This is the third installment of the How to Start a Learning Business series. If you missed the first two parts, check out Why Start a Learning Business and Learning Business Ideas. In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to determine the education products and/or services for your learning business. First, we started with the why and then moved on to a high-level what. Now it’s time to get specific about what exactly you will be selling to your customers.
We can divide what you can sell into two general categories: products and services.
Products are tangible items that are acquired/consumed. Products can be physical or digital.
Services are the production of intangible outputs, resulting from the work of one or more individuals.
It takes more time to develop a product than get started with services. For this reason, many learning entrepreneurs opt to start their businesses by offering services first. Another reason to start with services is that it allows you to test the market before investing too many resources in developing products that the market doesn’t need or want. Below are some common examples of services and products that learning entrepreneurs offer:
Example Education Services
- Curriculum/Instructional design, development
Example Education Products
- Books and eBooks
- Memberships (e.g. to a membership site)
- Online Courses
Determining Your Market
One of the most important steps in determining what services and products your learning business is analyzing the market for the services/products you are considering. Your product/services’ market is the marketplace where they will be sold. That’s the very general definition, anyway. If we get into the specifics, your market is the total number of people who may spend money on your product/service. For instance, if you develop lesson plans and materials for 7th grade US history teachers, your market is comprised of all 7th grade US history teachers. The following are some of the factors to consider when analyzing your market:
Who are your customers? What do they do? Where are they? What do they need?
How many people/organizations are out there that would pay for your products/services?
Where do your customers spend their time? How will you reach them? What resources would you have to spend in order to reach them?
Determine Your Education Products and Services
Step 1: Create a List of Possible Services/Products
Create an initial list of services and/or products that you are interested in offering.
Step 2: Identify the Problems You Can Solve
List the problem(s) that your product/service will solve for your ideal customer.
Step 3: Choose the Products/Services that are the Most Marketable
Research your service and product ideas and determine the market for each. You can use the marketability calculator below as a tool in determining your market.
Education Product/Service Marketability Calculator