congestion and unemployment have driven potential buyers out of the city.

It is important to note that the descriptions above do not attempt to describe the entire universe of potential learning object development. The examples provided with the level descriptions are intended to help Third Degree I.D. and the client effectively gauge the complexity of proposed objects and price/budget accordingly.

Cost Estimates—Engine Development

Cost Estimates—Engine “Population” and Media Editing

3.4 Training

Third Degree I.D. provides a number of training options for clients who wish to expand their e-learning skills and knowledge. Training sessions can benefit instructors, support staff and administrators.

3.5 Consulting and Other

Third Degree I.D. charges a flat fee of $75 per hour for consulting, and specializes in a variety of areas, including:

  • e-learning strategic planning
  • accreditation substantive change documentation
  • learning-objects database planning
  • content-reuse planning
  • “best practices” consulting
  • open-source e-learning assets consulting

Third Degree I.D. charges a flat fee of $60 per hour for work that may stem from consulting, such as:

  • Copy editing
  • Translation
  • Illustration

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

Third Degree I.D. is competing for e-learning instructional design business in the corporate, educational, healthcare and government sectors. Its emphasis will be on corporate and educational markets, as these sectors are likely to experience the greatest growth.

Third Degree I.D. projects it will do $360,000 worth of business in Year 1, which represents a development objective of at least three  7- to 12-course series (i.e. a professional certificate or masters degree). Of the $360,000, the partnership estimates that 50% will come from higher-ed clients, 40% from corporate clients, and 10% from K-12 clients.

According to the Booz Allen Hamilton white paper, Re-Learning E-Learning,[1] the compound annual growth rate for the three sectors is: higher ed = 25%, corporate=30%, and K-12=30%. These assumptions were used to estimate new-development revenue for each of the three sectors.

In addition, the partnership anticipates generating revenue through reuse and relicensure at a rate of 25% of cumulative revenue, from year to year.

——————————————————————————–

[1] Lee, Reggie with Sumita Bhattacharya, Tina Nelson, and Martin Kihn. “Re-Learning e-Learning” (Booz Allen Hamilton, 2002) <http://extfile.bah.com/livelink/livelink/108290/?func=doc.Fetch&nodeid=108290>.

4.1 Market Segmentation

The e-learning market continues to expand.  According to ThinkEquity Partners and Eduventures, the global training and education market is a $2 trillion industry, with the United States accounting for 37.5% of the market.[1]  The greatest demand for e-learning in the U.S. comes from the corporate sector, which according to Brandon-Hall realizes a “30 to 60 percent” savings over traditional classroom instruction.[2] Thus, businesses and corporations have invested—and continue to invest—in infrastructure that will require a steady supply of content.

Higher education and K-12 are substantial markets, as well—a combined industry representing over 100 billion dollars.[3] With the largest class of high school students in U.S. history graduating in 2009 and a brick-and-mortar system that cannot expand quickly enough to accommodate them, e-learning is becoming a necessity for institutions as much as it is becoming an expectation among students who are increasingly computer savvy.[4] Colleges and universities are also turning to e-learning as a way to increase their reach—to offer branded educational opportunities to students outside of their traditional geographical boundaries.

 While the move to e-learning in the healthcare and government sectors remains slower than in the corporate and educational sectors, these industries are showing a strong interest nevertheless. According to Jones Knowledge, Inc. and CourseShare.com, the healthcare industry shows an 80% interest (with a 30% commitment) level while government shows 50% interest (with 39% commitment).[5]

[1] ThinkEquity Partners, Eduventures (quoted in “The Learning Markets: E-Learning” by eMarketer, Inc., 2003) <http://www.emarketer.com>.

[2] Adkins, Sam. “2002-2010 U.S. e-Learning Industry” (Brandon-Hall Marketing Series, 2002) <http://www.brandonhall.com>.

[3] Brandon-Hall (quoted in “The Learning Markets: E-Learning” by eMarketer, Inc., 2003) <http://www.emarketer.com>.

[4] Howell, Scott, Peter Williams, and Nathan Lindsay. “Thirty-two Trends Affecting Distance Education: An Informed Foundation for Strategic Planning.”  The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration (6.3) 2003 <http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/howell63.html>.

[5] Jones Knowledge, Inc. and CourseShare.com (quoted in “The Learning Markets: E-Learning” by eMarketer, Inc., 2003) <http://www.emarketer.com>. The ratio of interest to commitment is 75% to 64% in education and 80% to 60% in among corporations.

Sbp, educational software business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Third Degree I.D. is focusing on the corporate and educational markets because they represent the e-learning growth sectors. The partnership is well positioned to tap these markets locally and regionally. Savannah and the Lowcountry is experiencing genuine growth in high-tech businesses and is home to over 20 colleges, universities, technical institutes, and educational centers in higher education alone.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The educational services industry is comprised of a large number of existing businesses competing in several segments. Historically, K-12, colleges/universities and corporate training providers utilized a traditional instructor-led approach for the delivery of short- and long-term courses. Over the last few years, e-learning has developed into a mature alternative to instructor-led course delivery, as it provides substantial cost savings in both development and delivery of the content and allows service providers to increase their geographical market.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Until recently, the competition in e-learning has been among large, proprietary course management or learning management system (CMS/LMS) vendors and IT-infrastructure companies. However, as less expensive systems and free, easy-to-install open-source systems emerge, the focus and interest is moving (appropriately) from delivery systems to the actual content delivered.

Third Degree I.D. is committed to leveraging the trend toward less expensive and open-source systems by emphasizing user-centered instructional design and by designing object-oriented content that facilitates easy installation and migration into almost any system. The company is dedicated to developing content that meets or exceeds interoperability (SCORM, OKI) and compliance standards (W3 Accessibility, ADA), so that clients can make better decisions about how to serve their content to virtually anyone.

However, the company has extensive experience with the most popular, proprietary CMS/LMS systems, and recognizes a continued investment by its clients in those systems. Thus, it also focuses on design and development for those systems (Blackboard, WebCT), while also maintaining interoperability and compliance standards that allow for easy migration of content (from system to system).

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Third Degree I.D. will focus on four e-learning markets– the corporate, educational, healthcare, and government sectors. While it seeks business from companies and institutions across the United States and abroad, it will make a concerted effort to develop long-term local and regional clients.

Third Degree I.D.’s target customers are the upper-level management of companies and institutions who are charged with the day-to-day operations of e-learning implementation and delivery.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Third Degree I.D. provides its clients the personal touch that large, proprietary systems vendors are ill-equipped to deliver. There is no universal recipe for a “good” instructional design. However, all effective instructional solutions share similar ingredients: a dash of market opportunity, a pinch of business goals, and a generous helping of user requirements. As its name implies, Third Degree I.D. is committed to “interrogating” the relevant stakeholders to determine the appropriate mix of ingredients.

Better questions yield better results. Third Degree I.D. will ask probing questions and deliver superior instructional solutions.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Third Degree I.D.’s marketing strategy for the first year requires that the company:

  • initiate as many personal contacts as possible
  • demonstrate excellence with every personal contact
  • identify six to eight key clients, and “win them over” through demonstration of expertise with limited initial client investment
  • provide excellent custom development services with enthusiasm and a personal touch
  • make a name for the company.

Identity Issues The first year of operations will present a marketing challenge for Third Degree I.D. The partnership and identity are newly formed; therefore, the company is relatively unknown in the marketplace. Although the founders have significant experience and many contacts within the e-learning and new media industries, they have worked mainly for corporate or institutional employers during the course of their careers. Therefore, Third Degree I.D. won’t benefit from immediate name recognition.

The challenge is mitigated somewhat, for name recognition isn’t especially prevalent among custom content developers in the industry—even among those who have been successful in the marketplace for years. Brandon-Hall surveyed over 200 chief learning officers, e-learning managers, and training directors to discover that the majority couldn’t name more than five custom content companies.[1]

Selling Services Another challenge stems from the nature of the business. In the first year, Third Degree I.D. will focus chiefly on marketing and selling instructional-design services, although the long-term plan is to obtain revenue from content re-packaging and re-licensure, at which time the focus will shift from selling services to selling products. Services are traditionally tough to market, as clients are wary of spending money for intangibles. They are more likely to buy from a well-known business that offers “good enough” service than to take a chance on an unknown organization that might provide exceptional service.

Photo processing is a suitable example. Many consumers routinely have their film developed at the local drugstore, despite the fact that they are often dissatisfied with the quality of the printing, the speed of the service, etc. In spite of their concerns, most consumers continue to use the drugstore’s service, rather than taking a chance on a non-chain photo lab, a mail-in service, or any of several less familiar options.

Selling Instructional Design (I.D.) The nature of the service provided by Third Degree I.D. presents yet another challenge in that “instructional design” is not exactly a household term. Although many organizations have experimented with e-learning, the field is still very young. Best practices are in their infancy, and every organization does online education a bit differently.

The market is dominated by a variety of course management system (CMS) and learning management system (LMS) vendors, each claiming their products will revolutionize the industry. Despite their lofty claims, most of these systems service providers are ill-equipped to help clients with their most daunting task—that of organizing, restructuring, and enhancing their content to provide meaningful web-based instruction.

Clients are overwhelmed by the choices and confused by the options.

Part of Third Degree I.D.’s strategy is to capitalize on that frustration as well as on the growing awareness of companies and institutions that they actually need instructional design services, especially the services of those who design and develop for the e-learning niche. In February 2004, Brandon-Hall published “Custom Content Developers: Comparative Analysis of 97 Outsource E-Learning Providers.” The study highlights and evaluates the best-known custom content development vendors in the e-learning marketplace.  These are, arguably, Third Degree I.D.’s most traditional competitors. However, it also pays to consider a source that would normally be the last place one would look for competition—the clients themselves. When faced with unfamiliar tasks, clients often try to “do it themselves,” rather than take a chance on outsourcing services, which are traditionally difficult to quantify and measure.

To succeed in this environment, Third Degree I.D. will demonstrate, through cost analysis, that outsourcing content development to a well-equipped development house with streamlined processes is generally more cost-effective than in-house development.

The Personal Touch During the first year of operation, Third Degree I.D. will focus on developing relationships as a conduit for sales. Rather than mounting an advertising campaign that promotes a faceless service, the founders will strive to make as many personal or “insider” contacts as possible. According to Brandon-Hall’s custom content report, the majority of the companies surveyed “chose their outsource partner through simple ‘word of mouth or they selected companies that were in close geographic proximity to themselves.”[2]

Fortunately, Third Degree I.D. operates in a city that is known for its relationship networking. The founders have established and continue to establish their credibility among potential clients, particularly in the higher education and high-tech corporate sectors.

