This post is the Forth and final in a Series titled The Most Effective Uses of E-Learning. Readers of this blog know that the focus is on e-learning with an emphasis on business and creating business result through e-learning applications. We develop e-learning applications for businesses not for academics. These use cases are presented based on the business result they achieved for our clients. This final installment of the Best uses of E-Learning series is directed at using e-learning as a supplemental product enhance your business revenues.
The ability to effectively engage and deliver educational material in a web based format has opened the doors for businesses to enhance their product and product offering through education. Education sells in a variety of formats, be it books, traditional classroom or online, education is a lucrative business you can tap into through e-learning solutions wrapped around your existing business model. Some transitions are more obvious than others, I have two examples to share with you.
The first is a fairly obvious leap to online learning but an interesting case study nonetheless. Back in 2009 I was introduced to a business owner in the sustainable building industry. The company’s primary business was LEED and sustainability consulting for commercial building projects. As respected professionals in the industry there was a market for their knowledge and expertise to be transferred to other professionals in the industry. As LEED Certification for Commercial Building was gaining momentum in 2010 there was a huge need for LEED Accredited Professionals in the industry. The company spun off an education arm of their business teaching the basics and more technical aspects of LEED and sustainability. Their business model was traditional classroom style training held in conference rooms and hotels around the country. Delivering the message and building revenue became limited by the number of days in a year. Additionally, the expense required to host a training seminar was starting to eat away at profits. Enter Resolutions. We partnered with them to transform their classroom training into a best in class online academy for sustainability professionals. With higher profit margins, less time dedicated to travel and coordination the business owners have used their intellectual capital to create a passive income stream through online education giving them time to focus on the consulting side of their business.
The second example is an interesting case, and a much less obvious application of e-learning as a product. A few years ago I worked with a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women in transition. The core business is run out of a facility in Arizona which offers women access to career counselors, financial advisers and mentors to help them through whatever transition they are faced with in their life. The goal was to expand the business by opening similar facilities and other markets. After the financial analysis was complete traditional brick and mortar expansion did not make sense. However, there was still a need and desire to expand their brand and help more women across the country. We worked with the foundation to create an online university boasting a one of a kind curriculum of courseware featuring numerous industry experts in the areas a finance, career and personal development. The online university opened the doors to a national audience and to another demographic of women in transition, which provided additional revenues and a solid position outside the Phoenix market.
E-Learning is a powerful tool. Education is big business and cam be presented in a number of formats. I challenge you to look at your business model and look for areas where you can provide value through education. Your intellectual capital could be the ticket to an untapped source of incremental revenue.