The innovations in technology over the past two decades had brought nations closer together. Our world is, now, a much smaller place. Everything is accessible and within reach. With all the recent discoveries, the possibilities are endless. We can even get university degrees, in the industry of our choice, inside the very comforts of our own home or on the go.
Spain pioneered online learning in 1994 when it launched the Open University of Catalonia, in Barcelona. The rest of the world followed suit. E-learning became a national and global industry. Getting degrees online, at less cost, made the industry appealing. After the development and application of Skype, many East Asian entrepreneurs saw an opportunity and utilized it. They established virtual schools focused on promoting specialized skills and English learning. Going to formal art or language school was a luxury that common folk cannot afford. This is, was and still is a lucrative business.
Right now, in the Philippines, there are over 5000 remote English teachers and over a thousand more working in call center set-ups. Their goal is helping non-native English-speaking nationals to improve their English level. They train not only the children but also the parents. Recently, some parents had begun taking lessons to aid their children with schoolwork while others, for self-improvement.
However, as per projection, English E-learning’s profitability will slowly taper down. Current learners would be competent teachers by then. Now is the best time for a new player to come in while the iron is hot to enjoy a piece of the pie.
Operating an office-based, call center– type English learning platform has numerous pros and cons. Among the pros is a well-coordinated work schedule that will have teachers on standby available to students on demand. Remote workers never maintain a steady schedule. They juggle work and home life.
Another pro, for call center set-up, is the capacity to maintain the level of excellence envisioned by the company and expected by clients. Workers work better when they are monitored however, operating cost will be higher too. Further, office-based employees are covered by law-sanctioned benefits and salary whereas, remote workers are contractors with no benefits. In this regard, more cost-efficient, boosting the company’s profit margin much higher.
Aside from those already mentioned, it is responsible to note that the online English learning sector is already highly saturated. Existing companies compete by offering promos and discounts to clients. Aggressive marketing and CRM campaigns should be steadily employed. Learning tools and materials should stay updated with educational and societal trends to keep the company appeal and market share. Client retention and referral must always be a part of all initiatives.
A start-up in this industry needs a carefully detailed SWOT analysis based on the market it aims to target.
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