As a prospctive ID, I want to start up my own business but I have some fears about starting my own business

May 19, 2015

Hi, This is my first post. First of all I want to say that I am learning great things with the help of this great community.

I am 3th grade undergraduate student in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. I will be graduated next year.  After that, I have dream of starting my own company. But here is things that I fear and I don't know the answers because I am away from business.


1) I know very well instructional design, and theories about them and pedegogical theories. I also took the courses Educational Psychology etc.  But as you know, I am not a subject matter expert, so I will need two business partners, who will be a SME  and a graphic designer, for creating e-learning courses. Let me say I found an expert, and we use Articulate Storyline or other Rapid Authoring Tools(by the way I know Flash, Edge Animate but I don't have any expertise in programming) to create SCORM or Tic Can compliant courses. Do we need to have our own LMS or do we have to be partner with and LMS vendor to sell our course to companies? Actually, I want to focus only to content creation by using rapid authoring tools. Can I sell the courses that are created by Articulate or other authoring tools to companies? Or should I use HTML/CSS/Java/Java Script/Objective-C for content creation? These requires a lot of time and expertise which I don't have. Courses built with these techniques are also expensive, how can I sell expensive courses?   


2) Unfortunately, courses that are built with articulate or other authoring tools are not mobile compliant, they look unprofossional in mobile devices. Articulate Mobile Player also is not work properly so I cannot design courses for business to sell them. But, I don't have any time and desire to learn programming(It also requires to know XML- other geek things) How can I solve this problem? 

3) Is there any profossional and working solution to distribute courses that are built with Rapid Authoring tools on mobile devices? I want them to look like native application, not browser-like course.

4) How can I sell my courses to companies? Should I prepare a brochure or Do they allow time to me to tell about my courses? What are your suggestions about marketing and selling? Unfortunately, I don't have a bussiness network. As a newbie, do they buy my products? For example, some companies have their LMS and their LMS vendors also sells their courses(terrible courses) to these companies. Do these companies buy my products? . How do these e-learning companies find customers? Many of them sell LMS with courses, but what about the companies that are only specialized on content creation?

OMG, it is too long. I am sorry. Thank you

6 Replies
Ashley Chiasson


First off, welcome to the forums!

I’m not sure what your reasons are for wanting to start a company out of the gate, in terms of the size you’re describing. You could always start out smaller, working on contracts, and sub-contracting graphic design work out to your friend.

Whether you start small or jump in with both feet on a larger scale, I don’t believe it’s necessary to partner with an LMS vendor; it certainly might help, but is by no means necessary.

You can sell courses developed using Articulate products for sure, that’s how many folks here in the forums make a living, but you really should brush up on your business acumen to figure out how to price yourself optimally. There’s really no easy answer when it comes to pricing, but you’ll want to look at how much time/effort is involved in the development, and then factor in an extra percentage for things like taxes and the fact that most independent contractors need to pay for healthcare (instead of it being covered by their employer).

As for mobile responsiveness, Articulate works fine on mobile, and the professional look would depend on you design abilities and preferences. I’ll let someone else chime in on native-look and feel recommendations.

The business you pitch your courses to will vary, some will prefer to meet in person and hear a description of your services, some will want to see promotional materials online and have your contact information in case they have questions. Regardless, you’ll want to come prepared and be able to confidently answer their questions. You should begin curating a list of business professionals and/or organizations you’d like to target with your product; become active on linkedin and social media.

I hope some of that information helps you out, but I really think that right now you’re putting the cart before the horse and you should just focus on doing some work independently first and building your client base. Then it will be a lot easier to build and expand your business network, and clients like talking to people, so you can likely get some referrals for new clients from former or existing clients.

Melissa Jordan

Hi Kantar!

Before starting your own business, I would suggest trying to find a few freelance jobs, or perhaps working for a small company with eLearning needs. That would enable you to gain some valuable work experience and knowledge about the industry. 

"Real world" experience would be great to list on your resume, and you'd be able to decide if starting your own business is something you'd like to pursue.

Good luck with whatever you do! 

Kantar Mert

Thank you very much Ashley for your detailed and sincere answers.  Now, I have some pattern(framework),about industry and business.  I will apply your suggesstions.

Thank you very much for your suggesstions Mellissa, As you said, Maybe I should start my own business(as a freelancer) step by step while gaining experience and building a network. 

Unfortunately, I don't have any mentor around me to help me. So, I am very greatful to you for your sincere answers.  In the school, the curriculum is not up-to-date %100. For example some concepts like: mobile learning,gamification are not examined in detail.They also don't teach something about business and real world examples. This community helps me to learn about up-to-date information about e-learning and business.

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