Higher Education Clients All of the company founders have worked for at least one institution of higher education in Savannah, and the company CEO, who has a 10-year employment history in Georgia at several colleges and universities, plans to extend that experience to another Savannah-based university in August. The potential clients for which personal contacts exist include:

  • Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah)
  • East Georgia College (Swainsboro)
  • Middle Georgia College (Cochran)
  • Georgia State University (Atlanta)
  • Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program (Savannah)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah)
  • Savannah State University (Savannah)
  • South University (Savannah)
  • University of Georgia (Athens)

Other States:

  • LaSalle University (PA)
  • Matanuska-Susitna College (AK)
  • Methodist College (NC)
  • Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree Program (TN)
  • Thomas Edison University (NJ)
  • Saint Thomas University (FL)
  • San Diego State University (CA)

Another strategy of Third Degree I.D. is to read about and research the higher education e-learning market continuously. There will be no “cold calling.” Instead, institutions will be approached when there is a natural context for doing so. Institutions in likely need of instructional design products and services include those with high-volume e-learning programs, troubled or ineffective e-learning programs (that may be “on probation”), or ambitious curricula rollouts. Current candidates include:

  • American InterContinental University
  • Drexel eLearning
  • Penn State World Campus
  • University of Maryland University College
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of Illinois at Springfield

Other potential higher education clients may be non-American institutions wanting to establish themselves in the U.S. e-learning market and wanting to utilize designers and developers more familiar with regional accreditation and compliance standards. Countries with high-volume e-learning establishments, such as Canada and the U.K., stand to save substantially on design and development costs, as well.

Corporate Clients While Third Degree I.D. wants to build its reputation in education, it appreciates the need to keep a balanced client portfolio. Recognizing that industries fluctuate and that corporate e-learning is the sector predicted to show the largest growth, the company will work to establish a number of corporate relationships, as well, approaching potential clients through appropriate forums, and via a context that clarifies need (such as a news article or press release announcing a potential client’s new e-learning infrastructure). Third Degree I.D. has already begun to market its products and services to local companies—and particularly high-tech companies–through a number of forums, associations and businesses, including:

  • Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC)
  • Coastal BETA
  • Coastal Venture Investment Forum
  • The Creative Coast
  • OnPoint Digital
  • Savannah Economic Development Authority
  • Savannah Entrepreneurial Center
  • Small Business Chamber of Savannah

It has begun to announce its products and services to the national and international communities through national and international e-learning forums and associations, including:

  • eLearning Europa
  • Eduventures
  • The eLearning Guild
  • World Wide Learn

Third Degree I.D. has already secured some limited “spec” work from the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone through The eLearning Guild.

Healthcare Clients Healthcare represents a small, but growing market (relative to the corporate and educational e-learning markets). Clients that are likely to develop e-learning infrastructures are large, university-affiliated hospitals that do a good deal of teaching and research. Third Degree I.D. has already established contacts with the University of Chicago Hospitals Academy and is planning to contact several of the local Savannah hospitals, one of which is Memorial Health, a “medical university” that has been listed as one of the “100 most wired hospitals” three years in a row by hospitalconnect.com.[3]

Government Clients Like healthcare, government e-learning is demonstrating some growth, especially in sectors where training is mandated by law. The recent Forecast of Contract Opportunities for FY 2004 issued by the Department of Homeland Security features a number of projects that will require training that is flexible, mobile and cost-effective. A number of the projects are also based in Georgia and South Carolina.

New and Key Clients While Third Degree I.D. seeks clients who have established e-learning programs and wish to improve upon or extend them, many of its potential clients (particularly the local clients) will be forging ground in unfamiliar territory as they move from traditional educational and training environments to the e-learning arena. They will be uncertain about the benefits of e-learning and protective of their subject-matter expertise. They will be wary of third-party content developers claiming to have the “answer to their prayers.”

The founders of Third Degree I.D. recognize the cautious environment they are likely to face and have realistic expectations for the first year of operation. The general goal is to establish a limited number of key clients and provide high-quality services and exemplary products. Key clients are best characterized as clients with genuine e-learning ambitions who are considering a number of large-scale projects and will require some training and maintenance. Key clients would be returning customers.

To acquire key clients, Third Degree I.D. is prepared to take limited-scope development projects at a reduced rate to prove its capabilities. For instance, the company may offer to develop a single course in a certificate program “at cost,” with the goal of winning a more lucrative through the demonstration of superior service and an exemplary product.

Seeking Excellence Third Degree I.D. will strive for excellence in all personal encounters and development transactions because it recognizes the validity of “the butterfly effect.” In much the same way chaos theorists posit that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can affect global weather patterns, entrepreneurs know that a single client meeting handled with passion, enthusiasm, and excellence may be the catalyst for many future successful business dealings.

Looking Ahead After the initial year of selling predominantly services, Third Degree I.D. will reposition itself to market the products it has developed both as a result of the service deliverables and some in-house research and development. The central product is the “learning object,” a Flash-based course enhancement that raises the level of course engagement and interaction levels and raises the bar in the e-learning industry. The learning objects bring together high-quality instructional design with compelling, state-of-the-art media design. The objects are also exceedingly flexible, eminently re-purposable, and remarkably scalable.

Because the learning objects are likely to be copied quickly after their release, Third Degree I.D. will need to prepare a special campaign to become “the name” in reusable custom content development. The company will:

  • write press releases
  • get featured in articles and on websites
  • register keywords with major search engines
  • approach CMS/LMS vendors and professional organization about linking to our website
  • advertise in industry-specific publications
  • register with RFP exchanges
  • investigate/initiate strategic partnerships
  • attend trade shows (as exhibitors)
  • present our solutions at conferences and seminars.

As the market demonstrates its needs, Third Degree I.D. will begin to narrow its focus, optimizing those products and services that are most useful, beneficial, and cost-effective. The company will invest in a market research strategy utilizing a number of evaluation and survey techniques to assure its understanding of the market and its staying power within that market.

[1] Chapman, Bryan. “Custom Content Developers: Comparative Analysis of 97 Outsource e-Learning Providers” (Brandon-Hall Marketing Series, 2004) <http://www.brandonhall.com>.

[2] Chapman, Bryan. “Custom Content Developers: Comparative Analysis of 97 Outsource e-Learning Providers” (Brandon-Hall Marketing Series, 2004) <http://www.brandonhall.com>.

[3] Hospitals Connect. “100 Most Wired.” <http://www.hospitalconnect.com/hhnmostwired/archives/100_most_wired.html>. 

5.3 Sales Strategy

Third Degree I.D. promotes its products and services via its website and advertises strategically via portals and publications devoted to e-learning and distance education. Additionally, the company solicits likely customers through direct mailings targeted toward businesses or institutions that are planning large online program rollouts or that are experiencing accreditation problems related to e-learning.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

While business began in May 2004 and will intensify through August 2004, September 2004 is the partnership’s first month of official operations. The sales forecast (from September 2004 to August 2005) represents a year of operations.

For the purpose of this plan, we treat our development costs as our staff costs. The only direct cost of sales listed here is software packaging, which we project at 5% of the sale price. Although this effectively brings our direct costs to zero, it reflects the fact that all three founding members will, in fact, be directly involved in the development of our products. Our staff costs are laid out in the Personnel Plan. On average, we’ll markup our development costs by 50% to set the final price.

During the first year of operations, all our sales will come from new content and curriculum development. We will strive to make this content re-usable and subsequently re-package it to meet the needs of additional clients. This should decrease our overall development costs in future periods. We plan that 25% of cumulative previous years’ sales will come from such re-used content.

The table below summarizes our sales forecasts.

Sbp, educational software business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.4 Milestones

Our milestones for the initial period are summarized in the table below.

Sbp, educational software business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

Web Plan Summary

The Third Degree I.D. website will help familiarize potential clients with the company’s unique approach to instructional design and e-learning content development. The website will establish Third Degree I.D. as a sophisticated yet approachable instructional design group with over 25 years of collective experience in educational new media development.

6.1 Website Marketing Strategy

Through sample learning objects and case studies, the website will showcase the type of detail-oriented instructional design that Third Degree I.D. provides. These examples will demonstrate how the company can leverage new media capabilities to create richer learning experiences. The work samples and promotional copy will help clients make the connection between engaging content and effective instruction, while emphasizing the company’s ability to identify and meet learning goals.

In addition to introducing prospective clients to the company, the website will provide supplementary information for those already familiar with Third Degree I.D., its products, and its services. Through a password-protected client extranet, the website will serve existing clients as a means to track project progress and to investigate new opportunities for curriculum development. Message boards in this portion of the site will offer a convenient location where clients can exchange ideas with project managers, subject matter experts, content developers, and instructional designers.

Internationally-known educational media organizations, such as the eLearning Guild, the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, and World Wide Learn, will provide cost-effective opportunities for exposure and drive traffic to the Third Degree I.D. website. Similarly, ads placed online in publications such as the Chronicle of Higher Education will allow the company to reach its target market and establish a network of links to the company website. These links will contribute to higher rankings in search engine result lists, which will lead to increased web traffic and name recognition for the company. Additional web-based advertising will be pursued as needed to improve company visibility and to generate interest in company services.

6.2 Development Requirements

The development of the Third Degree I.D. website will be the responsibility of the Chief Creative Officer. Tasks necessary for the completion of the site include:

  • Domain name registration
  • Purchase of Web hosting plan
  • Development of site look and feel
  • Backend programming and database integration for client extranet

The domain name ThirdDegreeID.com has already been registered and hosting has been established for the address. While the website look and feel will evolve over time, creating a web presence consistent with the company’s identity is an immediate priority. Equally vital to the success of the website as a promotional tool is the establishment of a collection of learning objects and other work samples. After meeting this need, the client extranet and other advanced features will be added to the site as resources become available.

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Third Degree I.D. is owned and operated by its founders. It is a small company with a lateral, non-hierarchical structure that cultivates mutual input and collective solutions. The company will operate with three full-time employees (also the founders) in the first year, hiring contractor and consultants as needed. As our business grows, we plan to add additional staff, as discussed below.

7.1 Personnel Plan

Third Degree I.D. will be formed with three executive partners, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), a Chief Learning Officer (CLO), and a Chief Creative Officer (CCO). While a number of their job duties overlap, the CEO is primarily responsible for front-end consulting, planning, and project management, while the CLO and CCO are responsible for back-end product development, refinement, and implementation. The partners work together at promoting the business and managing office operations.

