I read a press release today from the Cicerone Certification Program announcing the BeerSavvy E-learning Platform. If you have spent any time reading posts on this blog you know that I advocate finding your niche as a business, and your niche focus should bleed into training a marketing efforts of our company. You also know that this blog is written from the perspective of an e-learning company. Let me start by saying, I wish I would have landed this project! More importantly though is that this is a perfect example of a business finding a niche focusing their business on it exclusively and using e-learning as a business tool in order to expand their audience, increase revenue and create a virtual business model with less moving parts.
Cicerone Certification Program has not just focused their business on beer, but specifically craft beer. Their objective as a business is to help bars, restaurants, retailers and beer distributors capitalize on the growing interest in craft beer. They found a unique niche in a growing market and have built a platform to help educate the staff of these businesses in order to help them capitalize on the growing market. Genius! As is the case for many education based start-up they started with live, classroom based training. What most businesses in this space quickly find is that classroom training can be a grind. The logistics and expenses that go along with classroom delivery can be quite costly and can account for less than stellar profit margins. This is where a well executed e-learning platform can step in and provide a tool to virtualize and automate an education based business model.
We all dream of making money while we sleep. This is tough to do when your product is delivering classroom based training. I have nothing against classroom training, it has its place, but as a scalable business model it falls short for a number of reasons. Delivering your training or educational product online offers the ability to build a product ONCE and sell it over and over again. Growth is not dependent on more employees or the ability to secure locations. It is now squarely on your ability to sell! I will take that option anytime.
Does your business provide valuable education that could be turned into a online product? It is an interesting thought.