It is hard to make money. No matter how great an idea sounds at the beginning of a business concept, once one starts digging into it where the rubber meets the road – there are always plenty of obstacles and costs.
Even the low-cost marketing plans are expensive. I once was inspired by a business concept after reading Guerilla Marketing. The technique was to write a How-To book and advertise it in classifieds. Sounds cheap right? A discounted one week classified ad campaign can run $600. This does not even get you in the mainstream papers. It gets you in the neighborhood-weekly fish wrap and the PennySaver.
Marketing is not the only thing that gets expensive. Legal, travel, website development, 800 numbers and everything else can each add up to thousands of dollars very quickly. If you have not done these things before and you want some consulting on each, it gets even more expensive.
This leads to the question – How do you focus on your money-making ideas and not spend all of you time and money on everything else?
One answer – Find partners. Yes this does mean giving up some potential revenue, but you also share the risk and get some insight where you may not have any.
Telling someone to get partners is easy enough, but where do you find them? Often they are looking for you.
Consider the Continuing Education (CE) market. We all know people who have spent years working in an industry that requires some type of continuing education credits. These credits are for either certifications or maybe just good-standing. Regardless these same people often have a pool of knowledge that could fill numerous continuing education courses. If you can get people to take these at $50 a course, it does not take much to have the money add up.
Writing course and test material is work enough. Who would have the time and money to find and operate class rooms, websites and the marketing of that? When we are starting our entrepreneurial ventures, we are usually still working and cannot completely forget all of life’s commitments.
Building a web site for continuing education is not a trivial matter. There are many pieces of functionality that have to be woven in. Back-end configuration, printable certificates upon completion, allowing users to stop and restart a test, volume price discounts and search engine optimization are just scratching the surface on things to think about it. All these add up to quite a hefty development budget.
Google “continuing education partners wanted” and you will see a listing of some companies who have put together configurable web sites for continuing education who are looking for content partners. If the content is what you bring to the table, start investigating these companies.
When going into business we want to find the ways to maximize our time and money on the core business concepts and minimize our time on everything else. We need to focus on what our core competencies and find the right partners for the rest.