Susan Hines, CEO Susan has worked in the educational sector for twenty years. She has seventeen years of teaching experience across a broad range of institutions, including public and private universities, four-year colleges, community colleges, and college-preparatory facilities. She has taught at institutions both domestic and foreign, has been a traditional tenure-track faculty member, and has served—and continues to serve—as online adjunct faculty. Susan was Assistant Professor of English and Digital Art at LaSalle University from 1998 to 2000, before taking a job as an Instructional Analyst with the e-learning company Eduprise, Inc. (now SunGuard Collegis). She was hired by the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2002 to develop its distance education curricula and continues to serve as SCAD’s Director of Instructional Design. Susan holds several degrees in English Literature: a Ph.D. from Georgia State University, an M.A. from the University of British Columbia, and a B.A. from the University of Alaska.

Mona Meyer, CLO Mona holds a B.S. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and an M.A. in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. She has over twelve years experience designing and developing new media learning solutions for a variety of educational institutions and publishers, including: McGraw-Hill, Jostens Learning Corporation (now CompassLearning), Leapfrog, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Mona specializes in object-oriented instructional design solutions that promote active collaboration. As instructional design manager for McGraw-Hill New Media, Mona led the development of hundreds of titles for the K-12 market in a wide variety of subject areas and played a crucial role in the design and development of the Codie-Award-winning McGraw-Hill Learning Network (www.mhln.com), a large-scale Internet education portal that offers interactive textbooks, multi-player educational games, and a suite of web-based classroom management tools.

Daniel Stanford, CCO Daniel holds a B.A. in Mass Communication and French from the University of Alabama and is currently completing his M.F.A. in Interactive Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. An avid linguist and the recipient of a Capstone International Scholarship for study abroad, Daniel has spent semesters in France and Germany. He began his career in media design at the University of Alabama Center for Public Television, where he collaborated with producers to promote programs and distribute supplementary educational materials via the Web. He has since served as a media designer at the BLR Agency in Birmingham, Alabama, where he contributed significantly to the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Addy-award-winning website (www.artsbma.org). Five years of diverse media design experience led Daniel to SCAD, where he has put his combination of artistic and technical skills to use in learning object programming, graphic interface development, and project management.

Future Staffing As the client-base grows, the partners plan to hire a Technology Director who will work closely with the CLO and CCO to develop database-driven learning objects, as well as with the CEO to develop broader e-learning solutions, such as installation packages for open-source course management and learning management systems (CMS/LMS). In the first year, the partners will rely on outside consultants to provide information technology, instructional design, and media development support, as dictated by project load. As the client base grows and revenue is increasingly generated through content and technology re-licensure, the partners may add additional development staff to support project needs.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

Our financial plan is based on our assumption of achieving desired levels of sales. Our first-year revenues (projected at $360,000) will probably be insufficient to turn a profit in the first year. However, we plan to generate net profit starting in year two. Our initial cash reserve should be sufficient to keep us afloat during the first year. Subsequent years’ cash flows generate a cushion that will allow us to further develop our business.

8.1 Important Assumptions

Our main financial assumptions are summarized in the table below.

8.2 Break-even Analysis

The main development costs of the product will be our staff costs. Our variable costs are solely those related to packaging (5% of sales), since our staff costs are monthly payroll numbers, reflected in the P&L forecasts later in this document. Our Break-even Analysis is summarized in the table below.

Sbp, educational software business plan, financial plan chart image

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

First-year revenue is generated primarily from curriculum and content development services. The first-year gross income goal is $360,000, which represents a development objective of at least three full MA programs or training programs (10 courses each) or a combination of comparable curricula. It is the intent of the partners that every development project will yield re-usable learning objects that can be subsequently re-packaged to meet the needs of additional clients. The partners also intend to solicit co-ownership agreements that allow Third Degree I.D. to re-license courses and curricula to institutions other than those for which they were first developed.  The reusable learning objects and content re-licensure will provide a low-investment revenue stream that will contribute an increasingly large percentage of gross corporate revenue in subsequent years.

On the expense side, our staff costs are going to be our main cost. These are, technically, are our product development costs, as all three partners will be directly involved into the development of products for our clients. During the first year, we also plan to utilize services of outside consultants and contractors on the product development side. As stated earlier in this document, as our business grows, we plan to add additional staff. We also plan to utilize our CEO’s home office for the remaining part of 2004 and move into a new office space in January 2005.

Overall, we plan to end our first year of operations with a loss. Subsequent years wil show increasing profitability, as summarized in the table below.

Sbp, educational software business plan, financial plan chart image

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

Our cash plan is based on the assumption that we meet our sales objectives and collect receivables within 60 days. This will be especially critical during our first year of operations, during which our cash balance will also depend on the initial cash contributions of the three founding partners and a two-year $30,000 loan. The combination of the two should be sufficient to keep our cash balance positive during the most critical first year of operations.

The table below summarizes our cash flow forecasts.

Sbp, educational software business plan, financial plan chart image

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The table below summarizes our forecasted balance sheet. For the first two years of operations (i.e., until we generate a sufficient cash reserve), receivables represent our main current asset. Our fixed assets should be mostly limited to the computer equipment that we depreciate over 5 years. With manageable liabilities, our accounting net worth should steadily grow over the projected period.

8.6 Business Ratios

The table below summarizes our key business ratios, with comparisons to standard ratios for our industry, Educational Computer Software (SIC Code 7372.9903).

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How To Build An Elearning Business In 2024: Six Approaches That Work

he global school shutdown caused by the covid-19 outbreak has offered a chance for e-learning companies to reach approximately 1.37 billion students. The desire to learn and the need to supplement limited access to educational institutions have led to a boom in the eLearning industry. The e-learning industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20 percent to reach $315 billion by 2028.

Thus, now is an excellent time to start your own e-learning or training business, given the worldwide demand for online and distance learning. However, implementing an e-learning business plan is no easy feat. The key to achieving success is to try things no one else has. Consider  Cathy More  and her ilk as an example. Cathy is a well-known training pioneer who has made it her mission to rid the world of boring education. Companies such as Microsoft, Pfizer, the US Army, Barclays, and the US Department of the Interior have all used Cathy's designs. 😎 

Don't be disheartened that the key players have already taken their places at the table, and you're just getting started. At least, this is why we are here to teach you how to fly.  EducateMe  outlines the fundamental but essential steps to create an e learning business in this article. Want to follow in Cathy's footsteps or perhaps join the ranks of successful e-learning companies? Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we reveal the inside scoop. 

In six steps, the following summarizes how to start an e-learning business.

1️⃣ Define your audience

2️⃣ Establish a core content

3️⃣ Choose an LMS

4️⃣ Launch your courses

5️⃣ Promote your company 

Ready to learn? Let's go! 🚀

What Is an E-learning Business? 

Too frequently, learning and  online learning  are confused with one another. Before defining an e-learning business model, it is necessary to clarify what falls within and outside the learning scope.

E-learning, often known as "virtual learning," primarily refers to an internet-based form of education. The instructor and students do not meet in person. All coursework and contact are conducted through email, message boards, chat, or video conferencing. Some schools refer to this course format as "fully online."

  • Out of scope

The bulk of the coursework will be completed online through forums, shared papers, email, chat, and so on. However, this does not mean that students and teachers have no face-to-face contact. Coursework may be completed in a classroom or remotely, so long as most discussion takes place online. Online learning falls under this category.

So what Do Elearning Startups Do? 🤔

You need an e learning business if you want to effectively educate people in a specific field or teach them new skills while maximizing your resources and increasing your revenue. Consequently, learning startups refer to platforms used by instructors to administer online courses or impart curriculum-aligned learning experiences. eLearning programs may contain videos, quizzes, simulations, games, activities, and other interactive elements. Additionally, students could view a recorded lecture or attend a live lecture.

Types of eLearning Business Models

Types of eLearning Business Models

There are three primary business models for e-learning that instructors may implement. 

✅ Night School Model

The term "night school model" was coined to describe community colleges' vocational and evening courses. The majority of eLearning companies follow the model of conventional night schools. In this tried-and-true arrangement, students pay a one-time fee for curriculum access. This business model provides courses with predetermined learning modules, assessments, quizzes, and examinations that adhere to a specific structure. 

✅ The Academy Model 

The Academy eLearning model is comparable to a cyberspace membership or subscription service. Students are granted access to all content, including live classes and courses, for a monthly fee. As their expertise grows, students have a greater say in what and when they study. The business model of the academy provides students with a plethora of study materials, including courses, videos, and other media, from which they can learn and develop in various domains. 

✅ The Combined Model 

The "combined" model is a hybrid of the night school and academy models, intending to increase income. Here, the academy model is the primary offering, while the night school strategy is an optional extra. In addition to subscription-based services, this model offers both a "buy once, use forever" option and individual courses.

Who Needs an Elearning Business? 🤷‍♂️ 

Launching an e-learning startup is just one aspect of the process, but before you start, you'll need to determine if it's a good fit for you. 

Course Designers 🖼 

Online course developers are those who make courses available to students online. Packaging your expertise into an eLearning course may supplement your income or start a new one. Using an eLearning business model, you may differentiate yourself from the competition by deciding to develop courses that feature your comprehensive knowledge and skills.

Online teachers 🧑‍🏫 

Starting an online learning business requires excellent communication and teaching skills, a stable computer, and knowledge of the subject area being taught. Your responsibilities as a remote tutor may change based on the kind of eLearning company you run, the grade level you instruct, and your student's age and learning needs.

Training Camps ⛺️ 

The eLearning industry presents an opportunity for boot camp planners to integrate their events. The first guideline for managing a successful boot camp is removing students from their normal environments. Corporate learners can now interact with distant colleagues and facilitators via the eLearning industry, broadening their access to education and training opportunities.

Is Elearning a Profitable Business and Why Launch One? 

The importance of the eLearning industry has grown as the educational landscape has shifted away from classroom-based instruction to online courses. An e-learning company facilitates digital interaction between educators and their students. Several important factors are contributing to the increase in interest and participation. Listed below are the most important ones.

Start Your eLearning Academy with Confidence - Try Our Guide Today!

Feeling uncertain about building your eLearning academy? Our guide can help you start with confidence

The COVID-19 Pandemic has Irrevocably Altered the Future of Education, with Elearning at the Forefront of the Revolution

Global elearning market

According to Technavio's most recent market analysis, the e-learning market's potential growth gap is  expected to increase by USD 1.72 trillion between 2021 and 2026 . The report finds that the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16.35% over the predicted time frame. The e-learning market's growth is largely fueled by improved learning in the academic sector. 

COVID-19 boosted e-learning revenue. In response to rising employee safety concerns, companies are adopting work-from-home policies. This hinders companies' training, communication, progress monitoring, and upskilling, fueling demand for e-learning platforms among large corporations and SMEs. 

