There is a lot of stuff to take care of when you run an eLearning business. Mistakes here are inevitable but they are a part of the journey and even if we lose we don’t lose the lesson. Moreover, there are things even successful online business owners regret and wish they had done differently if they could start over.
You might not have the budget for hiring a business advisor, but you do have an opportunity to learn from people who have successfully overcome the challenges that you are facing now.
We asked 6 online courses business owners to tell us about their regrets so you could learn a lesson from their mistakes and apply it to your eLearning business case.
Enjoy the reading!
Regrets wasting time on in-house content creation instead of hiring an experienced learning designer.
"We spent too long writing our own e-learning content. This wasted our time and the result was not as good as it should have been. We should have found a professional e-learning creator sooner, although having said that it did mean we could test the concept without much cost.”
Regrets wasting money on pay-per-click programs instead of building personal connections.
«We wasted money on pay-per-click and e-mail lists. These things just cost money and don’t generate the best leads. Our best leads came from personal networking and LinkedIn.”
Regrets underestimating the efforts required to run the business.
“I wish I didn’t underestimate the amount of efforts it was going to take to get our small consulting business compete with large organizations. Most of the large organizations do not consider those small size organizations as becoming a viable source for training and education. There are then the small sizes and middle sizes organizations that still chose to take the training from larger organizations. Nothing would have been possible without support of partners and a clear business development plan.”
Regrets not documenting the project requirements.
“We spent a lot of time in rework because of changing product requirements from our initial customer. We could have clarified the deliverable better and then we would have been able to charge for the “change orders.””
Regrets not having clear communication with the content provider.
“If you are delivering the LMS as a framework like us and not providing the content, make sure there is clear communication with the content provider.”
Regrets not devoting enough time to getting to know the LMS.
“Looking back one thing that I neglected to do was read the instructions (for the LMS). I am sure you know that feeling – when all else fails, read the instructions. I wish I knew that prior planning prevents poor performance!”
Regrets poor planning
“We made a lot of mistakes: biting off more than we could chew, bad initial content, poor sound, vastly underestimating the time to clean up and edit… We didn’t write everything out in advance and wasted a lot of time on editing. I wish we have written everything out in advance and not make trainers/speaker improvise. A live performance vs a recording that will be watched again and again has a different requirement for success. Great planning, clean scripts, and practice would have saved us a lot of time.”
Regrets not investing in marketing.
“We were very fortunate to be able to wait for organic growth, however, we have to accept that without effective marketing no one will know who you are! It is vitally important to build brand and maintain credibility to get the return you deserve, get more exposure and feedback.”
Of course, there is no guarantee that the above-mentioned mistakes are relevant to your eLearning business and you should avoid them at all costs. Who knows, maybe you have a hidden instructional designer talent and will be able to save a lot of money on course creation or pay-per-click programs are what you need to have a steady income stream. Nobody knows all the right things to do but it is a good idea to be in the know of the most common regrets online courses business owners have.
What about you?
Are there things you wish you had done differently? Please share in the comments section below.