One of my favourite work tasks is working with spreadsheets. Nothing gives me more pleasure than organising, sorting and processing data to produce useful and informative presentations and reports. Besides my love for them, spreadsheets are uniquely positioned to be one of the most important software applications to ever be developed. King amongst them is Microsoft’.s Excel. Something that popular makes a great opportunity for those of the right mindset to start an Excel training business. We’ll discuss some of the things you need to consider to start a Microsoft Excel training business.
A business starts with a customer. Without a customer, there is no business. So the first question you will have to answer is who you are going to serve. Everyone is not a viable answer. You need to be specific about who you are going to serve. Professionals, who need spreadsheet training? Young people, who want to add to their skills list? People in financial or reporting careers with limited Excel exposure? Or people looking for general excel skills? You can go deeper by looking at the level of training. You usually have beginners, intermediate and expert levels. Once you are clear on who you will serve you’ve done about half the work of setting up your business.
The next step is to get clear on the delivery method. This will have a big say in how you conduct your business and what you need so you will need to make a decision. Relax the delivery methods are not mutually exclusive, you can combine them.
Face to face
Doing face-to-face classes works well for many however covid-19 should firmly be in your mind if you choose this route. This has advantages as many learners tend to prefer a hands-on approach to be taught and you really cannot beat the attention a student gets face to face. However, it may prove time-consuming for certain groups such as professionals.
Online learning is massively popular because it has become very flexible. You can use live and prerecorded video as well as audio and text to get through to students. It is mostly covid-19 proof and allows for flexible learning. You will need to find a platform that hosts the learning material but other than that you are good to go.
It would be great to have a computer with a functioning installation of Microsoft Excel to help with demonstrations for students and to keep you familiar with the content. Not entirely essential but I wouldn’t go into the business without one. You may consider providing machines for students without their machines to work on, at an extra cost of course. Think short-term usage. You might also consider getting a multiple-user license for excel, like a student edition. This will help you give students access to a fully functioning licenced copy of Excel. If students are providing their machines this is not necessary but may be an advantage.
To get your marketing right you need to be clear about who you’re marketing to. That’s why I dedicated a paragraph to that discussed earlier on. Saying you’re offering Excel training is good. Saying you offer dashboard reporting with Excel is great. Saying you offer students skills to create vivid and dynamic reports with Excel is excellent. So think about what the target market wants to do with Excel skills rather than just that they want to learn Excel. You will find them on many platforms but paid adverts on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will do you a world of good as will a formidable content marketing strategy on a platform like Twitter or Youtube.
This will not matter to all students but it will matter to many and for that reason, you should look to get your courses accredited with a reputable institution. There are a few of these for Excel so you will have to pick one that works for the students you’re targeting. Of course, what you are teaching are skills but in some cases certification of those skills is important. It may count towards continuous professional development or improving a resume.
It’s a really interesting business to start that has strong demand and a wide fan base.