Corporates Are Investing Heavily in R&D for Their Clientele, and Employees

Between 2022 and 2028, the service providers industry is anticipated to grow at a rate of 30%

Between 2022 and 2028, the service providers industry is anticipated to grow at a rate of 30% due to the increasing emphasis on portfolio expansion among Indian businesses. The rapid spread of coronavirus necessitated the closure of schools and universities, necessitating the development of online alternatives for reinstatement of regular classes. Terms such as social and  collaborative learning are becoming commonplace in fast-advancing companies. Businesses invest more money in research and development to provide new products and services to satisfy consumer demand. 

The North American Government Is Improving Its Telecom and IT infrastructures 

Increases in telecom and IT infrastructure investment, scalability of resources, and greater access to university courses have all contributed to the expansion of the eLearning industry, as have service providers' substantial According to the International Telecommunication Union, the number of internet users will increase from 4.1 billion this year to nearly 5.3 billion in 2022. (ITU). The development of the industry is being driven by the growing number of people with Internet access. As the telecommunications and broadband industries have expanded, so has the availability of inexpensive Internet connection options. 

Higher Education Now Prioritizes Scalable Resources and Expanded Course Availability

In addition, there is a great deal of encouragement to launch an eLearning company because the demand for online learning materials currently exceeds the supply, resulting in a substantial increase in the earnings potential of market participants.

What Is ROI in Elearning?

Using an economic formula known as elearning return on investment (ROI), 💰 one can calculate the financial benefits of offering online training courses or operating an eLearning business. For an eLearning project to be successful, its benefits must exceed its expenses. A calculation of return on investment justifies the investment in training by comparing the costs of development and delivery to the value or benefits realized. 

The owner of an eLearning company is understandably curious as to whether or not their online training program produced the desired outcomes, whether or not their trainees found it useful, and whether or not their company's bottom line has increased significantly. In essence, eLearning ROI is an essential performance metric for determining whether or not your eLearning organization is optimizing its financial resources.

How Do You Measure Elearning Business ROI?

When starting an e-learning business, the ROI estimate is essential. Measuring ROI enables a business to determine the success of a campaign and establish benchmarks for future campaigns. For instance, after establishing an e-learning startup, you could use ROI measurement to determine when something fails, allowing you to swiftly reevaluate or re-shape your offerings and avoid wasting time and money on something that isn't working.

Traditional Elearning ROI Calculation

Traditional Elearning ROI Calculation

ROI is frequently calculated by dividing the profit from an investment by the amount invested. The ROI of your eLearning company can be determined by comparing the cost of creating and delivering training programs to the results they produce. To determine the average eLearning ROI, simply divide the amount of money your company made due to the program by its implementation cost. You can calculate your return on investment as a percentage using this formula by multiplying the result by 100. To declare your effort a success, you must show that the benefits and value of your program outweigh the costs.

Kirkpatrick's Four Tiers Evaluation

Kirkpatrick's Four Tiers Evaluation

Donald Kirkpatrick's 4-level model, which considers learner feedback, the impact on the business, and the return on investment, is the most widely used technique for determining training effectiveness. 

  • The first level or stage is known as "Reaction." Students' responses to surveys and comments reveal what should be improved and whether the material was useful. 
  • Each participant's learning level will determine how much they take away from experience. It assesses how well the learner is progressing toward their objectives, whether the training objectives are being met, and whether there are knowledge gaps that can be filled by modifying the course content. 
  • Upon completion of a course, instructors can determine whether their students' behavior has changed and whether the skills and knowledge they gained have been applied by observing their behavior levels. 
  • The effectiveness of training is determined by calculating its impact or influence on the trainees' outcomes. Productivity gains are a common indicator of success. 
  • In Kirkpatrick's assessment methodology, Level 5 is the transition between the first four stages and the final step in calculating ROI for online education. The ROI of online learning can be calculated by comparing the cost of the training to the benefits it offers.

Through an LMS (the most practical method)

A learning management system (LMS) is essential software for your e-learning business. It enables you to host training and provides multiple options for collecting training data and generating reports on the fly. Using your cloud-based learning management system (LMS), students can access course materials anytime and from any location. Your learning business's return on investment (ROI) may not rack up immediately. However, your business will begin to generate a return on investment once you replace traditional training with an LMS.

How to Build an Elearning Business in 6 Steps

How to Build an Elearning Business in 6 Steps

There are two possible routes for launching an e-learning business. The first is to create a website or mobile application to promote your business, and the second is to use an LMS to aggregate or sell courses. Custom websites and applications are an excellent concept, but they require a substantial investment and technical expertise to develop and maintain. In contrast, LMS implementation requires fewer resources and no technical knowledge. Consequently, instructors utilize LMS more frequently.

If you prefer the LMS route, the following is a 6-step guide on how to start e learning business models.

Step #1. Define Your Audience

Market research is required to determine who you should target. To narrow down your target audience, ask yourself questions like: 

  • Who is my target audience? 
  • What age range should I shoot for? 
  • What are their annoyances or pain points? 
  • What kinds of courses do they want to take? 

With the answers to these questions, you can tailor your course material to the needs of your audience.

Step #2. Determine Your Core Content

If you want to launch an e-learning startup, you should prioritize long-term value and attract prospective new learners, and keep your current customers. A list of the core skills students want to learn is extremely beneficial. Based on this data, you can decide what to focus on creating and who you're attempting to reach. Furthermore, you may complete more than one critical piece of content with different subsets of your target audience. 

Step #3. Select an LMS

When it comes to launching your eLearning business, you have some options. However, to provide students with engaging online course material, we recommend using a platform with an open-source LMS. You can customize an open-source platform to meet your specific needs. 

Step #4. Make Your Courses Available

It's a good idea to create some sample lessons and courses that cover the main features of your platform before launching it. To see high rates of early acceptance and positive feedback, ensure your material is high quality and provides value to the learner. Your students' reactions to these initial practical exercises will determine the long-term success of your eLearning platform. 

Step #5. Decide on a Price 

Every e learning business must make a profit, and detailed course pricing is one way to do so. It would help if you struck a balance between charging too little and failing to make enough to cover your expenses and charging too much and failing to attract any students. You could conduct a market study and compare the prices of similar classes on competing websites. Establishing a market presence frequently entails undercutting competitors' prices or offering discount deals. 

Step #6. Market Your Elearning Business

You won't be able to succeed without solid marketing, no matter how strong your platform is. You'll need to actively promote your business through marketing, social media, and other channels to stand out among the hundreds of eLearning platforms. 

Elearning Startups Founders' Lessons

Here are some pearls of wisdom from early learning entrepreneurs. We didn't name them but picked up their most important messages.

👉 Lesson 1. It's All about being in the Audience!

The learners are now the mainstay of education. This trend is further supported by concepts such as  cohort-based learning . As an instructor, you must capture your students' attention and reassure them that they are not alone in their struggles. When starting an eLearning company, focus your efforts on the target audience. When users feel like they belong on your eLearning platform, they have an emotional investment, which motivates them to tell their classmates about it. 

👉 Lesson 2. You Can't Ignore the Technical Sides

Technical considerations and project technology execution are equally important to the instructional component of the project. You must understand the fundamental guidelines for evaluating your eLearning business software. 

👉 Lesson 3. Do Everything You Can (Mistakes Too)

You can save money in the early stages of a project by doing as much of the work as possible on your own. Your future failures will not negate the valuable lessons you've already learned. 

👉 Lesson 4. Adopt Industry Best Practices to Increase Your Demand

The goal of online education is to make learning enjoyable and beneficial. Best practices in the industry may be used to increase sales in this manner. Suppose you want your students to be able to see how they're doing and receive feedback on how they can improve. In that case, one option is to use an artificial intelligence-powered ePortfolio module. Games can help to foster student competition.

Create an E-learning Startup on EducateMe 🔥 

Beginning an eLearning business may not be the simplest endeavor. But with an all-inclusive and feature-rich LMS like EducateMe, you can streamline the process.EducateMe is a platform that enables instructors to offer live courses, foster engagements between mentors and their students, and offer performance analytics.

LMS Gamification: Top 6 Examples

LMS Gamification: Top 6 Examples

LMS migration plan

LMS Migration: Brief Guide to Navigate the Change

onboarding best practices

9 Onboarding Best Practices To Integrate New Hires Better

e learning platform business plan pdf

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The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your eLearning Business

By Yashpal Singla

Introduction

With everything going online across the entire world, there is a considerable change in customer behaviour leading to the enormous popularity of eCommerce and eLearning businesses.

eLearning is among the top trends that have picked up swiftly in this digital age. It is flourishing and creating new possibilities for the market leaders as it offers ease and flexibility to its end-users.

As per an online study conducted by Guru99.com, the eLearning industry has grown by 900% globally. Since its inception, the online learning market fact suggests that by 2025 to hit the $325 billion mark with over two decades. E-learning takes 40% to 60% lesser time for employees and students than conventional learning. The majority of companies are gradually shifting to e-learning.

If you are someone with vast knowledge to share with the masses along with the entrepreneurial spark, you must know about online learning.

But how do we get started?

Well, setting up a business is no piece of cake. Likewise, establishing an eLearning business too can be demanding, only if you are not starting the right way.

In this blog, we shall determine the concept along with a step-by-step plan that can help you with your dream of starting an eLearning business successfully.

What is eLearning?

Want to build a ground-breaking elearning platform get in touch with us and learn how we can help you achieve your goals and objectives..

Also referred to as online learning, it is a type of distance learning that does not occur in the traditional classroom where a physical teacher moderates and regulates information.

To put it simply, the delivery of learning through digital resources, like computers, smartphones, and alike.

Online learning furnishes you with the convenience of learning from anywhere and anytime, enabling you to achieve beyond modern learning peripheries. Other advantages include flexibility, independence, better time management, and improved self-motivation.

The eLearning is ubiquitous by institutions, schools, and corporations worldwide. On the other hand, the cons include more work for students, and it requires a lot of self-drive and lesser social interactions.

What is the eLearning business?

What-is-eLearning

Thanks to CoVID-19 and the pandemic, the world slowly shifted from its traditional form of learning to eLearning.

Thus, the demand for more and more eLearning platforms has emanated. This is where the position of the eLearning business becomes even more vital in today's world.

An eLearning business provides a platform for teachers and students to communicate online.

Some leading eLearning platforms include: Udemy, Coursera, BYJU'S, GradeUp, TestBook, Toppr, and the list is endless!

Why You Should Start An eLearning Business In 2022?

eLearning-Business

COVID-19 has startled our method to work, learning, and entertainment. Physical classes have become a distant memory for many of us, making the world shift to eLearning platforms.

