These days, an industry that has really been booming in many areas is education. This trillion-dollar field covers online learning, in-person classes, hybrid lessons, and more, in all types of subject matters. Now, while this can be an exciting and lucrative business to be in, there is also a lot of competition to factor in. You’ll likely be up against organizations all over the globe who are going after the same customers as you, so you need to find ways to make your services stand out. Read on for some tips you can follow to start an educational business this year.
Understand the Market and Your Key Demographics
One of the most important things you need to do straight away is research the education market so you know which areas are growing or oversaturated, and where there is room for disruption. Investigate not just the American market, but foreign ones which impact, or can be impacted by, businesses here.
As well, know specifically who you will be targeting when you open your business. Understand the prime demographics so you can tailor your venture’s offerings to appeal to them, and then find ways to effectively market and sell to them too.
When defining your target market, get clear on your ideal customers’ location, gender, age, socioeconomic status, education level, hobbies, marital and family status, ethnic background, values, lifestyle and so on. You also need to learn where these people shop, when and how they do so, and what kinds of problems they have which need to be solved, or benefits they hope to enjoy.
Find a Point of Difference
Next, to start an educational business that lasts, you must focus on finding a point of difference. Your venture must stand out from your competitors, preferably in a key way that will help you to attract customers and then keep them as time goes on.
For example, if you’d like to run a tutoring company helping international students to improve their English, examine sorts of qualifications other firms and individual tutors possess. If you think you could find a point of difference by becoming more qualified than others, look into TESOL Master’s programs online; only hire people who have a PHD or 10+ years’ experience; or showcase how your international travel experience and ability in other languages makes you more qualified to communicate effectively with a broad clientele.
To ensure you have a clear USP (unique selling proposition), think about what your company will provide to customers that they can’t get elsewhere. Do some research to find out if people actually want this benefit, and if so, at the kind of price point. You need to be sure that there is demand in the numbers required for business viability.
Note that a point of difference can come from many areas. For example, there’s the price you charge, the services you offer, what kind of customer support you provide, the avenues through which you market or sell to people, and the specific types of clients you go after.
Lastly, don’t try to do everything by yourself. While you may be planning to be a solopreneur for the foreseeable future, while you wait for your business to take off and to have the cash flow to support staff members, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enlist support from other people to get you to that point.
For example, speak to people at local councils and within business groups and associations to free or low-cost advice on matters such as finance, accounting, legalities, marketing, sales, tech tools, trends and much more. These people might be able to give you ideas of where you can go to apply for grants or other funds for your start-up too.
If you can, find someone (or a few) to mentor you as you go about developing your business plan, launching your venture, and then building it. People who already have years, or even decades, of experience as entrepreneurs or in relevant roles within the education sector can be invaluable to have on your side. They can help you cut costs, avoid expensive mistakes, and establish and grow your venture much more quickly. They can also assist with emotional support when you have challenging times.
Once you’re ready to hire staff members (which could be from the very start, depending on your business model and access to finance), there are numerous things to lookout for. For instance, search for people who have different, complimentary skills to you so they can handle tasks you can’t, or don’t like, to do. Also try to find people who are passionate about education; who are positive and will be easy to work with; and who have a good work ethic and are keen to grow within your organization over the coming years.
Should you ever find yourself in a sticky situation you may need to consult a PR firm. University crisis PR from GK can help you in those tough situations which may require some extra help. Also try to find people who are passionate about education; who are positive and will be easy to work with; and who have a good work ethic and are keen to grow within your organization over the coming years.