No matter what you teach or coach, an online business structure is by far the cheapest and most accessible option. Start-up prices for an online teaching business can be as little as $100 with running costs starting from about $80 plus per month. In this article, we will walk you through the costs and give you some tips to consider.
Start-up essential costs
These are the bare minimum but essentials for all new online teaching businesses, whether you be a freelance tutor, coach or other.
- Business Plan
- Domain name
- Website hosting
- Website Design
- Logo Design
- Online Marketing Tools
- International Payment processor
- Course Creator
- Online Store
- Email CRM System
- Video / Media Hosting
Teacherpreneur Business Plan
Like any other new business, planning is essential for effective launching, product and service creation and cost control – but so few people do this at the start, and when they realize they should have done they have wasted hours of time and thousands of pounds.
Avoid this and plan your teaching business like any other entrepreneur would do so you can reap the following benefits:
- Any teacher or educated person know that planning is the key to success. A business plan helps you to evaluate and action ideas, eliminate risks and define timelines, all of which affect your financial benefit.
- Iron out the creases – Lots of people procrastinate when business planning at the start because they simply don’t know what framework works for their niche. Our Teacherpreneur Business Plan will help you to avoid that too!
- Milestones – part of successful planning is about realizing milestones but a huge part of that is …
- Processes – When planning a business avoid getting too focused on goals and instead focus on processes. This will help you identify weaknesses and strengths and correct errors easily.
- Evaluate – Once you have completed your business plan, be sure to set timelines to evaluate the key elements within the plan. This is how you grow your business.
Most people think that WordPress is going to be the cheapest option for all of this but in actual fact by the time you have finished paying for all the third-party plugins, it worked out not the cheapest option at all. Read more about that here.
Another very important point that most new online teaching business owners overlook is speed.
All of the above is possible on WordPress but it will be expensive and it will also slow down your website.
A slow website gives a bad user experience and also affects your natural search engine optimization with Google. Instead opt for a digital marketing system that uses it’s server to store and run all your data-heavy tools such as courses, videos, media libraries etc. We recommend this one here.
Should you go for the cheapest option or hire a designer?
Well, remember that you website and in particular your landing page, which is the page that most visitors will land on is the most important piece of your online teaching business.
A badly designed, slow, or lagging landing page, will be the death of any teaching business. So, it is crucial for you to make sure that this is designed well. Our Teacherpreneur premium members get a complete marketing mix included in their membership which includes your website, landing page, funnels and even a course creator. It has been designed by our top designers and converts very well.
Your teaching website should show in it’s design and visual communication, a clear message that aligns with your niche audience. That message should be what is your speciality and what is it in particular that your teaching business offers that will help your niche audience more than any other competitor.
That being said, a funnel converts more than a website and is easier to track than a website.
What is a funnel?
A funnel, is a one-paged webpage. They are often long and promote one offer! In addition to the one offer, they have upsells or down sells.
A funnel converts much better than a website as it removes the confusion that a website can often ignite for new visitors, by removing the decision-making process. Instead, a funnel concentrates on the persuasion process. It is a small but relative shift in creative direction but it boasts a lot more success in conversions in practice. An example of one of our funnels can be found here.
A well-designed logo that reflects your brand is very important.
When you create your logo, it is a good idea to create it in various formats to include your website, your social media platforms, a You tube channel if you have one, in .png format and .jpg format so can use it on your website, funnel, marketing materials, course creation and other teaching resources.
You can find great, professional graphic designers at an affordable price on places like Fiverr
If you want to try DIY it yu can use free software like Canva. We have a Canva Creation course in the Teacherprenurs membership because Canva is such a valuable tool for Online business owners due to its simplicity of use.
In order to make money with your online teaching business, you need to have an International Payment processor.
When you use online payment processors your biggest cost will be the transaction fee.
Payment Processing fees
Paypal take 3.4% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Stripe take 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Wild Apricot take 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Apple Pay take 1.-5 -5% No extra per transaction.
Dwolla costs $25 per month plus 0.5% per transaction.
Due costs 2.8% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Square costs 2.65% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Authorize.net costs $25 per month plus 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Freshbooks costs 2.9% flat fee.
Moneris costs $19.95 per month plus 2.75% per Credit transaction.
Regpack costs 1.5% per month, flat fee.
Most online teaching businesses sell a course or multiple courses as this creates their primary income stream, however, being able to create a course that can also be accessed via a membership payment option is really a great way to increase conversions.
The reason for this is because, not only does it offer your student much better value for money as they can access all courses but by creating a membership option, you are making your courses more affordable to your students.
We do this with our Teacherpreneur Online Academy membership.
As well as being more affordable, by offering a membership you are able to prove to your students that you are going to be around for more than the one-time purchase and offer extra support. This in itself builds confidence and trust in the online marketplace.
With so many people online today offering online courses, a membership business that is integrated into your teaching business is a much better way to grow your business because you can build membership content up, little by little, month by month whilst increasing your members, instead of having the entire lot created before the sell. It is also a lot easier to get a sale of a membership site as it is generally a lower amount compared to that of an online course.
For other platforms that offer course creation only please read this post here.
Whilst you will often see cheap website hosting for shared hosting, we would recommend avoiding this for two reasons.
Firstly if you are intending to do any of the following:
- Teach 1-1 online.
- Create a virtual classroom.
- Teach small groups.
- Conduct coaching sessions.
- Sell teaching programs.
- Sell Online courses.
- Sell educational memberships.
- Provide a learning management system.
- Sell educational resources such as workbooks, ebooks etc.
A domain name is so important so choose wisely but before you do consider these points.
Check to see if the domain name you want is also available as a social media account on various platforms and also check what similar names are already being used on Social Media.
Check trademark databases because someone can own a trademark the same as your domain name and whilst this might not be a problem initially, you may want to trademark your teaching business or teaching products later on.
Research the domain name with Search engine optimisation and research if the domain name you want ranks for relevant keywords in the teaching niche that you want to market your teaching business in.
Domain names come with free SLL certificates here and cost about $12 for the year. A SSL certificate is what makes your website secure. It is the padlock icon that you often see at the beginning of the URL on a search bar. If a website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, Google will notify the viewer that the website is unsafe.
Email marketing is an absolute must. Do not rely on Social Media marketing alone because you must own your own traffic in business.
Social Media platforms are always changing policies and are know for closing accounts etc and sometimes for no reason.
In short, your followers on Social media belong to the platforms, they do not belong to you. Email changes all of that.
Whilst marketing platforms like Aweber and Mailchimp seem affordable, they are limited at entry level, do not offer automation and are quit clunky to use.
Mailchimp costs $0 for up to 2000 subscribers but they have their logo on your email which dilutes your brand identity.
You can get a free trial of a great Email marketing system, giving full automation with the $1, 14 day Kartra trial here.
Video and Media Hosting
If your teaching website is going to offer online courses, teaching memberships, coaching lessons or tutoring masterclasses, you are going to need video hosting.
Trying to store these on your website is going to slow down your teaching website and require a higher bandwidth hosting plan. The Digital Marketing System we use offers Video storage and website hosting is not required with a digital marketing system.
Otherwise Vimeo and Wistia are the most popular providers of video hosting.
If you feel that you are ready to start your online teaching business why not consider joining our Teacherpreneurs Online Academy membership and get all the resources, tools and templates you need plus a lot more support than you could imagine? Find out more here.