Not to doubt that the future of education lies in educational technology, and eLearning will eventually overtake the physical classroom form of education.

The eLearning industry is continuously growing, yielding a lot of revenue for companies.

Why should one invest their time, money, and energy in an eLearning business?

Let us see a few of the reasons that would help you in making the right decision:

  • It is a highly profitable sector with a lot of potential
  • Flexible mode of learning
  • A myriad and a vast number of attributes

These beneficial reasons have contributed to a rise in 3 types of learners:

  • Looking to grow and adapt.
  • Looking to escape the pandemic blues through learning new skills.
  • Looking to learn in COVID-19 safe environments.

Now that we know about the importance of eLearning in today’s world, the eLearning industry insights, and the growth prospects, let us now learn the magic formula of setting up a successful eLearning business.

6 steps to set up your eLearning business.

steps-eLearning-Business

1. Define your audience:

The foremost step is to specify your target audience.

To identify your target audience, you will have to perform thorough research. The best practice is to find the answers to the following questions about your target audience.

Ask questions like:

  • What is the age group of your target audience?
  • Where is your audience located?
  • What languages do they know?
  • What type of courses do they want?
  • The reason they are looking for an online course?
  • Are they willing to pay for the courses? Or are they seeking free options?

The answers to these questions will differ depending on your niche and what you teach.

2. Identify your core content:

The next step is to focus on the core content that your audience would most desire. That is, identify the specific lessons your audience needs the most.

It will help you ensure your customers are satisfied and help you to attract new customers.

Let’s say you’re building an eLearning business for creative freelancers. You might create your core lessons around:

  • →   Paid acquisition
  • →   Organic website traffic
  • →   Content marketing

Using this information and keeping your target audience in mind, you can decide about your core content based on trends and the niche you are targeting. You can finalize more than one core content with a different cluster of the target audience.

3. Pick and create 1-3 actionable lessons:

We suggest you assemble a few lessons and courses for each core content before launching your platform.

To yield a high success rate, make sure your content quality is top-notch and gives worth to the learner. Generally, the first impression is a make or break the success of your eLearning platform.

4. Select your eLearning platform/technology:

Next is to decide, where will you build your eLearning business , on which platform and using which technology?

As per our extensive research and study, we recommend you use a video monetization platform.

The principal reason for using video is that it is the most effective way of teaching people remotely. It allows you to convey intricate details easily.

Also, we advise opting for a platform that is an open-source content management system (CMS) used worldwide. Open-source platforms offer a flexible and customizable design catering to your specific requirements.

The platform you choose must allow you to:

  • Create a controlled learning environment.
  • Connect directly with your audience.
  • Offer a wide range of payment options.
  • Use analytics for both your videos and marketing.

5. Pricing:

Next, we need to decide how to set prices for your eLearning business.

The primary objective of every business is to make a profit, and for that, you need to price your courses smartly. It should not be pricey that no one registers, and neither should it be too low that your expenses are not covered.

The price of courses can vary based on underlying factors like:

  • →   The course duration
  • →   The experience of the instructor
  • →   The niche of the course

You may also want to perform competitor analysis to find the fees of similar courses on your competitor's platforms.

Alternatively, in the beginning, you can offer lesser pricing than your competition or give discount coupons to get more user engagement and settle in the market.

6. Market your new eLearning business:

The final step is to market your eLearning business.

No matter how good your platform is, you cannot be successful without good marketing.

There are thousands of eLearning platforms in the market present already, and the competition is fierce. Hence, it is necessary to make yourself heard to the audience with the help of the right marketing strategies.

You can promote your brand aggressively using one or a combination of the following techniques:

  • →   An active presence on social media
  • →   Running ad campaigns on Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook
  • →   Start your newsletter
  • →   Engage your audience with valuable insights about the industry
  • →   Collaborate with educational institutions and enrol their students in your offered courses.

Facing a challenge while starting an eLearning website?

✓ delivering a best-in-class elearning experience.

The competition in the online learning platform business is fiercer than ever. And to stand out in the market, we need to ensure that our platform delivers an engaging user experience by adding creativity to the dull & monotonous subjects.

✓ Lack of Motivation Among Learners

While eLearning provides the users with anytime anywhere knowledge, it comes with a set of distractions or lack of motivation.

Hence, it is essential to provide them with an immersive learning experience that matches their interests and aligns with their specific goals.

✓ Keeping up with Technology

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate with new gadgets, software, and digital innovations coming to market now and then. It gets tough to choose the best technology that could help to amplify the eLearning business.

Attending eLearning events and technical conferences, reading blogs, and case studies based on technologies can offer help with the latest trends.

Wrapping up,

COVID-19 has adjusted the way people live, learn, and do everything differently. Thus, there has never been a better time to start an eLearning business.

Online learning is the need of the hour, and people globally are increasingly leaning on eLearning methods.

We hope this article served as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs planning to start their eLearning platform, as it is paramount to consider the challenges and technical know-how involved.

Are you looking to build an eLearning platform?

If you are looking to develop your own online learning web app or website, iotasol offers a dedicated team of experienced developers that are talented and known to build best in class digital platforms. We are the best in the market with extensive experience of using various technologies for 12 years now! Contact us today to get a FREE Business Analysis .

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9MUSES platform for online education Business Plan

Profile image of Akram Dakhli

2018, 9MUSES.NET

9Muses.net is an online tutoring platform created by co-founders Akram Dakhli and Tawfik Chelli to develop and market online education in Tunisia and possibly in other countries during the following years. 9Muses is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider. It hosts online university-level courses and professional courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no charge. This business plan outlines how the company will prepare the launch of this project in the year 2018.

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></center></p><h2>3 Types of eLearning Business Models</h2><p><center><img style=

  • August 21, 2023

eLearning is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. If you plan to start your eLearning business, you must be fully aware of the types of eLearning business models you can choose and establish a business on.

COVID-19 created a huge opportunity for the ed-tech industry as 1.37 billion learners were impacted by national school closure in March 2020. Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity .” Similarly, this crisis presented an opportunity in the form of e-learning businesses. With the massive demand for e-learning and online education across the globe, it is high time for you to start an eLearning business , and to be successful; you need to adopt an eLearning business model.

What is an eLearning Business Model?

An eLearning business model is a framework that would guide your business to generate monetary returns. It provides a roadmap to your business plans and helps you envision the long-term value of your business. Different types of eLearning business models are being used by businesses but we have gathered the most successful and proven business models for you.

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There are 3 most common and successful eLearning business models that you can follow. For your ease, we have attached an infographic below displaying the 3 eLearning models.

Infographics displaying types of eLearning Businesses

1. Night School Model

The term night school model came up from the concept of skill-based classes. It is a classical business model where a learner pays a one-time fee to access the course content. Courses under this business model follow a fixed framework that includes learning modules, assessments, quizzes, or examinations to test the learner. So, for example, if you are interested in learning Tableau , then you can follow the below steps:

  • Search the course on an eLearning platform such as Udemy or Coursera
  • Enroll by paying a nominal fee
  • Access the course content
  • Pass the quiz and complete the course

The night school model is most suitable for learners seeking a specific skill or learning a particular subject or a language. Most eLearning businesses adopt this model as it is a suitable alternative to physical classroom learning. This eLearning business model can be helpful for new businesses who are looking to generate cash flow by the subscriptions and sale of courses. Moreover, It is also a suitable model for businesses with high-priced courses.

However, this model has some downsides as well. The learner would only pay the course fees once and might not reinvest in your eLearning business again. In addition, if you want to focus on multiple topics, you will have to make separate courses for each of them since learners seek specific courses; hence, it is time-consuming.

There are some pros and cons of the night school model that are displayed in the table below:

Pros and Cons of Night School Model-eLearning Business Models

2. Academy Model

The academy model is subscription-based, where the eLearning platform operates as a virtual school. An academy eLearning business model encourages students to learn and develop multiple skills and provides an extensive library of courses, videos, and other learning materials. The academy model also provides numerous features for the learners, such as live question-and-answer sessions, support groups, and one-to-one sessions with the instructors.

This model creates a long-term relationship between the platform and the learners. It is suitable for creators, fitness enthusiasts, sports fanatics, and professionals in their respective fields. The academy model covers broad topics and then covers each area in detail, attracting learners looking to learn multiple skills.

For example, you want to learn about graphic designing in an eLearning platform . The academy model would provide information about different tools and software such as Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, and other Adobe software.

One of the plus points of this model is the constant inflow of subscription fees from the subscribed learners. Moreover, you can earn more in the future with the increase in the number of subscribers without additional effort to create more content. The pros and cons of this model are listed in the table below:

Pros and Cons of Academy Model-eLearning Business Models

3. Combined Model

A combined model is the integration of the “Night School Model” and “Academy Model.” This model offers both subscription-based offers as well as stand-alone courses with one-time fees. This model is suitable for those students who are willing to pay extra for additional course material or courses that can help them improve their academics and skills.  

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How to choose the most suitable eLearning Business Model?

You have clearly understood all three eLearning business models; now, you can find the best fit between your business and the eLearning business models. Based on your core competencies, you can assess all three options and then opt for the most suitable one.

Edly is providing free eLearning business consultancy and platform demo that you can try out before making a final decision.

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How to Create an eLearning Project Plan

When you first start an eLearning project, there’s a lot of information you must collect and expectations to establish. Much of this upfront work occurs during your eLearning project kickoff meeting , while you’re scoping the project and conducting a needs analysis . This is your opportunity to meet with your project stakeholders and subject matter experts to ask questions, collect information, and set expectations. But, how can you ensure there’s accountability for everything that has been agreed upon?

Well, the truth is, it’s all too easy to walk away from your initial eLearning project kickoff meeting, assuming everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations for the project. However, this is rarely the case. To successfully create an effective eLearning course, all of the project contributors (including yourself) must have a clear understanding of the project details. In my experience, in addition to creating an eLearning development timeline , the best way to accomplish this is to create an eLearning project plan to document the details of the project.

So, in this post, I’ll share how to create an eLearning project plan.

What is an eLearning Project Plan?

As I explain in my book, The eLearning Designer’s Handbook , an eLearning project plan is a document designed to outline all the details necessary to implement the project. I like to think of a project plan as a contract between you and your stakeholders and subject matter experts.

An eLearning project plan is a document designed to outline all the details necessary to implement the project.

Documenting the details and deliverables of a project helps solidify everything agreed upon during the kickoff meeting. A project plan also helps to maintain accountability throughout the development process and ensure everyone involved understands their responsibilities. It can also help you avoid scope creep .

An eLearning project plan can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes (and many different eLearning project management tools you can use), there’s no single method for creating or formatting a project plan or what information to include in it. What’s important is that you include the right information you need in order to gain agreement and accountability with your stakeholders and subject matter experts.

