You’ve got a unique training, learning or coaching business and you’re ready to take things to the next level. You’ve been using off-the-shelf tools up until now to deliver content to your customers, but you’re ready for a platform that is as unique as your business and will give your clients a custom experience. What better way to do that than with custom software?
As you head down the road of exploring custom software and other solutions, there are 5 main things to consider.
Considerations for Your Custom Software Learning, Training, or Coaching Platform
1. It’s a custom software project.
Building a custom learning, training, or coaching platform, like any custom software, is a big endeavor. Indeed, building custom software of any stripe requires a great deal of thought, planning, organization, and skill. You should expect the project to proceed like any modern software project – iteratively but deliberately. You’ll need to understand what the intended destination is, but be prepared to take small steps and adjust course along the way. In software development, this is called the Agile process and you’ll undoubtedly be using some form of that to guide you.
2. What is the differentiator?
There is no shortage of third party learning, training, and coaching applications on the market. From Teachable to Udemy to Ontraport, there are many services available for teachers and coaches to reach a mainstream audience. These are unquestionably great options for a whole class of people. But whether you’re looking to compete with one of those or are unable to find one that fits your needs, it’s important to make sure you survey the available field first. Maybe your instruction style isn’t supported. Maybe you need a business model that isn’t offered in the available services. There are an uncountable number of reasons why these systems may not work for you. In all likelihood, this emerges from the thing that makes you unique. And it is those unique characteristics that will be at the center of a custom platform built uniquely for you.
3. What assumptions are you making and how will you validate them?
Most software projects that fail do so for a common reason – one or more of the critical assumptions made at the start turned out to be untrue and it wasn’t discovered until it was too late. Before any software is built, it’s important to articulate your assumptions and risks. By testing their validity early in the process, you’ll have a much better chance of finding success at the end.
4. What does your revenue model look like?
Many of the clients we work with come to us with a set of features they’d like to see implemented. And while those are obviously important, it’s even more essential to think about your revenue and expense models upfront. Does revenue come from subscriptions, transactions, or advertising? Are transactions always targeted at an individual or do you need group purchasing or volume discounts to be successful. Be just as thoughtful about how and where the money comes in as you are about the bells and whistles that attract people to your platform.
5. What are the demographics you need to serve?
In any learning, coaching, training platform, you have to think about who the teachers/coaches/trainers are and who the students are. Will they be co-located in a classroom or will they be distributed? Will they be in the same time zone or spread out over many? Will they be speaking the same language or are multiple languages important? Will they be using a laptop, tablet, phone, or some combination? Will you be supporting people with visual or hearing impairments? Questions like these, and much more need examined before you begin.
Building a new custom learning, training, or coaching platform can be a large undertaking, but many people have done it before and been rewarded for their efforts. The ability to differentiate your offering and have software that supports your unique values can play a large role in the amount of impact you can make.
Fortunately, we’ve helped clients down this path before. If you’re interested in building a new platform, schedule a Free Consultation with us today and we’ll help you explore the role custom software can make in your business.