Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools have since been shut but children still have to be educated. This presents an exciting opportunity for every tech-savvy entrepreneur as the challenge to offer online courses to the broader masses is still standing. In this article, I offer a brief guideline as to how one can start an online courses business offering education opportunities to both the young and old.

Plan First

The first thing you want to do is plan for both the courses you want to offer and how your business will be operational while it poses as a recognised brand. Thus it becomes critical that you know where you want to take your offerings and what is expected of you to see it to fruition. In this regard, failing to plan is planning to fail such that the planning stage will be the most demanding in your business establishment process. As you plan, you want to understand and figure out the costs associated with starting and maintaining the course platform. Further to this, you also want to know how you are going to charge your customers and the various payment methods you can use. This will border around deciding on whether your service will be accessible to the broader public or it’s for a closed community. Lastly, you want to come up with a well-suited and attractive name for your platform. Seeing to it that you will be venturing into the online space, competition is already there and much will depend on how you intend to position yourself to be able to stand out.

Decide On What To Teach

Part of the planning process is deciding what you want to offer as online courses on your platform. While the list of things to teach is endless, you might be stuck up on deciding what exactly to teach but finding a niche and sticking to it will be beneficial to you in the long run. You get known for what you do best. In this regard, some might opt to offer a broad catalogue of courses on offer and some choose only to focus on a single subject area. Whichever way you might want it, each choice has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages coupled with well suiting start-up costs.

Know The Nature Of Expenses Associated With The Business

Having decided on your course offering(s), you want to understand the costs that will be associated with following through on your preferred course of action. In this regard, there are startup costs which involve the registration of your business with the relevant authorities and setting up the online platform (Web designing) together with the marketing aspects. Startup costs for this business usually revolve around the designing of an eCommerce web platform, creation of the course content and a well suited online marketing strategy. Marketing can also be done in possible and relevant physical spaces.

In all this, it is also important to pay an oversight as to whether the courses you will offer to require guided instructions, live chats or other such support services. These will add more to your startup expenses but all the same necessary. Other such costs to be incurred also involve access to high-speed internet and fast and efficient web hosting. In a broader sense, the last thing you want is to have your platform marred with disturbing glitches which might affect the overall quality and flow of your service.

Figure Out How You Will Make Money

There are two basic ways from which you can make money from your online courses. Individual students are charged for their participation and access to courses offered on your platform. On the other end, you can also get into a contract with organisations like schools or colleges to provide your services to their students. This will make sense for most of our local schools during these lockdown restrictions where we know perfectly well that such schools are in no good position develop such platforms on their capacity. So yes, be the entrepreneur that you are and solve this standing problem for your local schools. However, there are tones of other ways in which you can make money from your online courses site and finding them out requires that you approach the business with an open mind.

Make Your Online Platform An Officially Recognised Entity

For Zimbabwe, the first thing you want to do is register your service as a business and this has a chance of opening up more opportunities for you in the long run. In this regard, you might want to register either as a Private Limited company (Pvt Ltd) or a Private Business Corporation (PBC). Whichever way you might want it, just get officially recognised. Then you want to make sure that your business has functional standards acceptable to the ministry of education or other such relevant stakeholders to do with the course(s) you are offering. This way, you ensure that your services are officially recognised and this will be a positive mark in as far as building a trusted brand is concerned. In this respect, you might also want to partner with other recognised institutions relating to the courses you offer for purposes of adding more value to your offering. All the same, this will be relatively easy when you have followed the above-mentioned steps and you are operating as a legally recognised brand.

If you look today, a lot of people are worried as to what would be the case with access to education as we slowly get used to the Covid19 era. Be that as it may, you might as well make it easy for the public by providing an officially recognised online courses platform.