Ultimately, your plan should include enough information to give anyone a strong sense of what the project aims to achieve and the deliverables that will result from the project.

eLearning Project Plan Example | eLearning Project Plan Template

Detail the Basic Project Information

Start creating your eLearning project plan by detailing the basic project information. This includes the project title, description, and a high-level overview of its history, goals, and deliverables.

While this information in your project plan may not be critical to the successful execution of the project, it can help to provide context for anyone else involved in the future.

Document the Roles & Responsibilities

After you’ve documented the basic information about the project, the next item to include in your eLearning project plan is a list of the roles and responsibilities for the project. This includes anyone involved in the project and their specific role.

Because your project involves multiple people coming together and working towards a common goal, it’s important everyone understands their role. This can help you establish lines of accountability throughout the project.

Define the Deliverables of the Project

Once you’ve established the roles and responsibilities for the project, the next item to document in your eLearning project plan are the deliverables for the project. This includes listing the target audience for the project, the learning objectives that will be achieved, and a detailed description of the course to be created.

Whether you’re creating a single eLearning course or a blended training solution, listing the deliverables helps establish the total scope of the project. For larger, more complex projects, it can also be helpful to document the deliverables as part of an instructional design document .

Because your project plan is like a contract or statement of work between your stakeholders and subject matter experts, there must be no questions about what actual items will be created and delivered once the project is complete.

Outline the Plans for Implementation & Measurement

The final item to include in your eLearning project plan is an outline of how the project will be implemented and measured. This includes listing the project risk and constraints, specific measurements used to evaluate effectiveness, and details about how the training will be delivered to the target audience.

While it may seem premature to identify these items at the start of the project, these decisions will ultimately determine the success of the project once it’s complete.

The Bottom Line

While taking the time to document everything in an eLearning project plan may seem tedious, it will help ensure the project starts with everyone on the same page. It can also help you ensure accountability between you and your stakeholders and subject matter experts.

If you’re new to eLearning, I’d recommend checking out The eLearning Project Plan Notebook , which can help you capture and document all of the necessary information when planning your eLearning projects.

If you’d like to learn more about managing your eLearning projects, check out this post .

What else do you like to include in your eLearning project plan? Share your tips by commenting below!

Tim Slade

Hi, I’m Tim Slade, and I’m a speaker, author, and founder of The eLearning Designer's Academy. Having spent the last decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content, I have been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for my creative and innovative design aesthetics. I’m also a regular speaker at international eLearning conferences, a LinkedIn Learning instructor, and author of The eLearning Designer’s Handbook.

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Hi, Tim! Please ignore my message asking how to find the project plan template. I just found it on this posting. Thank you so much for sharing! Take care, Piri Campo

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The 2 Most Profitable Types Of eLearning Business Models

Learn More about Video Monetization

Online Education Business Model

  • "Night School" eLearning Business Model
  • "Academy" eLearning Business Model

Which eLearning Business Model Should You Choose?

Tell me if this sounds like you.

You’ve got an idea for an online school or eLearning business .

You’ve outlined the skills you want to teach, and you’ve even got an idea of who your ideal student is. But, you’ve hit one major roadblock…

You don’t know how to make money from it .

Sound about right?

If so, you’re in the right place. Today you’re going to learn how to change all of that.

In this article, I want to show you the two best online education business models you can follow. So, no matter who or what you want to teach, you’ll have a clear idea of how to turn your idea into income.

Here’s what we’ll cover…

What You’ll Learn

  • The “ night school ” and “ academy ” eLearning business models
  • The major pros and cons of each
  • How much you can earn with each model
  • How to choose the right one for your business

The “Night School” eLearning Business Model

Night School is a classic eLearning business model.

Its name is rooted in the night classes you can take at your local community college. You know, where you go to learn languages or pick up skills to help in your job.  The simple business model which drives these traditional courses can provide a profitable blueprint to sell courses online.

This style of business model is all over websites like Udemy, where customers pay for access to a course which teaches them a specific skill.

Let’s say you’re going on holiday to Germany and you want to be able to understand the basics before you go so that you can blend in like these two cheeky chaps here:

You could head over to Udemy, search for “learn German” and find a course which teaches you the basics you need.

From there the process you saw earlier kicks in:

udemy elearning german

You log in. Watch your video lessons. Take tests. Contact your tutor when you have trouble. And, by the time you get to Berlin, you’ll hopefully be able to order a Schnitzel without offending anybody.

It’s pretty simple. But what kind of eLearning business is this model best suited to?

Who Is The “Night School” eLearning Business Model For?

This type of eLearning business model is flexible and can be adapted by any type of online school or teaching business.

It’s been the default model for the majority of online eLearning businesses over the last few decades, but it’s the best fit for:

  • New businesses: If you’re testing products and your audience’s reaction to them, this can be a great way to generate cash flow and get feedback.
  • High-ticket businesses: If you want to sell one-off products at a $2000+ value
  • Online course-only businesses: If you only want to sell one-off courses, without all of the frills and support of a “school” environment

Basically, if you like to go deep into a specific skill or ability, this type of eLearning business model is for you. Which can be done across multiple topics in one niche, as you’ll see in the next section.

How Do You Make Money With It (And How Much)?

The key to making money with the night school eLearning business model is to create standalone courses which solve your customer’s major problems.

These courses can differ in value and depth, but they guide your customer to a specific endpoint. Let me show you what I mean.

One business who does this brilliantly is Ramit Sethi’s; I Will Teach You To Be Rich .

The business is grounded in one “umbrella” niche, which is financial success. But for each of the barriers his customers have to getting there, he has a course to help them get through it.

This includes topics like mental frameworks and having better conversations:

i will teach you to be rich courses

The starting retail cost of these courses is around $350 and work there way up to $2000-$2500 range. Which, as you can imagine, is really lucrative.

This is easily adaptable to any business niche, too. Let’s say you’re going to start a business around videography; you could focus on pain points like:

  • How to create the perfect YouTube video
  • How to edit videos in Final Cut Pro
  • How to sell your videos to a TV channel
  • How to find, source and add music to your videos

Each of these would become a standalone course and retail at a different value, depending on the depth and demand for the course content.

With this business model, you could be looking at the $2,000+ range a month with a brand new business.

The 5 Pros And 5 Cons Of The Night School Model

Before you make your decision to choose this online learning business model, I want to break down the five pros and cons of choosing it.

  • Lucrative: You can create a broad spectrum of products and retail them at high-ticket prices
  • Specific: You can create products which solve problems and cause transformation.
  • Low overheads: You can create courses in cheap (or free) formats like PDFs.
  • Outsourceable: You can easily build teams to help you manage your workload.
  • Evergreen: When you create a course you can sell it for years to come.
  • Time-intensive: You’ll need to invest lots of time and effort into creating high-quality courses which generate results.
  • Complicated: Each course requires its own unique sales funnel.
  • Launching: You’ll have to consistently launch (and relaunch) your products to make sales.
  • Non-recurring income: You have to sell people multiple times to keep your cash flow high.
  • Marketing: Requires a constant stream of new leads to make sales.

The “Academy” eLearning Business Model

The academy business model has been part of a renaissance for eLearning.

Instead of creating an online course business model, as you saw with night school a second ago, you create a comprehensive school where students learn all of the skills they need to achieve their desired goal.

Let’s look at this in real-world terms first.

When a student enrolls into an academy – say, a soccer school – they don’t focus just on one aspect or skill. Instead, they come away with a well-rounded education in:

  • How to pass, dribble and shoot the ball
  • How to eat the right foods and how much water to drink
  • How to recover from a tough game
  • How to communicate with teammates
  • How to apply for college scholarships

If it sounds like I have an overly intimate knowledge of soccer academies it’s because, a) I’m British and, b) I spent a year coaching in an American one. (Did somebody ask for blue steel?)

james johnson soccer coach

But, I digress…

In the online world, the Academy eLearning business model works a little like a Netflix subscription .

For a monthly recurring fee, students get access to your entire library of lessons and courses. They can pick and choose what they learn, and when they learn it, and build their education.

The academy can also come with lots of different community features, like:

  • Live Q&As
  • Coaching calls
  • Facebook groups

Depending on how you choose to run your business. As long as they pay their monthly subscription, they can have access to all of it. When they cancel, they lose it.

Because this eLearning business model relies on a subscription system, it has the potential to be profitable, scalable and much more manageable than the night school option.

But, who does this business model work for, and is it the right choice for you?

Who Is The Academy eLearning Model For?

The academy business model can work in any broad niche with multiple skills to teach. But it works best for:

  • Niche experts: Who want to teach a wide range of skills in a specific niche
  • Health and Fitness pros: Who want to share up-to-date advice to their clients
  • Creatives: Who want to teach different artistic practices or disciplines
  • Enterprise experts: Who want to provide training to corporations

If you want to cover a broad topic and provide depth in the areas, you think matter, without creating multiple standalone courses, this is for you.

The academy eLearning business model is based on a subscription service to get access to both short and long-from training videos on a topic.

The price point is usually affordable – between $9.99 and $49.99 per month – and on a recurring basis. These prices can vary depending on the package someone signs up for.

Let’s look at this online education business model in action so you can see what I mean.

Magic Stream teach people how to perform incredible magic tricks with their online academy.

magic stream vod courses

For $12.99 a month students get access to hundreds of hours of training material covering lots of different topics.

magic stream online catalogue

Behind each of these thumbnails is an intense training video which teaches you a specific skill. Instead of a “course” style, this is individual sessions or walkthroughs.

Running the business this way allows them to create a comprehensive library of content to help magicians learn a wide range of skills.

This is an attractive offer for a would-be magician who finds their product. For a small investment, they can get lots of value.

But that may be causing you a few worries right now. Because $12.99 per sale doesn’t sound anywhere near as lucrative as the $350 courses you saw in the last section, does it?

Well in the short term you probably could make more money with the Night School model. Over the long term, however, the academy model wins. Why?

Because you have a constant source of recurring passive income which has the potential to grow infinitely .

Let me explain…

Let’s say you launch your academy and you make ten sales of $13.00. That’s a pretty modest $130 for your troubles, right?

Well, that’s $130 which you will get paid every month from those customers. And, if you pick up an average of 10 new customers (absolute worst-case scenario) every month, here’s how your income will look over a year.

