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Starting an Online Learning Business: How to Staff Your Team

Barry Kelly
Jun 17, 2015 1:35:00 PM


Who will manage your online learning business? If you’re feeling at all overwhelmed by the resources required to launch an online learning business, we have good news: the costs and requirements to staff and support online learning programs have fallen dramatically. In fact, some of our clients have full online learning businesses that are managed and run by only one person. Ten years ago, it would have taken 10 or more employees.


You’ll need people, but not as many as you think. The size of your team will probably depend on the size of your organization. In most cases, projects start off with one “project owner” or champion and will grow from there. With the right platform provider, an online learning business can be built and managed across an organization with minimal demands on editorial, marketing and technology teams.


Here’s a quick look at the resources you will need (many of which you already have!):



As a project kicks off, you’ll need an engaged content leader, editor or educator. That person will be critical to the course building, curation and asset collection process. He or she may need a little training up front. Luckily, we find that the ramping-up process goes quickly, even for employees who haven’t worked in online learning before.



Depending on the platform provider you choose, you may need a little or a lot of help from IT or internal technology teams. The right SaaS company will make the workload light on these folks, so you should be able get to market quickly.



If you aren’t already best friends with your marketing group, now’s the time. Get these people involved early and seek out the best digital marketers on the team. These are 
the people who will bring it all home for you. (Note: For online education, 99% of the marketing should be conducted...online. So far, offline sources haven’t shown promising conversions to online learning.)



There’s no question that you’ll want your online learning experience to look incredible. A good designer can work wonders in that department, helping you make a strong first impression. While there won’t be too much design work involved, having a designer’s guidance will help.



You’re going to want to count all the money you’re making, correct? Connecting e-commerce and reporting is a good idea. Having an ally on the account team will help ensure that things go smoothly.


NOTE: The information outlined here is mostly applicable to large organizations. Online learning can still be hugely successful for organizations with much smaller teams. So don’t be put off if all the aforementioned individuals are not available.


Download our free ebook for more information on how to Turn Learning Into Profit.


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