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English Outside the Classroom

Video Four:  Hiring

The first employee(s) I will need are people to do computer stuff that I can't do!  I need someone to set up a website and to create a logo.  I can find them locally - people who have done this for other people I know, whose work I like.  I can find them at my local school - kids who can do this computer stuff I can't.  I can find them online, but this will be more difficult for me and is not my first choice of funnel.

These employees would join me to do this simple task they can do for $$$, and then they would be done.  I want my website set up so I can add to it without needing a webmaster.  Once I know how to do this part I can add the blog posts or videos myself.  Or, I can hire them for simple straightforward tasks on a regular basis.  

The good ones will do the work the way I want it done - the ultimate evaluation.  They might also be the convenient ones.  They will speak my language and understand my words.  They will be reachable during a reasonable portion of the day.  For these tasks I do not need a superhero, just someone who can do it well and much better than me.  The formal review would come at the completion of the freelance task I have hired them for.

At some point I will need an administrative assistant.  This will happen when there is so much demand for my product that I can't manage alone.  

I am asking people to do work that's been done before, nothing very new.  In my experience the best approach for talking about the uncomfortable is in a very matter of fact manner up front, so we all know what the score is.

Video Three:  Funding

I am starting an online business that ultimately will sell knowledge.  I do not need money to fund a location or machinery.  I need some money, not a lot, to fund assets like a domain, a website and hosting, and some small miscellaneous equipment like a tripod, microphone, and some sort of camera.  Easy stuff and not too expensive.  

More money here does not increase the chances I will reach positive cash flow or profitability.  

The money I invest turns into money returned after X# of sales, depending on the price point.  If I price initially via the time-honored model of free offerings plus value-added fee-for-knowledge & instruction, I can initially price low and then increase for more specialized and/or intensive topics.  I am thinking of offering my initial instruction videos at about $20.  At this rate it will take many sales to reach scale.

I am not entering into this project with the intention of selling the company.  If a terrific offer appears I would definitely consider it, but I do not expect to sell.  

The gross margin of what I will be selling is 100%.  ( I think this means differential of cost of production to return on product, yes? )  Production cost assuming I do it is 0.

I am seeking customer funding.  My customers/investors will choose my offerings over all the others available because I can meet their needs better than the one other option that exists and is hard to find.  I have done what they are doing, I know the questions they have and can answer them, and I solicit other questions and answer them for my customers.

Video Two:  Freelancing vs. or Entrepreneurship

I'm an ESL teacher, tutor trainer, program coordinator.  As a teacher I am a freelancer.  As a trainer I am presently a freelancer but want to become an entrepreneur.  As a program coordinator I am a freelancer but want to become an entrepreneur.  I want to create a product that will generate a stream of income for me even when I am sleeping.

Video One:  Business Model

Imagine arriving in the US to live and work, unable to speak or understand English.  Imagine trying to have a conversation with your child's teacher, but you can't understand what she is saying.  Worse, you don't know how to ask for clarification.  You can't fill out a job application.  People are rude to you or laugh at you because you can't communicate in a way they can understand.

This is an everyday occurrance for many people in our country.  

For twenty years I have taught ESL (English as a Second Language, or English to Speakers of Other Languages) to adults in the US.  I am also a trainer of ESL tutors, and a program manager of ESL programs.  

My business is a web-based site for ESL tutors and tutor wanna-bes, ESL students, and community based ESL programs.  

I will have a section on the website for each client base.  There will be some free stuff, but the real meat will be subscription based.  I will offer longer programs with more features for a higher subscription price.  This is scalable and does not have to be delivered by me.

Assets:  at the moment I am the asset with twenty years of expertise and experience.

Human Resources:  at the moment I am it!

My customers:  my customers are adults wanting to improve their English language proficiency in the privacy of their own home, English-speaking adults who want to tutor ESL to others, and community based organizations that want to develop and implement an ESL tutoring program.

Unique Part:  there is very little online training for ESL tutor wanna-bes, and no coaching program for those who want to start a program.  

Repeatable:  my site will be a membership site and the content will be growing over time, so I will be able to offer more and more as time goes on.  

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