  • Month #1: $130 (10 subscribers)
  • Month #2: $260 (20 subscribers)
  • Month #3: $390 (30 subscribers)
  • Month #4: $520 (40 subscribers)
  • Month #5: $650 (50 subscribers)
  • Month #6: $780 (60 subscribers)
  • Month #7: $910 (70 subscribers)
  • Month #8: $1,040 (80 subscribers)
  • Month #9: $1,170 (90 subscribers)
  • Month #10: $1,300 (100 subscribers)
  • Month #11: $1,430 (110 subscribers)
  • Month #12: $1,560 (120 subscribers)

That’s a pretty quick increase in recurring income. This is what you’re guaranteed each month, save for a complete mutiny or catastrophe. And that’s before you look at the compound effect, where you’ve earned a total of $10,140 over the year .

At the point of launch, those $350 courses look deceptively lucrative. But over the long game, you can earn more money for less work with the academy model. In fact, the Uscreen customers who apply this business model earn an average of $5,700 per month!

The 5 Pros And Cons Of The Academy eLearning Business Model

Before you decide to choose this model, let’s take a look at the major advantages and disadvantages of using it:

  • High-retention: Customers are “hooked” to your service because they want the new content you release
  • Attractive pricing: You can bring new customers in with a low-cost but high-value offer
  • Passive income: You can make money without being there at the point of sale
  • Scaleable: Easy to grow or shrink to your desired business size
  • Simplicity: You only need one sales funnel leading to one offer
  • Content creation: You need to periodically create new content
  • Lower initial earnings: It can take time to build momentum
  • Hosting: You’ll need a more expensive platform to run this
  • Innovation: Your content needs to hit a broad range of topics to keep people hooked
  • Zombie-accounts: The ethical question of people paying who aren’t using your service

By now you should have a clearer image of the two major online education business models, and which one is going to be a better fit for your business.

If you’re still not sure, here’s a little recap:

You should choose the Night School model if you want to go to depth on topics and create high-ticket offers for your customers. Launching products doesn’t phase you, and you prefer the big payout they provide.

You should choose the Academy model if you want a long-term profitable online course business which is easy to manage and has high levels of customer retention. You want to create one offer and deliver as much value to people as possible, and you’d prefer to keep customers for the long-term.

Now before you go, it’s important to note you can change business models whenever you want. It’s not uncommon for people to create three or four courses and then bundle them together into an academy-style product.

But an academy model should probably be the overall end goal for your business, if not now, then in three to five years.

Wrapping This Up …

Phew! That was a lot of information. Well done for making it to the end!

You can sign up for our video business school, where we’ll share even more about how to start a profitable online learning business!

James Johnson

James Johnson

James is a Photography YouTuber from Manchester, England. A former digital nomad, he’s been working online and in the creator economy for over a decade.

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5 Downloadable eLearning Project Plan Templates

  • Jake Wengroff
  • April 22, 2022

elearning project plan templateselearning project plan templates

Project Plan Templates to Keep eLearning on Track

How do you know what everyone is working on, and when it is due?

Project management tools and technology have been around for quite some time and should be familiar to even the smallest teams.

However, how do you know which one works the best for your eLearning project? Project management apps abound—Gartner’s Software Advice portal includes reviews for 1,306 products —but designing and developing learning experiences have their own unique workflows that general project management apps built for a broad business audience cannot address.

For example, instructional design models, like ADDIE, include phases that once completed, might be revisited again. This makes traditional project management tools ineffective to track the typical learning development process. In traditional project management tools, once a project is complete, it is usually archived—over and done with, very rarely to be revisited.

However, in learning development, there is often much back and forth, and so project plans need to build in this non-linear process.

What is a project plan template for learning and development?

A project plan template for learning and development can help L&D teams map out the tasks needed for completion with instructional design principles in mind.

Templates, or pre-formatted guidelines that can be used and re-used, are essential for project management. While no two projects are alike, the underlying instructional design models are the same. As such, a template can easily demonstrate how much time is needed for different elements of a learning project, assign these to the appropriate team members, and determine reasonable due dates.

The project management template can include fields, tabs, or pages that track the following information:

  • Each team member, their role, and their capacity
  • Each of the tasks required to complete the learning project, including what will be outsourced
  • Hours necessary for each of those team members to complete each of their tasks
  • Intended due dates for each component to be completed
  • Initial outline of eLearning development plans such as learning objectives

Why use a learning and development project plan template?

Some teams might question the value of using an eLearning project timeline template when they can simply use the organization’s project management software that’s already in place—maybe even spending a bit on IT resources to add features or views suitable for L&D’s needs.

That can certainly still work. In fact, it might even be necessary, especially if L&D must work or report closely to other departments, such as HR or Operations, that lean heavily on the enterprise instance of a project management suite.

However, leveraging forms and guidelines built by others that know the training function inside and out can help you focus on the important tasks at hand. These eLearning project charter templates can prevent the team from getting distracted by the other bells and whistles of large-scale enterprise project management tools.

Best eLearning Project Plan Templates to Download Now

Use one—or several—of these templates to keep track of your current eLearning projects. These are built with the instructional designer, course developer, and training manager in mind.

Additionally, these can be uploaded to a cloud-hosted document sharing service, like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, for access and sharing on the go if needed.

1. eLearning project plan template from Cognota (Excel)

e learning platform business plan pdf

For eLearning project managers, designers, stakeholders, and subject matter experts, keeping all the relevant information in one place and maintaining oversight of the project’s progress is key.

With this eLearning project plan template from Cognota, you’ll be able to:

  • Record and maintain all the relevant project details
  • Develop project milestones and deliverables
  • Create a project schedule to keep things on track
  • Assign tasks to specific project team members
  • Keep track of progress on each milestone

Download Now

2. eLearning project information template by iSpring Solutions (Word)

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This template in Microsoft Word is simple and straightforward, as it is essentially a table of empty fields that members of the L&D team would fill in.

This could be helpful if managers and executives outside of the L&D team are curious to understand more about your process. Such individuals might just want a simple rundown of what’s on deck, without needing to log in or search for your project in the enterprise project management software. As such, sending a Word document providing a high-level review might just work perfectly.

3. eLearning course planning template from Elucidat (PDF)

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This PDF is a booklet of questions that learning leaders can ask themselves before starting to design and develop a training course in their authoring tools.

Elucidat’s 5C Framework asks questions related to the project’s purpose and target audience, how will success be defined, and how the course will be distributed, among other questions.

4. L&D project plan template from eLearningArt (Excel)

e learning platform business plan pdf

This Excel-based template created by learning consultant Bryan Jones of eLearningArt has a calculator to help you estimate the number of hours required for each project phase. When creating an eLearning project plan, this helps determine the resources you’ll need.

By inputting the percent of the project allotted to specific project phases (i.e., storyboarding, scripting), the total project hours budgeted, the number of working hours per day, and expected delivery date, you will be able to calculate the total project hours by phase and the days the team has to complete them.

5. eLearning project tracker from Learning Carton (Google Sheets)

e learning platform business plan pdf

This Google Sheet has multiple tabs, including a Punchlist (item name, who it’s assigned to, and status), Timeline, and Tracker. Christopher Karel of Learning Carton provides detailed instructions on how to use the spreadsheet on the download page (see below).

He also explains how to use certain features of Google Sheets, such as tagging team members so that they get pinged, so that live collaboration elements can be built into the project.

eLearning Project Planning Software Built Specifically for L&D Teams

L&D teams need to be on the same page at any moment while planning and prioritizing tasks as part of a learning project. The right tools are needed for planning, organization, and collaboration in order to maximize team capacity and ensure that the project is completed and delivered to learners on time.

With Cognota, you can plan and manage capacity, assign tasks and due dates, and standardize your L&D processes, ensuring that projects can stay within a budget and be delivered on time. See for yourself with a 14 day free trial !

  • Tags: eLearning Project Management , learning and development , Templates for L&D , Training project , Training Templates

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How to Implement e-Learning in the Organization

Table of contents

E-learning systems are not new to organizations. For years, they have been used for consistent training delivery, reduction of costs associated with traveling of employees for educational purposes, and provision of access to training materials anywhere and anytime. Still, to clarify things and give you a better vision of what e-learning can bring to business and how to implement it to achieve success, let’s go through the essentials.

In this article, you will find answers to the questions of what e-learning is and in which ways it can work for your organization, what are the most successful methods of e-learning delivery, what are the existing types of systems, why to invest in e-learning system development, how to smoothly implement the one into the organization, and what the possible challenges are to address. 

What’s eLearning? From Benefits to Types of Existing Systems and Methods of e-Learning Delivery

Whether the talk is about watching an educational video, reading an interesting article, or taking a quiz online or on some digital device — all that is eLearning. While it is true that eLearning can’t replace full-scale education, it is more convenient and easy to customize with VR, AI, or other innovations that take learning up to the next level. 

But what are the crucial pros for implementing e-learning systems into organizations? Let’s try to figure that out by pointing out the benefits these systems bring. 

Benefits of eLearning for Businesses

eLearning is a great business tool because it offers:

e learning platform business plan pdf

Lower training costs

With eLearning, businesses can cut training costs associated with covering travel expenses and renting hotel rooms by simply developing an online course and sharing it with employees.

Wider coverage

Distance learning has no barriers. It allows training hundreds of employees in dozens of offices across the world in a uniform format. 

Single knowledge base

All learning materials are stored in one place, a Learning Management System (LMS). Employees can log in to the LMS at a convenient time from any device, find the course they need, and learn the material.

Faster employee development

Traditional training can be rather slow because it depends on the business trainers’ working hours. An LMS is available anytime, making it possible for employees to study whenever they can, whether during their lunch break or at home.

Easy progress tracking

Most LMSs have embedded analytic tools that show each student’s progress in graphs and reports.

Business adaptability

eLearning helps employees keep up with the company’s rhythm and solve problems in real-time. So if there is a need, for example, to introduce a new product to the sales team, it is possible to create a digital course and deliver it instantly to thousands of employees.

But there are also other ways in which e-learning systems can deliver content. Let’s look at them below.

Types of eLearning Training

The more relevant, engaging, and interactive your course is, the higher its value and the better learning outcomes are. E-learning systems allow using different types of content delivery. So what are these types?

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While it’s possible to choose any of these types, the efficiency of your employees’ training depends on many factors.

Steps to Deliver eLearning Efficiently

There are some essential steps a business can take to deliver e-learning in the best possible way. Here they are:

This could be soft-skills training of employees or level-up of qualifications.

Choose appropriate tools

Depending on the educational complexity, you can choose from simple tools like mailouts to more complex ones, like AI algorithms. 

Prepare a plan

Write down a plan in stages and allocate a budget for each one.

Create content

Develop educational materials for your employees, and better start simple.

Get your LMS ready

Once your content is ready, upload it to the LMS and organize it correctly.

Do a test run

When the system is ready, invite a few employees for a pilot run to monitor everything and get feedback, so you can refine the training program before the final launch.

