eLearning: Starting a Business for Dummies

February 4, 2020 | 4 Min Read

"What is an eLearning Business?" Examining the $200-billion eLearning Industry

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If you’re in the process of finding out how to start your first eLearning business, it’s useful to set clear goals for what kind of training business you want, which eLearning features you need, and how you plan to achieve eLearning ROI. To help, we’ve put together this ‘starting a business for dummies’ checklist, of things you might want to consider when opening a training eBusiness.


"How to Start an eLearning Business" Checklist:

1. Hosting Platform

First up, what kind of training business will you be running? The size of your eLearning portfolio, and the depth of your L&D team, has implications for the way your business will be hosted.

Many training businesses have a lower or more infrequent output. Likewise, some eLearning organizations are more focused on creating content than managing learners. For these, a shared website offering courses from numerous providers is likely to be the best option.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers such as Skillshare or Coursera offer eBusinesses a readymade community with thousands of users. Many industries have their own niche sites as well, so if there’s an eLearning host that fits your demographic, you may want to consider running your business through them.

The alternative for launching your eLearning business is to create your own learning management system (LMS). LMS are online platforms used by educators to create and host courses, as well as track learner analytics. Think an all-in-one digital home for business, teaching, and studying. If you’re planning a larger, more comprehensive eBusiness, an open-source LMS is probably the way to go.

Of course, you’ll need to host your eLearning content either on in-house servers or in the cloud. True Cloud hosting provides you with the best performance and tightest security available, no matter where in the world you or your learners are.

Looking for more opportunities to get started in the business of eLearning? Discover your perfect fit with our guide: What is an eLearning Business? Examining the $200 billion eLearning Industry

2. Revenue Strategy

Your expectations about your users will affect your revenue strategy, and help determine what kind of pricing model your content is offered under. With a more predictable, consistent audience—perhaps already aware of your business and courses—it makes more sense to charge per program. Likewise, if you’re dealing with institutions or other training organizations alongside individuals, a subscription model is likely to help retain clients and maximize course usage.

For brand new eLearning businesses or those with little reach, a revenue strategy that includes charging per course might be more advantageous. Charging per course reduces the commitment required by learners, making them more likely to take the plunge with your content, and works well combined with any discount or promotional deals scheduled by your marketing plan

Sometimes the best way to improve your margins is by keeping revenues high and costs low. If you’re dealing with running your own Learning Management System you need to take a look at LMS Cost Management: How to make cost-saving eLearning decisions

3. Content Creation

The heart of any eLearning business is its content. And when it comes to the actual stuff of your training, online learners respond to two things above all: engagement and relevance. The more involved your learners feel, and the more they can connect training to real-life applications, the happier they’ll be with your service.

The simplest, most effective way to increase these qualities is to make your content interactive. Popular eLearning strategies for encouraging interaction including microlearning, gamification, and peer-to-peer learning. Take a look at this Lambda blog post on interactive learning for more information: Why Interactive eLearning Experiences are the Future of Education, which includes a free webinar on how to use Moodle Plugins to Easily Create Interactive Content in Your LMS.

But what if you’re not planning to create your own content at all? Off-the-shelf eLearning content is a viable option, which can be put to use immediately, often at a lower cost. As with eLearning storefronts, there’s a large number of accredited course providers to choose from, such as Open Sesame, which offers over 20,000 pre-published courses.

Regardless of whether you’re creating content yourself, having the right tools for the job will make managing your eLearning business so much easier. See exactly how to do just that in this free webinar: Lambda Suite: Online Course Creation and Management Simplified


4. Marketing and Partnerships

With your hosting platform, pricing model, and content sorted, it’s time to market your business. The main decision here is whether to direct users to a self-created eCommerce storefront, or through a third-party app. Third parties may add interesting features, but are also likely to mean additional costs, and the time-sapping task of mapping the store to your existing content.

Partnering with an eLearning solutions provider, on the other hand, helps you keep control over your marketing and eCommerce. Today’s LMS eCommerce integrations include pre-built and automated features that rival the benefits of outsourcing your marketing. Pull content directly from your course to help create a cohesive brand image, then add in checkout and payment options within the same site.

Need a solution that does everything mentioned above? Look no further than this webinar covering the best technology for Enhancing Your eCommerce For Your eLearning Business.

Partnering with a devoted team makes it easier to scale your eLearning business, too. After all, if you’re just starting out on your eLearning journey, it makes sense to talk to an expert.


Whether you’re looking to start your first eLearning business, need an eCommerce integrated Learning Management System, are looking to optimize your LMS and eLearning programs with learning analytics, or need any other eLearning business solutions, we have the expertise to help you reach your goals! 

Contact us today. We’d love to help you create your ideal eLearning business solutions.

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