Start training

Invite your employees to the LMS and assign courses. 

Estimate efficiency

Use built-in statistics and gather employee feedback to evaluate e-learning efficiency.

Best Practices of eLearning Implementation

But before you take advantage of everything described above, there are other important things to consider, including the establishment of an e-learning implementation plan that will ensure that the system you are going to develop is tailored to your needs, the analysis of possible challenges, and the establishment of the successful e-learning implementation process. 

E-learning Implementation Plan: How to Make it Right?

When you decide to implement e-learning into your organization , you have to start by building an implementation plan that will address your business needs. So here is a kind reminder of what needs to be considered.

e learning platform business plan pdf

What Are the Possible Challenges a Business Can Face When Implementing e-Learning?

When it comes to the identification of challenges, they can largely vary. Still, here are some that are applicable to any business. They are:

Dry and dull subject matter

Any LMS system, even the most proficient one, will fail to provide efficient learning in case it’s not engaging. So make sure that your content delivery method brings users a sense of satisfaction. Today, this can easily be achieved with the use of innovations like AR but other ways such as gamification can also work well.  

Lack of learner motivation

Motivation is one of the key factors in learning success, and fortunately, there are some proven ways that can help businesses increase it. This could be the delivery of information about the learner’s progress, certain rewards for the successful completion of tasks, and even motivational mailing.  

Unrealistic deadlines

Make sure that people responsible for setting the deadlines are aware of every step involved in the e-learning process.

Staying up-to-date with modern tech

Every year welcomes new tech tools, gadgets, and software that you can use to improve e-learning delivery methods. But, with so much digital transformation, it can be hard to tell which new learning technology is worth the investment. To address this challenge, you can attend tech conferences, events, trade shows, as well as read tech blogs, case studies, and reviews. 

Inexperienced partners

If the company that delivers you e-learning solutions is not familiar with e-learning initiatives, the process of development can become a real headache both for you and the development team. 

That’s why it’s so important to explain in detail what solution you are expecting to get, what your metrics of success will be, and how you’ll achieve your goals.

eLearning Implementation Process in Steps

And now we get to the final stage that will allow your company to ensure that your system is implemented right. 

Define Scope

Carefully define the scope so that it is in line with your organizational goals not to get off track when the development process starts.

Choose a Technology Partner

It’s always better to place your focus on choosing a technology partner who will be capable of providing you with a team that involves specialists for fit-gap analysis, a project manager, an implementation team, and so on. Furthermore, if you don’t have an internal IT department, you will need people that will help you keep your system up-to-date and react to any issues asap, and a technology partner can provide you with such services.

Pick a Platform

You have to decide what mechanism you will use to deliver your e-learning and what tools you will use to make it real. These are critical questions that need to be answered so that you can effectively estimate and manage the project budget.

Define a Budget

Before your project starts, you need to define the budget and agree upon it with your partner if you don’t want to see how costs can add up quickly.

Mind Quality Assurance

Throughout the entire project, and even after implementation, you need to have a means for quality assurance. This includes installing and running the LMS and future updates (both technical and structural). You should have quality assurance stages built into the different phases of your project, so that you can maintain high standards, remain in-scope and on budget.

One more thing to clarify here is that all projects are different and there’s no unified recipe for success. Still, cooperation with a trusted technology partner like your fellow Emerline can free you from all the headaches associated with project planning, development, and implementation. 

We are experienced in the delivery of eLearning solutions for educational institutions, training centers, and other EdTech organizations, ensuring an engaging and results-driven learning experience all the way through. So if you have an idea of implementing e-learning into your business, have some questions, or want to clarify some details, you are always welcome to contact us , at any time.

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Emerline Recognized as a Top Software Development Company in the USA by Techreviewer.co in 2024

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What Engagement Model is Right for You?

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How to choose the most efficient engagement model to lay a solid foundation for the successful project delivery? Emerline will tell you about the available options, highlight which one works best for each particular case, and share the team’s approach to technological partnership and other engagement scenarios.

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IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF Business Plan Development for Online Learning

    Business Plan Development for Online Learning This is a project planning guide for teams developing online learning environments. All of the components relate to each other and are organized in a way that encourages teams to discuss and determine which of the aspects fit with their online project. This planning guide is most helpful when

  2. How To Start Your First eLearning Business

    In the next section, we're going to look at how you can start your own eLearning business, starting with choosing the right business plan. The 3 Types Of eLearning Business Plans. There are 3 different types of eLearning business plan you can use: The "night school" model; The "academy" model ; The "combined" model; Let's take a ...

  3. E-learning Business Plan Sample

    Step1: Planning. The first step towards successfully launching this online school business plan is business model for e learning is planning. The managemental hierarchy of the business will be developed and online education e learning sample business plan implementation strategy will be finalized. This is not as simple as a martial arts business.

  4. Master E-Learning Success: Craft Your Winning Business Plan in 9 Steps!

    In this blog post, we will take you through a 9-step checklist on how to write a business plan for your e-learning venture. Conduct market research. Define the target audience. Identify industry trends and competition. Determine the unique selling proposition. Create a comprehensive business model.

  5. 6 Steps to Start an eLearning Business

    Edly presents six easy steps that you can follow while setting up your eLearning business: 1. Identify Target Audience. The first step is to determine whether there is enough demand for your chosen learning categories. To identify your target audience, you will have to conduct audience research by engaging instructors, learners, and experts.

  6. How to Create an E-Learning Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 1: Identify your goals. Defining clear objectives and goals for your platform could include identifying your target audience, determining desired learning outcomes, and setting goals for revenue generation. You may also want to consider different business models. Remember to consider your goals, target audience, and content when choosing ...

  7. Educational Software Business Plan Example

    3-to 6-Course Series (Training Program, Certificate or Undergraduate Minor) 32 hours x $75/hour = $2400. $3600. 7- to 12-Course Series (Professional Certificate, Masters Degree) 40 hours x $75/hour = $3000. $4500. 13- to 16-Course Series (PhD/Terminals, Other Professional Degrees) 48 hours x $75/hour = $3600. $5400.

  8. PDF Business Plan Launch of an e-learning platform

    This project aims to develop a business plan to launch a digital learning platform. This platform targets students between the 5th and 12th grades, and aims to fill a gap in the market, by offering a differentiated approach than the ones that already exist in Portugal. This

  9. How To Build An Elearning Business In 2024: Six Approaches ...

    The e-learning industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 20 percent to reach $315 billion by 2028. Thus, now is an excellent time to start your own e-learning or training business, given the worldwide demand for online and distance learning. However, implementing an e-learning business plan is no easy feat.

  10. Business Plan Development for Online Learning

    Abstract. This is a project planning guide for teams developing online learning environments. All of the components relate to each other and are organized in a way that encourages teams to discuss and determine which of the aspects fit with their online project. This planning guide is most helpful when considered prior to engaging in a design ...

  11. The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your eLearning Business

    6. Market your new eLearning business: The final step is to market your eLearning business. No matter how good your platform is, you cannot be successful without good marketing. There are thousands of eLearning platforms in the market present already, and the competition is fierce.

  12. Starting An eLearning Business

    The full meaning of eLearning is "electronic learning." It is a learning system that follows a typical educational curriculum, but the teacher and student meet online using digital resources. They use computers, tabs, smartphones, etc., to conduct and participate in class. And an eLearning business is a business that creates an educational ...

  13. 9MUSES platform for online education Business Plan

    Akram Dakhli. 9Muses.net is an online tutoring platform created by co-founders Akram Dakhli and Tawfik Chelli to develop and market online education in Tunisia and possibly in other countries during the following years. 9Muses is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider. It hosts online university-level courses and professional courses in a ...

  14. PDF BUSINESS MODEL FOR EDUCATION PLATFORM

    Citation Information: Meylani, R., & Kaburuan, E. R. (2022). Business model for education platform. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 25(S5), 1-15. Learning software that fulfills the solution in one ecosystem with the customer need for career education of Indonesian youth is not yet fully available. With the descriptions ...

  15. Building A Successful eLearning Business Case, Part 1

    The Business Case For eLearning. Discover the benefits an eLearning approach delivers in 3 major areas and how adopting an engaging strategy will increase the ROI of your training programmes. Get the eBook. To do this we will show that online learning can be utilised to maximise Return On Investment (ROI) in organisational training.

  16. 3 Types of eLearning Business Models

    For your ease, we have attached an infographic below displaying the 3 eLearning models. 1. Night School Model. The term night school model came up from the concept of skill-based classes. It is a classical business model where a learner pays a one-time fee to access the course content.

  17. How to Create an eLearning Project Plan

    Start creating your eLearning project plan by detailing the basic project information. This includes the project title, description, and a high-level overview of its history, goals, and deliverables. While this information in your project plan may not be critical to the successful execution of the project, it can help to provide context for ...

  18. The Only 2 eLearning Business Models that Actually Work

    The academy eLearning business model is based on a subscription service to get access to both short and long-from training videos on a topic. The price point is usually affordable - between $9.99 and $49.99 per month - and on a recurring basis. These prices can vary depending on the package someone signs up for.

  19. 5 Downloadable eLearning Project Plan Templates

    With this eLearning project plan template from Cognota, you'll be able to: Record and maintain all the relevant project details. Develop project milestones and deliverables. Create a project schedule to keep things on track. Assign tasks to specific project team members. Keep track of progress on each milestone. Download Now.

  20. PDF Successful eLearning in 4 Steps

    Business leaders increasingly recognize that providing employee training is critical to success. Companies worldwide use instructional content available on demand to build eLearning programs that drive positive outcomes. The global elearning market more than doubled in 2015, reaching $107 billion. In the U.S., more than 75 percent

  21. PDF 5-The Design and Development of a Web-based E-learning Platform for the

    business models in numerous market sectors and offered innovation opportunities to a variety of stakeholders—not least SMEs (Small and Medium Scale Enterprises). The focus of this paper is on the development and design of an educational Web-based e-learning platform tool that presents a possible future scenario of a platform for the

  22. PDF "The Business Plan"

    The clear steps and measurement of the firm's progress outlined in the plan makes the entrepreneur' s work easier and can guide, for example, the management of firm resources. Learning Outcomes. In terms of knowledge: After finishing the module, the participants will know. - what a business plan is.

  23. E-Learning Implementation into Business in 2024: How to Make ...

    Prepare a plan. Write down a plan in stages and allocate a budget for each one. Create content. Develop educational materials for your employees, and better start simple. Get your LMS ready. Once your content is ready, upload it to the LMS and organize it correctly. Do a test run. When the system is ready, invite a few employees for a pilot run ...